"I wasn't prepared for this," said every person, everywhere, for the hundredth time.
Have you said this? I have. . . . about a hundred times.
Each season of my life has had it's "what-do-I-do-now? moments. You know, the times in which you felt under-prepared and overwhelmed? Off kilter, stunned, amazed, surprised by change.
Many of my personal transitions came as a result of motherhood. I didn't seem to matter which stage of mothering I was in, or how many books I read, or how many other moms I spoke with, nothing really prepared me for the "next" stage of life.
- Going from working girl to stay-at-home-mom with no friends.
- Going into the toddler years and dealing with, well, toddlers. The delicious, wonderful, exasperating, adorable, edible toddlers.
- Finding my rhythm with elementary age kids...and a baby.
- Starting a business to pay for hair highlights, and then having to depend on it for the mortgage.
- Finding my passion in creative art. I never thought I would.
- Mothering middle schoolers.
- Dealing with high school issues: boyfriends, girlfriends, activities, rules and messy bedrooms. Late night movies, talks in the car, the feeling of wonder.
- Watching your kids leave and wishing you could do it all over again. At least some parts of it. Like maybe Mothers Days and Christmases. Also bedtime snuggles.
I wasn't prepared for everything in between, either. The "life" stuff. The jobs, the bills, the health scares, the economy, the way marriage gets real stale sometimes and then suddenly explodes back into life. The way your hair texture changes over time. The cellulite. My god, the cellulite.
The beauty of figuring out what you're good at. The relief of knowing you really don't have to apologize for feelings. (I just discovered that this year.)
I guess it's one thing to read about other people's experiences and advice, and it's a whole 'nother animal to experience it yourself. Because YOUR story is unique. No one else owns it but you. And that's why, sometimes, you simply feel overwhelmed by the changes nobody could have possibly prepared you for.
I wonder: Whatever phase of life you're in right now, how would you complete this sentence?
"I wasn't prepared for __________________________."
Perhaps you weren't prepared for the physical exhaustion of parenting. Or the difficulty of a new job. Or the complexity of marriage. Or the idea of being single again.
Maybe you weren't prepared for the fierceness of love that overwhelms you when you watch your child grow. Or the loneliness of an empty nest. Or the joy of finding your creative passion. Or finding the love of your life so late.
What are you experiencing right now that has caught you off-guard? What do you wish you could have known? Maybe your comment will be just the thing that will help someone else see their season in a new light.
One of the things I love most about this blog is the diversity of women who frequent it. From college women to great-grandmothers, we share a common bond. I'd absolutely love to hear from you today!
What weren't you prepared for? Is there anything you might tell another woman facing a transition or season like yours?
Meditate on Deut. 31:8 today: "Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you. he will neither fail you nor abandon you."