Thursday, March 20, 2014

The year we changed

So I turn 39 in a couple of weeks. I'm heading into the last year of my 30's. When Shawn turned 40  I didn't see what the big deal was. It was just one year older, like every year. And now here I am, just about to turn 39 and I'm starting to see what the big deal is! Forty is coming for me and I'm feeling it.

I don't know what it is about forty but it makes you reevaluate your life. I'm feeling an urgent need to do something with the last year of my 30's. I've had plans and goals and things I meant to do and all of a sudden I feel behind. What did I do with my 30's? I did an important thing, I stayed home and raised little kids. I've been a stay at home mom for almost 14 years. Because my kids are spaced so far apart, I pretty much did it all one kid at a time. As soon as I got one through the baby or toddler years, another one came along and I started over again. I've spend the past decade, and longer, home with my kids being a mom. And that was important to me. I've always been adamant about being a stay at home mom because I knew that was the right choice for our family and I definitely don't regret all the years I've been home with my kids.

But here I am, just about to hit the last year of my 30's and just about to send my youngest child off to Kindergarten later this year and I feel like I'm closing a chapter of my life a bit and getting ready to start a new one. I have loved being home with my kids and I will continue to be a stay at home mom, but with my kids getting older and not needing me during the day the way a baby and toddler does, I feel like a new world is opening up, and that, along with forty staring me in the face, has got me thinking and planning.

I want to DO something with the last year of my 30's. I want to start doing the things I kept meaning to but didn't because I was busy with little kids. I feel like everyone in our family is making a transition this year. Clarissa starts elementary school, Matthew starts middle school, Josh starts high school, and Shawn is busy at work getting ready to move their pharmacy to a new building in a couple of months. Everyone has something big and new happening this year. I want in on that.

I don't always love change, but I find myself embracing this one. I feel ready for change. As much as I have loved being home with my kids all these years, I find myself feeling stagnant lately. Life moves on around me and the kids are busy and Shawn is busy and I'm always home holding down the fort. I don't mind being the fort holder downer, I'm cool with that. But I need to change along with the rest of the family. I need to grow and learn and make sure I'm making goals and doing things for me, and now feels like the time to start focusing on that again.

My time of raising babies and toddlers is coming to an end, and as much as I have loved that time in my life, I'm ready for it to end. I'm ready to move on to the next phase where my kids are a little older and I get a little bit of my freedom back. Does that sound terrible? I'm being careful not to sound ungrateful for the opportunity I've had to be home with my kids, because I'm actually incredibly grateful. I'm just completely at peace with the fact that that time in my life is over. A person can only spend so many years in a pile of Legos and My Little Ponies before it's time to get out and join the world again, you know?

So with my kids getting ready to make their transitions, I'm getting ready to make mine. I have plans. I'm going to do something with the last year of my 30's. I'm going back to the gym, I'm thinking of buying a piano and taking piano lessons. Maybe I'll finally read the pile of books I keep meaning to read that I never get around to. Maybe I'll take up photography again. Honestly, I'm not completely sure what I'm going to do. I just feel ready to do it.

And I'm fully aware that after all of this talk, I'm going to watch Josh take those first steps into high school and help Matthew learn how to use a middle school locker and watch Clarissa get on that big scary bus as a Kindergartener and fall apart a little bit. There will be tears, lol. I say I'm ready, and I feel ready, but still, the idea of everyone's big transition this year is freaking me out a bit. There will be lots of new experiences this year for all of us, and new can be a bit scary. But it's also fun and exciting and when I'm done crying about it on the first day of school, I will go back to being excited about the new phase in our lives.

I'm excited about going back to the gym. Every time I have done the gym in the past I've had to take kids with me, and this time I'm not doing that. The gym is me time now. I need to get out of the house by myself and do something for me. It's time. It will still be a bit tricky to make that work until school starts in the fall, but I'll find a time during the summer and once school starts I can get all the kids off to school and go with no problem. I have some health goals I'm trying to reach before I turn 40.

I'm determined to head into my 40's content with myself and my life and feeling healthy and happy. I'm determined to make this last year of my 30's count. Bring it on, I'm ready!

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