I finally know who I am. I know where I belong – and where I don’t belong. I’m comfortable in my own skin – even with its imperfections. I’m secure in knowing what I’m good at, and what my limitations are. In many ways, this is the best time in my life.
Ironically, just as I’ve become comfortable and secure in who I am, it all starts to fall apart – or at least fall – if you know what I mean!! My hubby recently purchased a “Speed Abs” roller for the two of us to use. The first time I (attempted) to use it was absolutely hilarious! I needed a spotter to hold me by the waistband and help pull me up when I would roll too far down and couldn’t get back up – even with the special coil assist! A couple of time, I literally landed flat on my face. I’ve been at it for about three weeks now, and I’m up to about 15 repetitions – without assistance – but with a lot of groaning. My children laugh at me and imitate the sounds I make! Nice!
It’s ironic that at the very time that we become comfortable with ourselves as adults and feel confident in who we are and what we can handle, life gets complicated again. In our 40’s and 50’s, we become the “sandwich generation.” Many of us who had children in our 30’s are still in the trenches with them – trying to help them through school and carpooling them all over the place. It’s usually in our 40’s and 50’s that many of us have teenagers in the house. That’s quite a stressful period for the whole family. Thankfully with improved medical care and prevention, many of our parents are living longer. They too begin to need help with day-to-day living. What happens to the sandwich? It gets smooshed in the bottom of a book bag, if we are not careful!
I really do think that things would be less stressful and far less complicated if we could go back to one spouse working and generations living together in the same home. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that it is likely that will happen anytime soon. It’s the way that the world and the economy operate now – God’s plan for families a distant memory
So what does Dana do? (I surely don’t have all of the answers!) Thankfully, my parents are still pretty independent. I know that a time is coming when they will need me, and I pray that I can really be there for them. With regard to my own children, I have had to limit their involvement in outside activities. I’ve never had much stamina/energy, and I must work a full-time job. I also wanted my kids to have some time each day just to hang out and relax – just to be. I made up my mind early on that each child could only do one outside activity ( or none) at a time. This helps things from becoming too hectic, and surprisingly they haven’t been scarred or deprived!
We eat dinner as a family nearly every day of the week – even if I have to use the Crock Pot or pick up a rotisserie chicken from the market. This helps to keep us connected and grounded, and allows each member of the family to be heard. We often pray as a family. My personal “salvation and sanity” is spending time in the adoration chapel nearly every weekday. There, Jesus truly restores my sense of peace and gives me the strength to keep going. I also garden almost everyday, even if that’s just watering, pulling a couple of weeds or taking a walk outside to see what is ready to be harvested. There’s something very therapeutic about it!
Shout out to everyone who is in the sandwich generation! Hey! We are in the same boat! Take comfort in knowing that you are not alone! I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13