I recently turned 30 and in all honesty I have been looking forward to it for a while now. I never quite understood women who struggled with this age. I've always looked forward to it thinking, "I will finally feel like a real grown up when I reach 30." As if 3 kids and more than a half dozen years of marriage hadn't quite qualified me as an actual grown-up adult. And besides, your 30's can't possibly be worse than your 20's right? ...Right?
I have been a 30-something for all of 2 weeks now and I can testify that I don't feel any different. My days are still long and sometimes hard but my life is full of joy and blessings. The same joy and blessings as I had a year ago, but also the same difficulties. I guess what I am starting to realize is, we are all a work in progress. There is no magic age or stage of life where I will finally have it all together. I will always be in progress. I'm not sure my control freak, perfectionist self is okay with that but I think I am. I mean, think about it - what are we if not "in progress"? Stagnant, stale, decaying or dead. No thanks. Progress is where it's at.
The struggle I have as a wife and mother - heck, as a woman in general - is that I want progress to equal perfection. Or the possibility that I can attain it. Truth be told, I can't and neither can you. Can we grow? Absolutely. Mature? Of course. Be better today than yesterday? You betcha. But that has to be enough for me. I have to be able to wake up knowing that all I can really do is be a better wife, mom, employee, sister, daughter - whatever - than I was yesterday. That I have to keep on keepin' on and know there will be times when life feels like 2 steps forward and 1 step back. SOmetimes progress is slow, but it's still progress.
For so long, I had this idea in my head of what perfection was and in fact, I can think of so many women that I have given this title to in my own mind. Truth is, they're not. They struggle just like me, but unlike me they have allowed themselves to fail (and move on) instead of just labeling themselves a failure and giving up. My life will always be in progress. We will not be made perfect and complete until the day the Father takes us home and declares His work finished. I can rest assured that my relationships, finances, fitness, emotions and spiritual health will always be in progress and that Christ will always be there to guide my way if I let Him. To me, that is the true measure of success.
And hey, if the 30's don't work out, there always 40 right? ...Right? I hope I am blessed enough to find out.