Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Reflecting on decade 3 - the 30s

So my beloved husband and I were born in 
different decades.
He's older and continues to tease me about this,
saying he married 'a young wife'...
God willing in late December, I will turn 39.
*
Recently my beloved husband and I had reason to 
talk about the difference between being in one's 20s and 
being at the end of one's 30's.
Of course my husband's been through both already.
So, here's what I realized and it took me long enough to do so!
*
My thirties were full, eventful and having a lot of learning.
One thing that took me a long time to really understand 
was how when I was younger I did not give much
thought, admittedly, to limits.
*
Moral limits yes, I always held to those.
You know, no drinking to drunkenness, no drugs,
no under-the-sheet-naughtiness.
Thank God He persevered me from this,
I know enough that this was God's mercy to me
and not my own personal merit.
*
So by this,
I mean though that I did not always understand, 
esp. as I married late and did not have the 
privilege and challenge of raising small children, 
that there are natural triaging of what a person can do.
*
I've seen dear friends experience burn out many times;
I got mono and was unable to do much for half a year.
It look me a long time to realize that
I too can have burn out, it's not exclusive to those with
children! 
*
I've realized more since I was married about this,
the need to triage, the fact of limitations...
my first priority now is not whoever needs the most help in my life, 
which was I think a bit more of my default in my single days.
My first priority, after God,
is two things at once, if that makes sense.
It's my husband and making sure that I have proper self-care
to be a good wife.
*
There were times over the last three years where I had to learn
to reorient myself as I was burning out
and it was impacting my ability to love and be a good team
with my beloved husband.
*
I am better able to understand and accept dear friend's limits as well,
as a wife and Mother of young children (or teens, which will come soon)
has a lot less reserves and time for friends when 
her family is needing her. 
*
And I am learning to communicate with close friends more
of what I can and can't do in terms of my own
inward reserves.
*
I did not know that this would be one of the big lessons of my 30s but
now I see that it really was and is really, actually, quite freeing 
to see. 

8 comments:

Mimi said...

Amen.

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

Amen indeed!

Juliana said...

It is a hard lesson to learn one's limitations, but also to know where one should push beyond a comfort zone. I'm finding the tension between those two things very difficult at times. Hopefully I'll have more answers in three years!!

October Rose said...

I feel like this is a lesson I know a lot more about "in my head" than in a lived way. I am still learning what self-care even means--not just taking time for oneself (unfortunately I am all too good at that) but putting that time towards healthy things that refresh and renew. I am certainly learning the depths to which a lack of self-care can plunge one. It has been a very intense struggle. I am hoping that as I enter my 30s I can start living my day-to-day life more intentionally, more respectfully of my limits and my time, so that I can have more mercy and patience towards others. (Namely my children!!)

karen said...

You sound so happy and content and reflective. I am happy that you met him and have a life together. My thirties were busy with children raising and now that they are off on their own I find myself getting to know myself all over again.

Lisa @ things here lately... said...

Firstly, such a beautiful essay! So full of truth. How blessed you are to see God's blessing in your life! Secondly, yours is one of the blogs I hit a commenting-snag on! My fault entirely. I am slow when it comes to technical bloggy things. :) So glad to be able to comment again. *big hugs* :)

Nancy said...

Yeah, knowing your limits and self-care...still working on that. I'm 45 and just learning that lesson now after a big burnout (to be honest more of a breakdown, and not my first) that I'm still recovering from 6+ months later. Part of it the solution is accepting you're not indispensable and trusting that God will raise up people to help in situations where you cannot.

elizabeth said...

Nancy, yes, indeed. And that you can't be there for others if you are not first well. It's a tricky one, and I think people in crisis do not realize how much energy from others they are taking and that it is OK to step back and give what one really has to give. I am still learning it too. It's painful. It's worth, though, talking to a professional (well one that is worth talking too, some are so not!!!) to figure out how to get out of situations that are causing personal burn out. There are simply different levels of giving and also of spiritual stature. We must see that we are beginners and while the Saints can give in super-human ways, we must give according to our strenght and according to what God allotted us to give in this way. Like the parable of the talents - one cannot give what one does not have and one is not required to give back more than what one is given in the first place; and we are not called to fix other's messes. I am more and more convinced of this. It's hard but we can learn to get out of these patterns. HUGS and love.