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I'm 42 and I quit my day job. Why you ask? I am on a "journey". I am 40 something. I have been married for 20 years this November. I bravely announced to my former co-workers one fine day "I am leaving. I am going on an emotional journey. A quest. A journey into better understanding of myself and others". In other words I am outta here cause I don't want to hang with your sorry butts anymore. So, I left a decent job with a predictable schedule (can you say boring? blah) and I took a summer hiatus lounging on my porch swing and riding horse.

A journey. Just what does that mean? Being I had to "announce" to the world I was on a quest I better get to journeying along. I live in the upper Midwest and I have often marveled at the wildlife here. We have 2 unlikely guests to our area. Sea gulls and pelicans. As I pondered my journey recently, I looked over to find a large flock of beautiful white pelicans and seagulls sitting by a huge pond. I chuckled to myself as I pictured their discussion. "OK, who was in charge of reading the map and how did we end up here?" I feel a bit like the seagulls and the pelicans. I followed the flock of women my age to this point and said to myself, how did I end up in a field in Nebraska? I am supposed to be lounging on the beach in southern Florida! Like the flock of sea gulls, we follow along the normal path of aging as women. Why? Just because everyone else is here so it's somehow ok? My mother would say, "That's just what happens" "You can't change it you just have to deal with it". Aging happens slowly. It's sly and subtle. It comes in little ways till one day you look in the mirror and say "Whoa who is that? Sheesh where did the chicken wings come from? You suddenly don't recognize yourself. Or you find little semblances mixed with the laugh lines and crow's feet. Well, my journey isn't how to reverse the signs of aging. It's how to handle these changes as they come, while making peace with the woman of yesterday, embracing the woman of today and searching out the  woman I want to become.

What are you looking for? Are you content with where you have ended up? If not why?    

I have been on a reflective kick lately. Pondering my life. I have been looking for a good book about turning forty and darned if I can find one. It's like you jump from books about being in your twenties and child rearing to menopause. Well, I am not in that glorious phase yet. At least I don't think so. I mean how do you go into the large bookstore and explain to the twentyish college boy behind the counter what you want? How do put this into words? "Uh young man, I am looking for a book about surviving my 40's." "I have felt a little psycho lately and I think it's got something to do with my age but I am not sure. Got anything on that subject?" So I decided what the heck I think I will write one about this journey. About me. From the deepest part of me. I will title it "The 40's survival guide for dummies" Or maybe I will title it "turning 40 for the mentally unstable". After all that's how I feel lately. But perhaps with all the mood swings and lack of direction maybe menopause is lurking just around the corner after all.

So I decided I would journal about my journey. Maybe some other poor soul can see some similarities.  

I have 3 kids. Who doesn't at my age? Teenagers. Yep, in all their drama filled, exploring themselves glory. They are on a journey too. What the hell, isn't everyone? If you had asked me a year ago what's it like to have teenagers I would have told you; it's not bad! We have been lucky. See the trick is, (I would tell them) is to get them on a path. Help them figure out who they are and what they want to do with their life and make it happen for them. Get them on a course. Well what the heck, how do you help them find their course when you aren't sure of your own? Then with the ringing of a phone at 2 AM and your kid gets their first MIP (Minor in Possession) you suddenly realize well, maybe they aren't the little angels you thought they were. (Were any of us? If you are one of those, well bless your soul cuz I sure wasn't.) Well as you might as well know by now I am as popular with them as a fresh case of head lice. Yeah, it's that fun.

I have become the old fogy who can lecture with the best of them and no one's listening but me. Ever just like to hear yourself talk? Sometimes I just gotta get it out of me and unfortunately my teenagers if they are within ear shot will get the lecturer in all its parental splendor. Complete with "when I was your age" and the real attention getter "If I could do it again". Now mind you, I didn't learn all of these great lecturing habits on my own. Oh no, I come from a long line of lecturers. My father to be exact. My dad can lecture in his sleep. He can't help himself. I understand this. I think in some ways we think if we tell someone something it will insulate them from having something bad happen to them. Case in point: What do you say to a car full of teens as they pull out of the driveway? "I love you!" "Put on your seatbelt!" "Be careful!" "No Alcohol!" As if my saying it will prevent it from happening. Or if something (heaven forbid) happens, at least I have warned them not to do that. This will in some strange way relieve me from the parental responsibility and the ensuing horrific guilt I will most certainly feel. Right? It's funny how we try to bargain with our lack of control and fear.

What are you challenges as a mother? Stop. Tell the truth. Look deep, no one will read this but you. Lay it all out.

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marya1961 wrote Dec 15, 2013
    • Loved your blog, and I sure have pondered many things.  Now at the tender age of 52, it is all making sense.estatic

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Carla Aberle wrote Dec 15, 2013
    • Thank you Mary! I have several. I started blogging on word press but found no one was reading them! I feel we have so much to learn from one another as women that we have to stop and listen to one another and see what we can learn from each other! Thanks again, look for my next blogs to be coming soon!

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