Turning the Calendar

We’re turning another page of the calendar and my mind keeps turning over questions I’m trying to answer.

Days that once passed with barely a tick-tock now sound as loud as the chimes on the grandfather clock that hung in mama’s house. They clang and echo urgency: now, now, not tomorrow.

I’m searching for answers to questions I’ve never asked before. I’m feeling burdened by the privilege of decision.

As Mary Oliver posed:

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

When was the first time you asked yourself that question? Do you remember? Was when when you were deciding which college to attend? Whether or not to work outside the home when babies came? Or did that question not appear until loss came? Infertility? Divorce? Financial devastation?

I am 60 years old and I’ve never asked myself that question until now.

It is hard and the answer seems to be illusive. Or, perhaps, it’s that I’m looking for a simple answer and life is rarely simple.

Today I have a job description and title. In two years both will fade and being the planning-take-charge-first-born that I am, I’m trying to figure things out now. How will I know when there is no role being assigned?

I accepted the titles and roles of wife and mother with great joy. After nearly 40 years the wife part still seems to have some mis-steps for me. Again, I blame the take-charge-first-born person previously referenced. The role of mama fit like a custom made pair of jeans. (my comfort clothes).

Other positions and roles came my way. I wasn’t looking but they found me and life was lived without a thought to what I would choose. I’ve believed God had paved these paths for me but now it feels a little like a dead end with a sign that says “No outlet”. I know that isn’t true. But it’s an unfamiliar path. I can’t see much beyond where my feet stand.

What if the answer isn’t found in a title? What if it isn’t found in doing but being?

Blogger, Heather Caliri suggests this is the question we should ask:

“If you had to name three words that summed up the kind of life you wanted to live, what would they be?”

Happy? Contented? Safe? Honest? Peaceful? Joyful? Energized? Faithful?

Perhaps a shift in perspective is needed. Life isn’t given to us to be title-holders but light-bearers. I don’t need to lay down one to be another. A change of the calendar has nothing to do with who I am and whose I am should always inform what I do.

Have your three words come to you? I’m still mulling over my third word. I need to let it settle down deep and work it over in my head and soul before I share them. But soon, I think.

Yes, what a wild and precious life it is we’ve been given by the creator of life Himself.

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More about Debby Hudson

Where do you find grace? Inside the church walls? Around the dinner table with your family? For years, grace was not much more than the prayer we said before meals or a biblical concept. Then I met a group of men who had, as we say, reached bottom. They welcomed me to Graceland. They showing me grace can be found in the darkest of places. I'm still searching and learning. I hope you'll want to come along.

16 thoughts on “Turning the Calendar

  1. Annie Rim

    Hmmm. I’ll be thinking about my 3 words…. Maybe trusting? Peaceful? Open?

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      Interesting choices, Annie. Particularly the combination of trusting and open. One of which I struggle with. Thanks for sharing.

      Reply

  2. Kit Tosello

    Oh this is a good exercise! Glad I found your site through Holley Gerth’s linkup! As a new empty-nester, I’m writing a lot about living purposefully in this new phase (really the final third-ish of my earthly life). For now I’ll go with purposeful (meaning on God’s purpose), loving, and kind.
    Great post!

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      When I was in a scouting group, part of our pledge was to be loving and kind. I like those, Kit. Purposeful is what I’m working on 🙂

      Reply

  3. hopeful50

    A resounding theme in this morning’s blog postings! Read Joanne Viola today and Bev (#32 at Holley’s) and Patti (#25 at Holley’s)….READ THESE!!! I love you Deb.

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      I took your advice, Susan. Thank you for directing me to these thoughtful and wise words from my fellow writers. xx

      Reply

  4. Valerie Sisco at Grace with Silk

    Hi Debby,
    First, girlfriend, you look AMAZING for 60! 🙂 But I’m just a few years behind you and I have such similar thoughts — I just love this post! You have so many talents with your artsy photos (I love seeing them on IG) so I feel sure that God will slowly but surely turn the page on a new chapter in your life in the coming years that will be so beautiful, he will take your breath away! Love you! xoxo

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      Your words had me tearing up a bit, Valerie. I found myself in the words of your post today too. I’m feeling especially blessed with the writing friends God has put in my life. Thank you, so very much for your gentle grace.

      Reply

  5. sarahgirl3

    Being instead of doing. What a hard concept to learn, no matter the age!

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      Absolutely, Sarah! There’s no age limit on that at all. And there’s no age requirement or limit on God’s grace. So thankful the words of grace expressed through this writing community.

      Reply

  6. Lesley

    I have no idea what my words would be but it’s a great question to consider. I’ll need to give it some thought. It is easy to focus on the titles we have and what we do rather than who we are.

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      Kind of took me by surprise, Lesley, because I’m one to shun titles. Learning more about myself all the time and thankful I look to God as my teacher.

      Reply

  7. Linda Hoye

    This is a good question to ponder. I struggled, for a time, with my identity after I retired from a twenty-five-year corporate career. I’m pondering which three words I would choose this morning and find that I struggle to narrow it down. Maybe that’s a sign that I need to step back to my resolve at the beginning of this year to be intentional.

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      Linda, I think that you can’t narrow it down to three words means you’re engaged in many pursuits. Not always a bad thing. I enjoy reading your slice of life posts that accompany your beautiful images. I always find peace in both. Thank you.

      Reply

  8. Joanne Viola (@JViola79)

    Debby, I am so glad you stopped by my blog as I had to come and check out our similar thoughts 🙂 I am not sure what three words I would choose and will surely be thinking on this. What I do know is this – God knows exactly what we need to be and where we need to go and what we must do – for ALL of our days and seasons. No matter how the calendar changes, one thing we can be certain of is that He calls us His own and that is the most precious title of all! I am most grateful I came to read your words today. Thank you for sharing in such a vulnerable way as you made me realize I am not alone in my wrestling. Blessings!

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      Words of one of the great hymns come to mind, Joanne: “morning by morning new mercies I see”. Yes, great is His faithfulness!

      Reply

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