Thursday, April 30, 2015

Half-Full


A few nights ago I read something that referenced 40 being half a lifetime. It wasn't exactly news to me, but statements like that take on a new air of urgency when you find yourself standing at almost-39.

I don't mind aging, but I'd rather not be confronted with a half-over life.

For the first time, all the dudes putting gel in their (vanishing) hair and driving off in sports cars made just a bit of sense. From these front-row seats, I can feel the pull to recapture some of what's left. At a minimum, it makes me think about what matters most. It makes me want to make things count.

Truth is, I'm of the opinion that life isn't short. It's long. 
The eighty-odd years of a full life hold so many opportunities to get things wrong. It would be easy to squander them on irrelevant or temporary things that won't ever fulfill.

That's what I don't want to do with my second half, or what's left of the first.

I spend a lot of time thinking about community, about what it really means and why we need it. I write words and connect with friends I may never meet this side of Heaven. My heart lands in inboxes and pings around cyberspace and I know what we've created is real. It means something, and I don't take that for granted.

But if I find myself too busy to cultivate relationships with folks in my own back yard, those online words about walking and growing together lose their color. 
 
Recently, I sat across a coffee shop table with a bow-tied stranger as he extended an invitation to write an unpaid, monthly column in our local newspaper.

Like everyone else in the universe, I'm trying to figure out how to trim the fat. But first, what exactly  is the fat? And does it really need trimming?

Sipping my Earl Grey, I thought of every reason why I should politely decline. When it rains it pours, and I've already confessed that I can't swim.

Because he's a wise man, he didn't push. His offer was full of grace, and nothing makes me want to move forward more than kindness and space. Sitting at that tiny table, I already knew I was in.

Now I get to write about community for a new sort of audience - one made up of people I pass on actual streets. It makes me vulnerable in a brand new way, but I like it. Vulnerability grows authenticity, and that's one thing we never outgrow.

Each of us has been planted with purpose, and we really are better together.
Here's to a life half-full and ripe with promise.

{You can click here to read my first column!}

21 comments:

  1. I am glad you have come around!!! ;) haha! #syndicateshannan

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    1. I wrote this YESTERDAY AM.
      Mind blown??? :)
      I told you I totally had my reasons!

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  3. This is your purpose...and finding you in my Bloglovin' inbox makes me smile...although we probably won't ever meet...I love watching your family evolve...you teach me something new about myself through your writing...and although you might always be five minutes late...I'll wait - 'cause I'm always five minutes early!!

    Cheryl @ The Creative Me and My McG

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    1. Loved your last line!
      I can't wait to meet you, lady. :)

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  4. You were made for this opportunity:) What a wonderful way to bless your community!

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  5. Congratulations! What a perfect place for your words to reside - in the community you live in, love in, make a difference in.

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  6. Here's how I look at it. At 45, I figure that I could live my entire life all over again and still be younger than some of the people in our church congregation. Many of whom are still quite active. So, is my life half over or do I have my entire life to live over again? I like the way you're thinking. You will reach so many in the "second-half" of your life. Just keep being authentic and keep preaching Jesus!

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  7. I just found this blog yesterday and I cannot stop reading. You're such an amazingly talented writer, and I love the fact that you (like myself) are an introvert and a deep-thinker. Your family is doing such great things for God's Kingdom, thank you so much for sharing your heart on this blog.

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  8. As long as "older" is accompanied with "wiser", I say BRING IT ON. Thank you for the consistent encouragement I glean from your sharing. I began following you years ago, and I continue to admire your journey to "older" and "wiser".

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  9. Your column is beautiful written, I love where you are coming from & your willingness to be open. It sounds easy but it's not, I put myself "out there" easily enough but I'm too quick to pull back into my shell if I'm not "well received". A work in progress I guess but reading your words make me want to push myself more.

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  10. LOVE IT, even though you didn't let them know you are an introvert. :-) i hope it's warmly received and that it expands your influence on the concept of belonging to each other within the confines of a zip code, a neighborhood, or a home.

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  11. Congrats to you dear one, but don't leave us blog loving folks hanging..we would miss you too much! Blessings to you as you live your half-full life before us!

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  12. Congratulations on your new column! I read it and I loved it. I just finished The Best Yes (by Lysa Terkeurst) and your meeting with the bow tie man reminded me of all the wisdom in that book. We say the "no's" so we can say the best YES to those things that really move our hearts. It sounds like that's what you did :)

    Blessings,
    Debbie
    A Million Skies

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  13. Congratulations! That is so awesome! I admire your writing so much and you're so brave to step out there and do it. I would be a nervous wreck!!

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  14. Your community audience is very lucky. I enjoy reading anything you write. You could write about grass growing or paint drying and it would be interesting and thought provoking. Your writing has a rhythm to it... one that is fun and easy to dance to. lol Michelle from Canada.

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