I went to breakfast with a couple of good friends yesterday and we chatted about our lives and families as women tend to do as we lingered over coffee. As one talked about the retirement years and what that would look like for her and another reflected on still having a teenager in the home who is just starting to date, it got me thinking about my life right now and how differently it looks than I would have imagined even ten years ago.
If you'd asked me then, I would have told you that we would be empty nesters and that I was looking forward to retiring in a couple of years and spending time crafting, gardening and maybe even moving to a little farmhouse with a few acres of land in the country.
But then life took it's twists and turns and I find myself three years into retirement with a full, noisy, messy house and that's okay. If things had gone according to my plans there would be so much of life that I missed out on both good and bad. You see, I've felt joy during that time that has been indescribable and pain that I would have thought insurmountable. Those ten years have showed me who I am and cemented Whose I am.
Yes, my home might be cleaner and my garden might be lusher and I might be able to craft uninterrupted into the wee hours of the night but I wouldn't have had the chance to experience all the other life moments that have happened along the way and that would not be okay...
When I look at the outward appearances of the lives of the women around me both in real life and online, I have to be careful not to focus on what their lives appear to be or even what I imagined my life would have been but to purposely celebrate the messy, beautiful life that I have.