Beginnings & Endings

Life is not so much about beginnings and endings
as it is about going on and on and on.
It is about muddling through the middle.
~ Anna Quindlen

Today is my birthday. I’m 35 years old.

Thirty-five isn’t old, but it isn’t young either. Even though I hope to live past 70, it feels smack dab in the middle.

I have mixed feelings about this birthday. On one hand, I’m now old enough to be President of the United States. On the other, I’m five years past the age limit to compete on So You Think You Can Dance. Like they say, when one door closes . . .

As I turn a year older . . . and we come to the end of another year . . . and my family prepares to begin a new era of two children rather than just one, I’m feeling a bit reflective.

[You know, in between rewriting my ridiculously long before-the-holidays and before-the-baby lists? And after that nap I had to take and before I make another batch of something to put in the freezer? Yep, in that moment, I’m feeling reflective . . . and probably have to pee again.]

I love the song, Lose Yourself, by Eminem. If I need to get pumped up – or pretend to know how to rap – I listen to Lose Yourself. I don’t know how you could sit on the couch, let another day go by, or stop dreaming and living and moving when you hear these words:

The moment, you own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yo

Yo. Except . . . is that even true?

What if we DO let it go? What if we miss our chance? Will the opportunity really never come around again?

Well, I suppose there are plenty of opportunities – like auditioning for a dance competition on reality TV – that, once they’re gone, we can’t get them back. I bet every single one of us could tell at least one story, full of regret or relief or a mixture of both, about an opportunity we didn’t take, a risk we didn’t take, an adventure that went unlived, a story unwritten.

But did our stories go unwritten? Or did they simply change – or lead us where the Author wanted us to go in the first place?

I’m tempted to think of my life right now in terms of beginnings and endings, opportunities both taken and missed.

A career
A family
A ministry
A dream
A diet
An interview
An audition
A proposal

Some of those things have come and gone, some might come around again but others certainly won’t. Some are still in progress, going on and on and on as I muddle through the middle. Some are just beginning while others are drawing to a close right this moment.

But as I’ve gotten all Jack Handy with my deep thoughts, I’ve thought about the photos I love of gorgeous sunrises and sunset – and how, if you don’t read the caption or know better, it’s not always clear which one you’re looking at.

Is the day beginning or ending? Sometimes when you’re staring right at the sun and the sky and the clouds and the rays, it’s hard to tell.

Today may not be your birthday. And perhaps your family make-up isn’t changing in less than a month. But just in case the end of the year or the holidays or the class reunion or that announcement on Facebook or the promotion you didn’t get or race you didn’t run has you wondering if your chance has passed . . .

It’s not too late.

Can I tell you that? It’s true. I believe that. Do you?

[Oh my word, I did NOT mean to turn that into a rhyme. Or a rap. It just happened, I swear.]

ANYWAY.

It’s not too late. Your story isn’t over. Your window hasn’t closed. That ending might be a beginning – or perhaps you’re simply muddling through the middle that, for now, is going on and on and on. It’s not too late. You’ll have another shot . . . yo.

Will you humor me on my birthday? Tell me about something it’s not too late for in your life. What dream hasn’t ended, what story is still being written? What will you keep pursuing, keep muddling on through this next year?

{Photo by smemon}

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