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Woman to Woman: "In this skin..."
I'm a couple of days late for a venture that Morning Glory started this week; it is a twice monthly writing project for women bloggers called "Woman to Woman." This topic, the first, is entitled "In this skin" in which you tell how aging has affected you personally, your attitude towards it and what you've learned from it.

I look back at my twenties and thank God and my family for having patience with me. I was married and had my first three children in that decade, but I think I was a bit of a mess. We struggled financially and unfortunately I didn't cope well. I think I spent a lot of time submerged in books because I had trouble dealing with reality. That's hard to admit, but I think there's a lot of truth in it.

I had a difficult time turning thirty (I guess I should say dealing with turning thirty!); however, my thirties were very prolific: five of my eight children were born then (at ages thirty, thirty-three, thirty-five, thirty-seven, and thirty-nine), and I definitely preferred them to my twenties. For years the age thirty-three had a special significance for me because that was Christ's age when He was crucified. I imagined it as an important year. My fourth child (and first daughter) was conceived the week of my thirty-third birthday; carrying a child and giving birth was such a special way to spend that year for me.

Turning forty didn't bother me a bit. Tomorrow is my forty-first birthday. I know I've talked a lot lately about losing my mother three years ago and how it's affected me. One thing I haven't mentioned is how it pushed me into new territory. My mother and I were very close and she was a strong influence in my life. I counted on her advice, but I never realized how shaped I was by it until she was gone. My mother dislike hydrangeas; she thought those big, blue blossoms were just tacky! The summer after she passed, I admitted to myself for the first time that I actually like hydrangeas, and I bought two of them and planted them in our yard. I wasn't snubbing my mother's memory, but rather honoring a change that was taking place: making decisions independent of her feedback. This is not the same as her influence, which will always be with me. She also disliked the color orange. She'd once had an unpleasant surgery and her room was in a hospital wing which was decorated orange. I now own orange clothing, etc., and see it as a happy color. The bad connection is no longer there for me; it was hers.

I am content right where I am, right here in this skin. Going back to another time would not only remove the presence of some of my children in my life, but strip away the knowledge, wisdom, and experience that time has layered on my body and soul. Laugh lines and stretch marks are there for good reason!

For more "In this skin" posts, visit Morning Glory.

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19 Comments:

Blogger amber said...

I enjoyed this post, but I must admit that my eyes opened wider when you started with "I'm a couple days late...".

Yes, we were indeed planning on hopping in the caravan from our church to attend the meeting at Bethany next weekend, but with the sudden turn of events in our family this week, those plans will likely change. I always plan on attending your meeting, and something seems to ALWAYS come up. I miss you all!

Blogger Morning Glory said...

I'm thrilled that you posted and linked on this. Late doesn't really matter, and I'm glad you shared so I could read this.

Your journey sounds as if it's been a very important one for you. The way that you sorted out your mother's influences from your own taste is really valuable. We get so shaped by the loved ones in our lives that it's often easy to overlook who we really are as individuals.

Thanks again for participating and I hope to see you on March 27.

Blogger Mommy Dearest said...

I can see how my starting a post with "I'm a couple of days late" could give the wrong impression. OOPS!

Blogger momrn2 said...

Happy Birthday!! Enjoyed reading this post!

Blogger Tonja said...

If I read this correctly...today (Friday) is your birthday...so HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
You'll never be any younger than you are right now...but praise God,you'll be wiser! I loved this post. And I can tell you this... forty may be fun...but 50 is fabulous! God bless you !!!

Blogger Penless Thoughts said...

Enjoyed reading your post. Loved the honesty about being so influenced by your mother that you let her do some of your deciding for you. Glad you are able to be the real you.

Blogger janiswrites said...

I think that the older I get, the more comfortable I am with myself. I am larger (ummm...fatter) than I have ever been, but I am also happier in this skin than I ever was when I was thinner. Of course, I could lose a few pounds and still be happy.LOL Thanks for sharing! I really enjoyed it! Blessings!

Blogger Code Yellow Mom said...

"Going back to another time would not only remove the presence of some of my children in my life, but strip away the knowledge, wisdom, and experience that time has layered on my body and soul." So true!

I love your insights about your mom and the redefining of your preferences - that really is a part of growing.

Wonderful post.

Blogger Belle-ah said...

Happy, Happy Birthday dear blog friend!

Blogger Jennifer said...

I hope your birthday is filled with lots of hugs and love. I enjoy reading your posts. This post helped me realize that I've learned more about myself in the last two years, than ever before. Thanks for sharing this.

Blogger Lok said...

Beautiful words... and Happy Birthday!!!

Blogger No Cool Story said...

Happy Birthday Mommy Dearest!!!
beautiful post :)
Have a great and blessed day wiht your family.

Blogger Melanie said...

Great post!!

I love this theme. I may have to post on it this weekend.

Blogger Doris said...

We've been away for our anniversary so I'm late-thirty getting here, but... HOPE YOU"RE HAVING A HAPPY BIRTHDAY!


xoxo

Blogger Brenda said...

Happy Birthday! We're the same age again. :)

Enjoyed this post, and I agree that there's no going back, as much as we wish sometimes that we could.

Thank you for sharing.

Blogger Lisa said...

Happy Birthday! I turned 41 this past December! Enjoyed your post! :o)

Blogger Jolie said...

Happy Birthday, Dawn! I hope it was special. I really, really love this entry you wrote. It almost makes me want to blog, just almost.:)

Much love,
Jolie

Blogger Barb said...

Happy Birthday, late, Dawn. Leave it to me to be late. That's what happens when I let a couple of days go by without checking in on everyone.

My 30's were probably my favorite age, too, but my word I was busy. I was 28 and 30 when my daughters were born. Actually, maybe the reason my 30's was my favorite is because it all went by in a kind of toddler-induced blur. LOL

Blogger Char said...

Hello there! I stumbled accross your blog today, and I'm so glad I did! I really enjoyed reading what you have to say. I especially liked your "template" or "skin" or whatever it is. Where did you find such a nice background for your blog? I'm searching searching searching and not finding anything nice... Yes, I'm new to blogging. Have a peak at mine... www.babeless.blogspot.com
I'd love some advice! Or email charmaineupton@gmail.com Thanks. Char (in Durban, South Africa)

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