One of the real challenges I’m finding about being single in my forties is what to hope for. I know it sounds weird, but that has become a strange new focus for me. As children, we all had some idea of what we hoped we’d be when we grew up. Ballerinas, architects, doctors, fire-fighters, husbands, wives…we all hoped for something. In your twenties, you are busy. Your hopes shift a bit, become more tangible, and you spend a great deal of your time hoping for the everyday things in life — ten fingers and ten toes, rent money, a raise, a rose on Valentine’s Day. The thirties are filled again with the hopes of families, driver’s permits, high school football games, prom dates.
Forties, though. That has been tough. My kids are all out of the house now. They are each making their way in the world, caught firmly in the twenties’ hope scope. I never really wondered what this time of my life would look like alone. There was no reason to think Chef and I would not have each other to lean on as life shifted into a slower gear for us. For a while there, my life got busier. There was the grief of the failed marriage, the panic of financially getting back on my feet. the myriad of disastrous car problems, moving from Oklahoma to Texas, forging new relationships, and of course, my weird Dog Rescue period after Jake died. I’ve been…busy. But now, life has settled down to a more normal pace for a woman my age, and I find it…uncomfortable. I’ve finally relegated Chef and that break-up to the right shelf in my heart. I make plenty of money now, have a sweet home, new friends, and I’m down to only the two dogs like other normal people. What should I hope for now?
Like muscle memory, part of me wonders if I should be looking for love again. I don’t think so. Anytime I try, it takes me less than a minute to wonder what the hell I was thinking to try this crap again. Money? I’m not ambitious. Life has always been about making money to live, not living to make money. The Lord feels kind of far away right now. No, I’m not questioning my faith, nor do I believe He has deserted me.
No. I think He always tends to feel far away when I don’t desperately need His help for something. That sounds so horrible, but I feel like it’s true, about me anyways.
I don’t know what this lesson is about yet, but I feel like He is definitely trying to show me something here. In the meantime, I thank Him for providing for my needs, allowing me to have some of my wants, and for being patient with me while I figure out which is which.