Saturday, November 11, 2006

To Everything there is a Season...

To everything there is a season
A time for every purpose under heaven....

The seasons are changing here. One day it was crisp and bright as October and 20 minutes later, it was as dull and muted as the grayest November day in overcast mid-Michigan.

I've been thinking lately about how much we fight that simple little truth of the seasons. And how foolish it is. How much pain and discomfort, even illness it brings us.

I got older this week. Yup, the big 32. I can't really think of another birthday that mattered less. Maybe 8. I tried to remember back and couldn't remember a single thing about turning 8. I could remember 5, and 9, 10, 11, 12, 13..oh that was a bad one...14, 15, 16...I cried on my 20th, had Mattie by my 25th...a lot of birthdays in the 20s were the same night as church business meetings...was 30 good? Can't remember...I didn't have a blog then... 32...Robb was worried that it was the worst birthday ever because I was sick, but honestly, last year was much worse. This year was kind of ....great, actually. When else do you get to spend an entire day in bed having your beloved fuss over you?

Somewhere along the line, we started fighting being fussed over. Maybe it was the end of high-school...when we were itching to be "grown up." Our appreciation for being taken care of went to an all time low. And several seasons in life later...when all I do is take care of other people, I wonder why I was in such a hurry.

In fact, though, it seems that nobody is happy with the age they kids want to be teenagers...teens want to be adults...adults want to go back to being teens and middle aged people want to go back to when their kids were small. We're all so bent on looking forward or looking back, we're seldom just present.

I wonder what would happen to the American economic scene if we all just sat back and relaxed and accepted the season in life that we are in. No more Botox. No Avon or Oil of Oilay or who-ever it is that fights "the seven signs of aging." No more hair coloring. No mid-life crisis convertables. No more buying the toys we had when WE were kids to recapture the "magic of childhood." Maybe we could take all that cash and turn it into ways to comfort and coddle our old people more.

I wonder what would happen if we ate food that was in season. If we didn't cart stuff in from all over the world trying to satisfy our yen for blueberries in winter. It seems like we'd appreciate things more. And I can't help but think that fewer preservatives in our food woud ultimatly preserve us more.

I was struggling with productivity recently. I couldn't figure out why last year, when I was stuck on a dial-up connection, manual picture loading of 8 pictures at a time, and single-shipping label printing...I made it to power seller status. But now...several months later, with dsl, unlimited picture loading, and a multiple label printing tool, I can't seem to make myself do squat. I realized that I was on a orderly routine I had to follow to overcome the slowness of my equipment. I don't know if you've noticed it about yourself, but it seems like the more technology we have, the more distracted I get...I can waste any entire morning trying to do what would have taken no time at all if I just stayed focussed. I've lost my belief in multi-tasking.

We went to see the movie "Stranger Than Fiction" last night. Without spoiling it for you, I will say that it is a movie about surrender. Surrendering yourself to the inevitibility of death--instead of fighting it kicking and screaming and being unhappy with the imperfections--but rather focusing instead on the beauty and wonder of what we can enjoy and be grateful for. I loved the movie and though Will Farrell gave the performance of his life. I'd hate to see him go back to making any dim elf movies after doing something so restrained.

I'm in a strange season now. It's been a year since we moved here. We feel the change in the is time to be happy again....the hurricane that was last year is over. Now it is the aftermath of our decisions. It's time to clear out, to rebuild, or in many ways, to build fresh. There's a lot to do and I am not 21 anymore. I don't mind saying that I am more than a little daunted at what lies ahead.

I realized that we have just two years before Mattie turns 9. You know, the year when you begin to realize that your parents might be wrong. There is much to build into her life before then. Calvin just lost his first seems like only yesterday (or maybe last night in his case) that I was waiting for that little tooth to cut through his baby gums. Now it's out. (I wish it had been the one in the front with the big cavity in it.)

I know I'm not saying anything profound. But it seems like accepting the seasons God has given me instead of fighting them, is a common theme that is running through my experiences lately.


A couple updates: Donna is home from the hospital recouperating and will be at least a month healing.

We all had the flu this past three weeks (like a lot of people, it seems) but I think we might be all better. I had Chinese food last night and it tasted great!

Thanks for all the well-wishes and prayers!


akr said...

I think it's interesting that one of the most beautiful seasons (fall) is a result of death. It is amazing to think about what causes the seasons and how that applies spiritually. I am a little scared at 31 to not die my hair (I don't want to admit I am already getting quite a few grays) but I am definitely in a new season and not sure I'm ready to embrace it...but it's time to. Oh, and send any recipes my way!!

tammi said...

what a good reminder...

i needed that today.


courtney said...

(phone rings)
"Hello, you've reached the winter of our discontent."
Sorry, I'm having a season of reality bites...and I miss Donna's comments too but Tammi is filling in nicely.

Elizabeth said...

this was very refreshing, ness. i needed to read it. it seems like, since i married luke, i'm afraid of life moving too fast....i'm already afraid of getting old and dying...because i want luke forever--because i've never experienced such "good life". but i need to loosen up and embrace life without trying to protect us from the future. i need to remember that God gives and takes away in His time...and i'll be happier if i accept that.

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