Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Best is Yet to Come

Slowing our bikes to a stop, we gathered in a giggly cluster on the front lawn of my childhood home. A white limousine sat in front of the house across the street next to a group of smiley teenagers. We watched in awe, whispering as quietly as young girls can whisper while we cast our votes for the prettiest dress and the cutest date. When the limo finally drove off, we returned to our bikes and I pedaled down the street behind my friends, fantasizing about my own prom night and the many promises of a bright and beautiful future.

That was eleven years before I actually attended my own prom, and here I sit eleven years after, having experienced so many of the days that once seemed so far away – high school, college, marriage, pregnancy, motherhood. Through the first three decades of my life I looked toward the years ahead with such hope and anticipation. Every year brought another exciting “first” and the future was full of mystery and adventure. I wanted to look older, feel older, be older. The best is yet to come.

Somewhere along the way, my feelings toward the future began shifting away from excitement and floating in the space between indifference and dread. With so many major events now in the past, I feared that life would become perpetually repetitive, boring even. No longer able to fantasize about where I might “end up,” I wondered if the adventure was over, if I would begin to spend less time daydreaming about what is to come and more time entertaining thoughts of what might have been “if only…”

Yesterday I celebrated my 30th birthday – not the way I celebrated my tenth with a slumber party filled with popcorn and late-night laughter; or the way I celebrated my eighteenth with a huge bonfire in my parents’ backyard; or the way I celebrated my twenty-first with an irresponsible number of shots and a very spotty memory. Instead, I spent the day at the pumpkin patch with Reese and my mom, and then I enjoyed a pedicure and dinner with friends. It was quiet, peaceful, and perfect, and I celebrated because the repetition I anticipated has become the comfort I seek and the boredom I feared has become the contentment I cherish.

With one decade closing and another about to begin, the future is filled with a different kind of adventure. The identity-seeking years of wild parties and tangible firsts are becoming the peacefully stable years of security, consistency, and continued spiritual growth. With a greater appreciation for simple joys and deeper gratitude for even the smallest blessings, I have a renewed sense of excitement for all that lies ahead.

As 21st birthdays become 40th birthdays, weddings become 50th anniversaries, and graduation parties become retirement parties, I will always remember that little girl on her purple bike pedaling toward the road ahead with the wind at her back and a heart full of hope and anticipation for the promises of a bright and beautiful future. 

The best is yet to come.

This is a Bigger Picture moment.

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  1. Happy Birthday! At 30 you are smack-dab in one of my favorite times of life. Enjoy every moment.

  2. Happy birthday :) 30 is a good year (I just finished my 30th year on Monday!) and such a beautiful time of reflection. Enjoy it :)

  3. This is beautiful - a joy filled tribute to the changes that come with each age of life. Happy birthday!!

  4. This is SO TRUE. I found myself nodding through all of it! Happy Birthday, and may your year ahead be filled with more of all that peace, comfort, and contentment.