I’m not 50 yet, though I have been calling myself 50 for about three years now. Yesterday was the marking of my 49th trip around the sun — a phrase that I’m partial to because my niece is a Montessori teacher. I’ve never been invited to participate in the ritual of carrying the globe and walking around a lit candle in the center of a circle once for each birthday. What a powerful way to teach kids that they are special while reminding them that the earth does not revolve around them!
Today is the first day of that 50th trip for me. I have decided to write. That isn’t true. I haven’t “decided to write.” For much of my life I have heard a calling to do so. (Not a “calling” like on that weird NBC show, Manifest, but a calling nonetheless.) If I get real still and quiet for very long, (I should confess that I have watched every single episode of Manifest). If I get real still and quiet for very long and I wonder silently or aloud, “What should the next 10 years of my life look like?” then inevitably I “hear” that I should be writing.
So, here we are. I am writing. You are reading this writing. Or, it is simply sitting out there in the world wide web with the gazillion other writers who feel a calling to write. It could be that no one will ever see this other than me. Though, with so many people having access to the internet, it isn’t likely that it would go forever without being read by at least one other person. Hello, other person!
So, I’m going to write. My goal is to write daily for this entire year. And, I hope that by the time I celebrate completing that 50th trip around the sun that I will be able to see more clearly what the next 10 years of my life may hold.
I know nothing about Medium except that some people I respect are writing on this platform. I hope to use it well. It just happens to be where I am to start this journey.
I am an ordained minister, so it is likely that sometimes God will come up in these pieces. I think about God a lot. It is what theologians do. It can be fascinating and it can be boring. It would probably be more accurate — at least at this point in my life — to say that I think about THE CHURCH a lot. As in the institution of the Christian Church and even more specifically, the institution that is the American Christian Church. I think a lot about the ways it has failed to follow Jesus, so if you ever come back to see how my journey is going, you may find some of my thoughts on that. Just like I don’t know what my fifties will look like, I don’t know what the Church will look in the next 10 years. I think both of those things will change a lot. And, I think that is a good thing.
I am a mom. And, I’m one of those moms who just watched her first born graduate from High School. So, I imagine I’ll write about that. My husband keeps reminding me that the kid isn’t grown, he is just 18 and a high school graduate, but I love ritual and need time to be marked so this seems as good a time as any to try to let go a bit. It isn’t easy for any of us. I’m angry a lot of the time. So, if you come by to see how it is going, I’m likely to be writing about that.
And, he isn’t my only kid. I have another son. That son happened to be born in a body that we classify as female. He just finished his first year of high school and I’m incredibly thankful he has found a place that allows him to feel welcome and fully himself. The nonchalant nature of these statements may give the impression that I’m just fine and dandy with having a transgender teen. Well, I imagine I will be writing about that this year too. Some days are better than others. It isn’t an easy path for any of us, but we are making it.
I don’t think I have searched for new ministries BECAUSE of my trans kid, but he certainly made it absolutely impossible for me to continue to ride the fence within the Church. This may give some indication as to how I think the Church has failed to follow Jesus. I’m working to build a community called Frequency which provides space for the LGBTQ+ family along with their allies. I realize that part of that calling is to make amends for the trauma the Church has caused to that family. Frequency will come up a bit in my year of writing.
These are just a few things about me that may come up. I’m also a bit of a perfectionist, so not having a detailed outline for the year of writing is making me a bit nauseous. I’m also a procrastinator, so if you come to my house you won’t know I’m a perfectionist! The first time a therapist told me that I was a perfectionist, I laughed out loud because my house is NEVER clean and my projects are all half done. She tilted her head, the way therapists do, and smiled and said, “Well, perfectionism and procrastination are sisters. You may think they are opposites, but no.” Ugh, don’t you hate when therapists tilt their heads and tell you something that you can never ever ever forget from then until the end of time? That is my pissy way of saying, “She really helped me a lot.”
So, this is me, jumping in without a clear plan. Getting started without knowing it will be perfect in the end. I imagine some days whatever I write will be shitty and stupid and vain. Oh wait, I think that has already happened! But, I will write anyway. Every single day of my Year 49 even if it is just to show up and say, “I’ve got nothing to say today.” And, when I celebrate my big 5–0, maybe I’ll have a sense of what the decade can be. Because right now, I’m as lost as the passengers on Flight 828.