How Did I End Up Here?

Since hitting a major birthday milestone 7 weeks ago, time seems to have been flying by at the speed of light and I’ve arrived in the New Year with my feet having barely touched the ground. Already, I’m bored with the tedious reminders of aging that are constantly bombarding me – or is it that they’ve always been there and I’m noticing them for the first time because I’ve hit my seventh decade? I’m almost three quarters of a century old!

YIKES!

How did that happen?

Me and hubby took a Twixmas coach trip to Blackpool Illuminations – or the Northern Lights as we like to call them – on 28th December, and it was so hectic that it was over in a flash! Three days gone in the blink of an eye yet a lifetime of memories were packed into that journey.

It was a strange trip.

We were the only two people on the feeder coach (mini bus) from Scarborough to Stockton-on-Tees for the pick up of another couple. We had to pass by Billingham, where my husband hails from, to collect a lost luggage item related to the driver’s previous run. Memories of my husband’s early life there, combined with our shared time of living in the area together, washed over us until we reached Darlington to join the main coach. Darlington was the changeover platform from our ‘courting’ days consisting of train journeys to and from each others’ parental homes. On our return journey from Blackpool we travelled a different route for the purpose of taking in the final planned excursion of the package – a couple of hours shopping in the centre of Manchester (where I’m from). There wasn’t enough spare time to meet up with any family unfortunately. We hadn’t know prior to the trip that Manchester was even on the itinerary. When we were stopped at traffic lights on the way out, I took a shot of a road sign just before we passed the top of my brother’s road and sent it via whatsapp just to say hello and that we were so near yet so far away!

Something that struck me about non-recognition (or denial) of my own aging process happened one night in the bar at the hotel when the family on the next table were discussing going downstairs to join the disco. The female teenager said in a loud defiant voice: ‘I’m not going down there to dance on the same floor with mums, dads, and pensioners!’

They would have been my words once.

I was tempted to turn to her and quote the words I heard said by Detective Tutuola in an episode of CSI I saw: ‘Sooner or later we get to play all the parts’ but then I thought she was probably too immature to think the sense of that through… or even care about it at her age.

I came across this beautiful piece of writing in one of my favourite go-to comfort books, Wisdom for our Times by Helen Oxley, which may explain better how I’ll cope with my newfound realization (admittance) of my new age.

To my delight, on the first day of this new year, the first day of the rest of my life, I woke feeling thankful to be alive when my new calendar reminded me that ‘This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Psalm 118v24 NLT)

And I have!

How can I not after the year in which my prayer for reconciliation with my brother was answered! (See my Happy Endings blog post from 2022 for a reminder)

The vision board’s law of attraction idea worked so well last New Year that I’m creating one for this year too… but with a difference. I’m leaving it completely blank for the whole of January to declutter my mind, body and soul as I wait in the stillness of the presence of God to hear what’s next for me.

(from another of my go-to comfort books: Thoughts for Every Day by Patience Strong

Wishing you all a Happy New Year full of love and good health for a long life!

With love for the journey,

Julie

Published by Julie Fairweather

After being warned never to speak of secrets, the noise of them clattered and crashed inside my head. I wandered through a wilderness of solitude for years, sifting through my silence, seeking a way to release the sickness within. I listened in that place many times and heard my unspoken thoughts groaning; deeper, deeper, deep into a world of unwritten words. Then, in an unexpected moment, I found You there, waiting to welcome me with love, without condition. You bled out the sins of the world and gave my silence a voice so I could tell others that it’s okay to share your secrets sometimes.

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