Today it is time for answering some questions. My lifelong, precious-to-my-heart-friend, Melissa (we have been more like sisters since we were 12!!!) asked me a few questions and I figured I’d do my best to answer. But the only way that is fun is if you play along. I mean, I’m not that interesting. So pick one or two or three and give me your responses in the comments! I’d so love to hear them!
What do you wish you had learned earlier in life?
This is tricky because you learn from the hard things in life which means you can’t really learn them until you’ve traveled through the pit and found your way back out. I recently heard some younger folks saying they think maybe a younger president with some fresh ideas would be a good move, but those of us who have some decades under our belt know that experience is the game-changer. I cannot be as wise as the folks I love that have some decades on me. I aspire to it, but I know I can’t really gain it without the investment of time and challenges of life. What I DO wish I had earlier was a better sense of self.
I heard a business man giving advice — he said to never hire am employee who hasn’t been broken. That’s powerful stuff! The brokenness brings a new level of understanding to life and people and ourselves. This confidence in who I am now, it would’ve been very helpful to have as I navigated relationships and motherhood and even in my marriage. I acquired it from knowing solidly who I am because of Whose I am which definitely was found in some dark moments and the recovery from them. And as I look back, I see times I wish I could’ve given younger Alison a dose of surety and strength from this older gal who has walked a lot of roads.
What do I still want to learn?
I LOVE learning!!! I have a very hard time not engaging my brain. I sit through movies doing word games — I am a master at word searches. ;o) I love to teach myself a new skill or study something I find interesting. I started learning German on an app over a year ago and ich lieben es! In my wallet lies a business card from some German pilots who offered to teach me to fly a helicopter in Germany. So, learning to speak another language has an ulterior motive. Yes, I promise to give you all a ride someday. :o)
Teaching myself to can all the foods was a huge accomplishment for me. It hearkens back to yesteryear — if I could’ve lived in another time, I probably would’ve been Laura Ingalls. It seems like an art now — the craft and skill and beauty of hundreds of still-life, multi-hued, jars of preserved food. I studied and struggled and made this blog happen! :o) I learned how to shoot and hunt! I learned how to maintain laying hens. I got a job at a gift store a couple years ago and learned that system. I have been volunteering at a local crisis pregnancy center for over a year and learning all the aspects of that. I am not entirely sure what the next chapter is, though I have some dreams that will surely unfold for you all to see.
What have I learned most from my mistakes?
I can be realllllly hard on myself. I was brought up in a very performance-based household. My treatment was very much based on how I did or didn’t represent my parents well. I’m not sure I’ve overcome that entirely, and can tend to sink pretty low when I fail at something. This is an area I’m really working on, but for now, I see tendencies of people-pleasing and over-achieving as ones that are improving, but not fixed yet. Last year, I hit a deer with a good shot but wasn’t strong enough with that gun to kill him immediately. We tracked and he ran — for MILES. Ended up that the neighboring property got him before we could. But my utter devastation at having failed surprised me. I didn’t like what it churned up in me. We are all works in progress. I am aware of the things I need to grow through and like to tackle them rather than be held under by them. I enjoy that part of being this age, for sure.
What do I look forward to most in the next 10 years?
I very much look forward to intentionally slowing down enough to thoroughly enjoy my life. Christian and I have very happily settled into being empty nesters and cherishing our days together whether they are at home or on the road. I can see us in an RV at some point just hitting the favorite parts of our travels we had with our family once upon a time. And I think I’m going to have a whole passel of grandbabies to thoroughly enjoy over the next ten years! Number four is growing happily inside his momma, and I want to be very present for this most fun stage of life. I turn 47 in a few weeks, and I feel stronger emotionally and physically than I have in awhile! I want to embrace this stage instead of dreading and feeling sad about getting older. I truly find such beauty in settling into a state of *this is who I am now* instead of the striving to match or keep up with others. Gray hair and softness in the middle happens to everyone unless they choose to cheat and look ridiculous in the cheating. I’d rather be strong than skinny. I’d rather learn and teach things than have more things.
Having laughter and love to the point of overflow is my life goal.
I want to radiate the love I’ve been shown. I want to show up as a person in the world that draws people to a God that is just pure LOVE — whether I show it to my sweet man each day, or my family, or a person I meet at the beach, or to any person who finds this place and reads my words.