47

“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count.
It’s the life in your years.”
– Abraham Lincoln
My Indonesian ‘dress cut’ experience

I took this seriously last year; breathing some life into areas that have been dormant, neglected, or otherwise overlooked.  Another year of happiness, laughter and lessons learned – here are some of my favorites:

Go big.

This year was really about trying something new-all the time.  I forced myself in directions I never knew I was interested in or qualified for.  I wrote-a lot.  I threw it all out there and watched where it landed, pushed a few pieces into place, and found some that had gone missing.  I learned that going big is often scary, but always worth it.

Let go.
My kids officially grew taller than me this year.  It actually was a humbling experience when my baby boy passed me up.  Watching my daughter drive away from me for the first time chipped a piece off my heart, reminding me  I had to let go and trust that everything has a way of working itself out.  I released some habits and situations that weren’t working for me, looking for more positive instead of negative.  I learned that letting go is growing forward.
Work hard.
I surely did that this year.  I pushed for my best and tried not to repeat what wasn’t working for me.  I showed up.  I tried.  I learned that working hard is exhausting, but creates energy in the right places.
Be humble.
I went places this year that I never imagined I would.  I felt outnumbered, out of place, and out of control.  I remember the calls to prayer, the fears, and the deep sense of respect at how small a world we live in, yet what a large part I can play.  I learned that being humble can bring safety and comfort, and that relinquishing control can reveal a whole new perspective.

Say no.
Learning to stand up for ourselves can take a lifetime.  Watching bullying, in our community, our country, and our world gave me the power to practice saying no.  Daily, I listened to one of my college interns call out ‘Make good choices’ to my students as they exited my classroom door, and tried to do the same.  I learned that saying no allows me to say yes when I want to, and that going with my gut is usually takes me in the right direction.
Be grateful.
Obama’s elementary school in Jakarta

I saw people and places this year that shattered my heart and made me fearful for our future.  I met people who lifted me up, taught me about hope, and reminded me to make peace with what I have, where I am, and who I’m with.  This year, I learned that blessings come in a multitude of ways, and that happiness and gratitude hold hands.

As I end 47 and open the chapter of 48, I think of all that I’ve experienced:  the children, parenting, family, teaching, education, memories and motherhood that blended themselves together and brought such lessons to me.  Typing this, I’m reminded of all that I hold close, and all that is yet to come.  I’m happy about 47, and watch out 48- I’ve got big ideas waiting to throw at you.  This is definitely not the time to feel old!

primark

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe at jenniferwolfe.net.

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  1. I wish I could say that I can’t relate to any of this but lo and behold, I cannot. It really touches those nerves, in a good way. Always nice to know that that you’re not alone. Great attitude and here’s to 48!

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