It all goes so quickly.
Am I doing the right things? Am I spending time with the right people? Am I where God wants me to be? These are questions I always want to be asking, and I think a status update like a birthday makes me look at them a little more closely.
There's also the realization that life goes on, and the story keeps evolving. There is no arriving in life, and the sooner that I embrace that, the better off I'm going to be. I recently read The Little Beach Street Bakery (which I loved!), and when I read it, I didn't know there was a sequel out. Now - I love a good series and following characters along in their stories. But, I loved the way the first book ended, and it was almost disappointing to know that they would continue to have problems unfold in a new book.
In some ways, it would be nice to freeze my life right here. (well, on second thought, I might let the twins get a little older) But, there is some magic to this time with small children who are *relatively* safe and sound under our roof and rules. Thinking of all the choices, good and bad, that will make up their lives and very much affect mine can be terrifying. As much as I do want to raise my children to be high-functioning adults, there are so many things that are simple about our current reality. Now that I'm 35, I realize what a gift any good moments are, because they are certainly not guaranteed. And I have a glut of good moments as a 35 year old - though they are very much interspersed with the hard ones.
What else do I realize now that I'm 35?
I am who I am and will always be. I can make improvements, and God can continue to change my heart, but at the end of the day, I'm pretty fundamentally me. I am well-acquainted with my strengths and weaknesses at this point in my life. I have my own list of pros and cons about being Carol and know better than ever how to use the good and manage the bad. I wish their weren't so much bad to be managed, but I also recognize that is part of being human. I have struggles that will always plague me to some degree, much as I might wish it otherwise.
So, I'm another year older, and hopefully, another year wiser. It is my hope and prayer that God continues to work in and through me for his good purposes. I want to be used by him, whatever that may look like, and I hope I am up to the challenges as they come.