Looking back .... waaay back.

Today is one of those days that you look back over your life and think, evaluate and contemplate.

Yea ... today is my birthday.

Now, don't go and send birthday wishes cuz that's not what this is all about!  Its about thinking.

I turned 56 today. And I know 56 is not a milestone birthday but in 4 more years, I'll be 60!  And in nine more years, I'll be 65.

The last nine years went really really fast!!!  On Sept 11, 2001 .... I sat on our porch and thought about how I would like to take my backyard and turn it into a U-pick flower garden. I wanted to bake bread everyday, spin my own yarn and raise chickens so I could have really fresh eggs.  And although, I had been canning for years .... I wanted pantries full home-canned goodies.

All my life -- I went the safe route.  There were so many things I really wanted to do ... and I listened to others when they told me that I would fail, couldn't make money or .... I was just wrong.  I know ... I was surrounded by people that were Depression-Era children.   Money and security were important to them.... far more important than following dreams or living an authentic life.  And I hated myself for being something I wasn't.  I wasn't strong enough ... independent enough ... to stand up on my own feet and Go for it! 

And finally ... nine years ago .... I did go for it. 

Suddenly, I emerged.  Not the person that I was raised to be .... but the person I was born to be.  My soul soars when I am digging in the beautiful black Iowa soil.  I love connecting with our customers........ to sit on the ground and talk and maybe, tell the story of our tiny little farm. I am truly happy for the first time in my life..... its not about money for me but the satisfaction of being an accomplished, productive woman.

The depression that haunted me for decades is lighter ..... it is still there as it is a disease.  But I can breathe ......... and I am not smothered by the disapproving scowls of others. I work my way through it with my feathery friends, a fluffy ball of fiber, my wonderful customers or a bubbling mass of fruit.

The first half of my life was clouded by self-doubts, self-loathing and fear.

The second half ............. look out!!!  Cuz Miss Eff is on the wonderful merry-go-round of life and she is reaching for the brass ring!!!!

And during the second act of my life ..... I might just get it!


Susan said…
I am a new reader and just how lucky am I to start off with this inspirational gem! It strikes such a common cord with me - we are close in age. I grew up with the same Depression-age parents who, 'though they loved me dearly, were too fearful of risk to give me that courage early-on. I had to find it for myself. You go, girl!
dmglew said…
Your reflection brought me to tears. I can so much relate to what you have written. How beautiful to reflect on your birthday- no greater day to look back, but more importantly look ahead! We'll connnect one day. I have never been to your place yet, but know I will get there. I have only recently found out about you! Can't wait to see your place and meet a new friend. Happy Birthday and thanks for making your life such a beautiful inpiration of sharing yourself and your gifts with others. That's what it's all about! Blessings! Melanie Glew
My word, when you wrote that your whole life you played it safe, you could almost have been talking about me. I am 49 and it is only in the past year that I have begun to live my life as I see fit rather than living to meet other people's expectations. And no, it's not always about money, sometimes it's about what allows my chest to unclench and for me to be able to breathe freely for the first time since I was a young child. And now I've suddenly met a wonderful man who is better for me than I would have imagined possible. I cannot begin to fathom how much more change is in store in the next year. I'm just hanging on for the ride!
Pink Tulips said…
Happy Birthday!!

I've just discovered your blog, and I'm so happy I did. You're an inspiration to me.

Hope you enjoyed a wonderful day, with many more to come!
We are together in age and also in the thought that "this is it" it's time to take our passion and live by it. I am hardly ever without my camera, because I see a moment that will "Tug At Your Heart" around every corner. Let's live the dream ~ and be able to enjoy it. ~ Margo
Margaret said…
I, too, am a fresh reader, and I know what you mean about living safe. Newly married, my life is now about job security, finding the way of life we want to live, planning for the future (kids, house, etc); but the goal of living is to live and be content. I find inspiration in your post that I won't always have to worry about paying bills, or saving money for a house, or if I have a job to go to every morning. One day, I will grow the strength and learn the wisdom you have about making this life really count. Happy Birthday, and I hope to keep reading your wonderful stories and thoughts!
Ginny said…
I don't care that you don't want B'Day wishes, you're getting them HAPPY BIRTHDAY MISS EFFIE!!!!!!!!!!
Your thoughts brought tears, but Thank you anytway for sharing. Hope your day was great.
Anonymous said…

I must agree with your inspirational statements. I am 46 this year and have realized there is the life we "think" we should be living and the life we "know" is the one that will make us happy. I play safe too but as each day quickly passes I find I long to bust out of this box and live more freely. I've just begun baking bread weekly..Just a couple of more years and I want my own chickens. I am a new reader and look forward to reading your blog. Thank you! And Happy Birthday!!
Miss Joan said…
What you wrote yesterday is so beautiful and haunting. We all sell ourselves out for that "I am not good enough thing" at different periods of our life.

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