Running In My Lane

This summer and next, two “significant” birthdays will happen according to the worldly views: #39 and #40 in 2016. (Though, to their credit, I’m either approaching 20 or 30, I can’t keep up with what 40 is the new version of.) There seems to be something significant about approaching 40, and since you enter the next year on your birthday, the 40th year will begin for me this August. This has caused me some reflection…is this where I thought I would be?  Is this what I thought I would be doing?  Is there more?  Am I waiting for something else?  Am I where I should be? 

Why all the questions?  Why does anxiety creep in on women (and maybe men?) as this number approaches. Why don’t we just celebrate as the numbers rise? What have we gained? What have we learned? What have we overcome? What are we enduring? What have we lost?  All of those things have made us who we are, no matter if approaching 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100 or beyond.  The years tell our story, the one unique to us, to me. The years are significant, not because of the number but because of the story. 

What is my story. Is something missing? Is there something more?  I’ve often thought this isn’t where I thought I would be (single), but I also never really had a specific idea of what 5-years-from-now, 10-years-from-now, 20-years-from-now would really look like from when I was 18 and stepping out into my own for the first time.  I do sometimes think this isn’t what I thought it would look like, which leads me to a feeling like I’m always waiting for something else. 

Wait, it’s been my word in life A LOT.  I have had to literally wait on so many things, but there are other things that have come quickly and when I’m running in my lane I know I’m pursuing exactly what I should be and timing isn’t an issue. What is my lane? 

There are a few things I know it is and some also I know it isn’t. The thing that seems to constantly test the lines of my lane are really nothing but comparisons. 
— The endless media messages of “aging” and all the things I should do to keep my youthful skin.
— The relentless campaigns and celebration of “skinny” and how to allegedly achieve a photo shopped magazine body.
— The perfect husband, children, house, career, family, party-throwing, fashion, decorating, crafting, vacations, and on and on.
— My “used to be” self who could do _____, or looked like _____, or had this title, or was _____.

When I look right and left of my lane, I get sidetracked, lose sight of what my purpose is, and begin to think I’m off course, need to jump lanes and need to be doing more of this and less of this and better at this and achieve this.  When really, none of that matters because it is not where I am supposed to be. 

The track is deceiving, the staggered start and race lines that look like one lane could run shorter or longer depending on where you’re positioned.  When I was in Junior High I “ran” track, which really meant every day I practiced and one day my Coach {bless her for a life lesson that has stuck with me forever} let me run in a track meet.  I was lapped by all the other people, and received my own standing ovation of cheers from the stands as I came into the finish line (where they might have had to clear the start of next race because they realized I was still on the track) “sprinting” the last bit like my Coach taught me.  I’m sure at the time that was quite dramatic to me, such a defeat.

Even now when I jog (I am not, and will never be, a runner) and I want to stop and walk I can feel defeated and compare myself to someone else I see jogging, that I should be able to keep going.  Just yesterday I had these thoughts.  I had to remind myself all weekend I had hardly eaten because something attacked my stomach and I wasn’t feeling good and so I didn’t have my usual energy and really….

 
WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE IF I WALK?!?! 

Sometimes I have to shout that to myself.  To remind myself. This is my lane to run, no matter how fast or slow.  No matter what the version of “perfection” or “goals” looks like to the right or left. No matter where I am on the track, ahead or behind someone else. Sometimes I’m sprinting in to a cheering crowd, sometimes I am grinding it out by myself at snails pace.  What matters is I stay in my lane.  

Really, I’m not waiting. Waiting I’m coming to realize is deceit.  Waiting for a move?  Waiting for a spouse? Waiting for different job?  Waiting for someone to notice me?  Waiting for  opportunity? All this really implies is there is something better on the other side.

This hangs in my bathroom, from the Athleta catalog {Hi Athleta – happy to wear and blog your clothes if you’ve got some leftovers to give away, xo}, with my lettering…a reminder: by myself, no one around, I need to focus and push in my lane. 

Picture from Athleta Catalog
This life, right now, is enough.
My lane. Not her lane, or their lane. My lane.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)

I keep pushing forward. Despite the numbers of years. Despite what someone else says is the goal. Despite the time it takes.  I focus and push forward in my lane at my pace. Pursuing Jesus and who God has called me to be. That is enough.

1 Comment

  1. Laurie S on June 12, 2015 at 7:35 am

    Amen Angie – keep on chugging in your lane, towards Him! Happy pre-birthday! My 51st will be in August! Yikes!

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