So as all my facebook friends are aware I had a mini-meltdown today. (ps. I take facebook status’s as just that the status of my life, good, bad, happy, sad, whatever. I know others don’t look at it that way but I chose to be this real in my social media interactions). It has been a long week with lots of work hours, and not as much exercising as I would like. In addition, this Sunday is my last Sunday in my ward, which makes me sad and freaks me out, but also on Monday is my 31st birthday. How you ask could a 31st birthday be worse than a 30th? Well, last year I had just fallen down a flight of stairs and was in great pain/drugged up on my birthday. So, this is the first functioning birthday of my 30s.
Anyway, let me tell you about my ward change first. For those outside of the Mormon church we have several sectioned off wards (congregations) to suit certain language needs and lifestyles. For example, there are Spanish wards to help people who speak Spanish to attend and understand church. There is also what they call YSA Wards (Young Single Adults). This includes any person unmarried 17-31 (can be divorced. Usually if you have kids you are encouraged to go to a family ward because YSA wards do not have a primary for little one’s).
I have been in YSA wards since I was 17 years old and at the time the idea of turning 31 and ‘graduating’ out of the singles wards seemed impossible and yet here it is. This April I am helping to plan our 10 year BYU College Graduation Reunion. 10 years since I finished at BYU. It boggles the mind. To me it is a little scary- what did I do with that time? Did I do the right things? Is God happy with my efforts? I believe that He is and that knowledge is very comforting.
I look back at my life and wonder in those 10 years did I do enough to help people, to serve others, to mentor children? Sometimes I’m envious of teachers because they have written into their job professions opportunities to nurture future generations. Working from home I have limited interactions with other people, limited chances to mentor. I’d like to find something to volunteer for but haven’t come across the right thing for me. I’d love to work with Big Brother’s Big Sisters but the closest one is in Salt Lake. If anyone knows of a teen that could use a big sister send them my way. I’d love it!
Anyway, today I started thinking about the next 10 years. What are the 30’s? The 20’s are so clear- college, mission, grad school, work etc. 30s are much harder to define. What are the big accomplishments for a single girl in her 30s? Its honestly hard for me to come up with a list. With no big things coming it is easy to ask the question- has all the big stuff happened or if it didn’t happen, should it have happened? Is the game for big stuff over?
This left me feeling sad. As a single LDS woman how does my life matter? How do I contribute to the world? What would be the lesser because I’m not here? I do not have anyone who needs me for physical survival such as a young baby needs her mother; nor, am I a teacher who gets to influence many children and make a difference. There are a few people that need me for emotional and other support. My Dad told me yesterday that ‘he leans on me more than almost anyone else in his life’. That meant a lot to me. Its nice to feel needed.
My Dad also said ‘I know if you were gone there would be a lot of people grieving at your funeral and I think that says something’. It is comforting to think about ways you’ve helped people and added value to their lives. (Not that I’m dying or anything, friends. Just an example).
This is going to sound like such a pity plea but oh well- If any of you would mind sharing a way I have contributed to your life it would be the best birthday present I can think of. I would love it.
I know I can do better but I also know for sure that the Lord is happy with my life. If I try my best he will fill these 30 years with excitement, adventure and moments that matter.
I must admit diving into this new huge mid-singles branch with nearly 600 people freaks me out. I’m just so happy in my little ward family and I love being Sunday school teacher. Its sad to see a change but as it is in the Lord’s hands I am sure it will be change with blessings at the end of it. It might not be easy but it will work out. I am so grateful that my friend Stefanie is going to join in! She is awesome and we’ve been friends since 2005. It will be so nice to have a kindred spirit to share this big new adventure with. Hurray!
I also am no longer considered young by my church- rude! 🙂
How do you get through your 30s? What worries you about growing older? Do you ever fret about your legacy or lack of one? Do you worry that your life doesn’t matter like you hoped it would? I have felt all of these emotions and asked each of these questions and I am a mere work in progress at this point!
I found this quote by President Hinckley that gave me a lot of comfort (as he always did. I miss President Hinckley sometimes). President Hinckley said it best when asked about his legacy:
“I don’t know and I don’t care! That’s not my concern. I’m not trying to build some legacy of some kind. I’m just trying to move the work forward the best way I know how. And as I believe the Lord would have it move forward. And let the future take care of itself.” 🙂
I hope I can follow his counsel and keep moving forward with whatever the Lord puts in my path. I am positive that will lead to peace and a recognition as a good and faithful servant in the hereafter.