On Passing Time, Missing Mamas, and Moving Into What’s Next


November 2012

It’s my birthday today. I suppose “ladies” aren’t supposed to be willing to share how old they are, but I’m not particularly conflicted about it. I’m 47 today.

In some ways, I can’t believe that I’m this age. It seems like just a minute ago I was in college, trying to decide what to do with my life. And then a minute later, I was having my first child. And then I finished grad school and got a teaching job. Then suddenly, here I am a dean with 3 adult children and 3 other teens. I catch myself in the mirror now and then when I’m not expecting it, or see myself in an unfamiliar way (like in an flipped picture or upside down), and I’m surprised at the fact that the middle -aged woman I see is me. I still feel like I’m maybe not old enough to have kids and someone is going to figure it out soon, or not old enough to be a dean, and eventually I’ll get caught.

In other ways, it feels like I’ve done so much in these 47 years. I’ve raised – with my spouse and the help of others – 110 years worth of kids (it’s the new math). I’ve gotten several degrees and some certifications. I’ve seen a LOT of Tom Petty concerts. I’ve written a lot, read even more. I’ve enjoyed the ups (mostly) and downs (some) of two decades of marriage to a great man. It’s a whole bunch of stuff.

I’ve always heard that to know what a woman will be like in the future you should look at her mother. And, while I don’t necessarily think that is accurate, there is certainly something to be said about reflecting on the path of your parents’ lives to see where yours might go, and I’ve always compared my life and my self to my mom at the same age.

My mother died in 1993, at the age of 47. So, as I approach the end of the timeline where I can compare, I am missing my mother quite a lot. I wonder how her life would have been at 50 or 60. I am wishing that she was here to tell me what she thinks of where I am at 47 and where I should go.

I am lucky, however, to have had others who mothered me in the years before and since. My grandmother, Loran, was a second mother to me as a child and into adulthood, and I was able to watch her life course over many years (she died at 90 and we were able to spend 43 years together) and see myself in her. My step-mother, Kathie, has also provided me with that vision of womanhood and time. And there are many other women who have served as examples and points of reference for me.

So, now, as I start a new year, I wonder what is next for me, and where I’m going from here. I know (I think) about some things, like the nutrition consultant certification that I’m getting (hopefully by the end of the summer), and upcoming  yoga workshop events. I know which children are graduating from what grades this year, and basically where they are headed and I know those changes will change my parenting. I have some clues about what might unfold in my career(s), but it’s all rather murky right now. Mysterious… in a good way.

Off we go into the 48th year of my life. It’s ok with me to be 47. I’m looking forward to seeing how this year blossoms.

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10 Responses to On Passing Time, Missing Mamas, and Moving Into What’s Next

  1. Victoria Rosenberg says:

    I still think of you as a teenager.The age you were when I last saw you in 1981 or 2. So cool and smart. My opinion hasn’t changed. Happy Birthday

    • theveganasana says:

      Thank you! It’s funny how it seems like other people should freeze during the time we don’t see them. I am constantly surprised by the growing and changing of friends’ children and family I don’t see often.

  2. Maiga says:

    I’m glad to know that I’m not alone in feeling all growed up & not yet growed up. You have us all fooled! It seems to be a life lead with purpose & conviction! & I believe it is, & probably that purpose is palpable because it’s gained in reflection.

    • theveganasana says:

      It’s interesting how many of us are walking around with impostor syndrome! 😀 Thank you for reading and commenting, Maiga.

  3. Happy Birthday, Lorin! I appreciated reading your thoughts on aging and watching life flow. One of my younger brothers shares his birthday with yours. It’s a special day for all of us.

  4. Mom says:

    You’ve written a very lovely piece. I know without a doubt that your mother would be very proud of you as we all are. I have always been happy with the age I am and have never wanted to change it-never wished it away or wished it back. But I did have to smile at how old you think of yourself as I have always done the same. I never thought I was old enough to have children or a house to take care of on my own-just didn’t seem possible. It was like a trick I was playing on everyone else. I realized at a younger age that others might feel that way as well when one day a very old woman came in to our grocery store. She kindly explained to me that she was picking up groceries for a friend of hers that was too old to come to the store. I thought-seriously?? But then I knew at that moment she felt the very same way I did!! Love you.

  5. Olivia says:

    Crying tears of joy for you! You have reached another birthday and are still growing mentally and spiritually. You are still learning to live. Love life, Love you!

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