Honest Answers

I wrote the following five years ago but never posted it on my blog. It’s about time, I’d say, as I’m about to hit the age 65 milestone! And I DID jump out of that airplane!

I have always measured my words carefully, thinking through everything I want to say before I open my mouth.  After all, I don’t want to be misunderstood and I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings.  Everyone knows that the “sticks and stones” rhyme is far from true; words hurt much more than a fist in the face.

So, I’ve been surprised by my recent tendency to answer questions quickly, without forethought.  

The first time came on a trip to Montana when my daughter’s in-laws asked what was on my bucket list.  Now, I’ve never even had a bucket list, so there is absolutely no explanation for what came out of my mouth:  skydiving.

Huh?  I hate even flying in airplanes….but perhaps that’s justification enough for wanting to jump out of one.

I confess that I have loosened up a bit since I reached the age 50 milestone.  I have given myself freedom to cuss (shit, yeah) and become more daring. I floated in a hot air balloon that year and, yes, I have even gotten a tattoo.  Two, actually.  So now I’m 59 and I seem to have decided, on the spur of the moment, to jump out of an airplane the year I turn 60.  

No idea where that came from, but I believe I’ll actually do it.

My second, Did I really just say that? moment came when a friend asked if I ever planned to resume my natural health business.  My response was, No, because I can’t remember everything I learned while studying for my Doctor of Naturopathy degree.  I don’t feel qualified to help someone if I have to research something.  

All righty then.

My friend’s jaw dropped as she listened to me.  She was amazed, I think, at my honesty….or maybe she was dumbfounded by how hard I am on myself.  I suppose I would have set a better example of godly living for a much younger woman had I said something like, That’s not what God has called me to do at this time in my life.  Instead, I blurted out the first thing that came to my mind, laying bare the perfectionism issues with which I have always struggled.

Either old age made me less inhibited or I am well on my way to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

A few days later, I shared with another young mom the incompetence I feel to this day as a mother.  My babies are now twenty-something, but when they were small, I was often unable to soothe away their tears or help with their homework, which, to me, equaled failure.  

I thought it, so I said it.  And I guess because my children are happily married, living great lives, I saw another jaw hit the floor.  

I could have been encouraging these young women, helping them to look with hope at their parenting and their futures:  You are capable of doing anything!  Or, Sometimes babies just need to cry; that doesn’t mean you’re a bad mother.

Instead, I revealed what years of psychotherapy failed to cure.

Is there redemption in this story?  

I acknowledge life-long struggles.  I confess that I am a sinner.  I don’t want to do things that I don’t believe I can do well.  This honesty, these confessions, do not mean that I am unwilling to do something God has called me to do.  They also do not mean I regret becoming a mother.  I don’t!  Seeing my children grow has been one of the greatest joys of my life.

Maybe it is now time for me to simply thank God for my blessings and for all that He has taught me during my long life.  To thank Him for His faithful presence and guidance because through it all, good moments and bad, I knew He was there for me and that He was going to use whatever I was living through for His purposes and glory.

Next time I blurt out an honest answer I pray God will help me wrap it with His grace and hope.

2 Comments

  1. Michelle
    Aug 20, 2019

    I felt the grace & hope in your truthful answers! To the young moms – you were a testimony to Gods faithfulness because it’s not about us as parents getting it right & doing everything right. It’s encouraging to hear honesty. Do you sell yourself short? Of course you do! However, you also showed vulnerability which is very is a lovely trait. ❤️

    • Karen Curran
      Aug 20, 2019

      I appreciate your kind words, Michelle!

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