“Welcome to the Middle!” Lisa-Jo Baker greets readers in the introduction to The Middle Matters: Why that (Extra) Ordinary Life Looks Really Good on You.
Although my 17-year-old baits me on a regular basis about it, I don’t like to think of myself as “middle-aged.” Truth be told, at almost 54, I’ve been middle-aged for quite a while now; I have more than 10 years on Lisa-Jo. But there’s a piece of me that always feels unsure of myself in the grown-up world, as if everyone else (even, or maybe especially, the ones who are younger than me) has figured out things that I haven’t yet and maybe never will.
It’s OK to be in the middle, though: That’s the point of this book.
The middle is ridiculous and terrible, so funny and so much fun, and also so exhausting. But it’s the stuff of the stories our kids will one day tell about us. These are the days of miracle and wonder. The stories we will one day tell each other as we laugh at all those times we spent all those hours carpooling kids all over the planet of our neighborhood. These are the stories that will line our empty nests one day. We are living the memories that will be passed down to the ones who are still living their beginnings. The middle is the gift you didn’t know you were right in the middle of, friend.
Let’s relish the middle. Let’s savor the middle. Let’s embrace the middle in all its mundane glory. Because maybe the middle isn’t so bad. Maybe we don’t want to hide it, ignore it, or miss it. Sister, maybe the middle is the part where it really starts to get good! (5)
Sections of The Middle Matters talk about body image, marriage, parenting, your home, failures, family schedules, friendships, and faith. It’s funny, it’s real, and it’s heartening. Busy moms in the middle of pickup lines at sports practices or schools will have the time to read a chapter here and there as they wait behind the wheel — and they’ll definitely relate.
So yes, I am taking advice on embracing my age from someone more than 10 years my junior — and wishing I’d had this advice at the ready 10 or 15 years ago. I’ve hidden or denied or otherwise tried to escape the realities I should have savored.
Along with embracing my gray hairs as a badge of honor (if not wisdom), Lisa-Jo Baker challenges me to enjoy the season I’m in. Because it’s a good season — one that matters.
Would you like to win a copy of The Middle Matters? We’re giving away 3 copies of this book to CatholicMom readers. To enter, leave a comment answering this question:
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being total denial and 10 being total acceptance, how are you at embracing your age right now?
(I’m maybe a 4, for the record.)
Winners must have USA mailing addresses. This giveaway will close at 11:59 PM Eastern on Sunday, July 21. 3 winners will be chosen at random and contacted by email. Winners will have 48 hours to claim their prize. Unclaimed prizes will be offered to alternate winners.
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Copyright 2019 Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS
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