This past weekend I had dinner with my friend Jamie, who is 4 months pregnant. She let me know that she feels so much better now that she is in her 2nd trimester. “That first trimester was rough filled with morning sickness and fatigue.” I let her know that you feel so much better in the second trimester and the third is usually filled with lots of energy and the stamina needed at the time of delivery. Trimesters is a division of a period in three sections. So as I pondered the cycle of life in utero I thought of our lives as women. As a woman my life has played out in three very distinct phases/trimesters.
During the first trimester of life I was young and I filled my days with school, college courses, graduations and then began a career. The next trimester I married and filled my time with taking care of my husband, my children and building a home. Now that my children are grown and don’t need me to be at their beck and call I am free to focus on my last stanza in life. Not saying that the end is near but that I am entering a new journey.
But like many women that find themselves in this phase of life, questions rise to the surface. Tough questions that are in need of answers.
Who am I now that I am not a mother of young children?
Do I still want to pursue the same career path I’ve been on?
What mark do I want to leave on this earth when I am gone?
What will I do if I don’t want to go back to work?
Now that I can focus my undivided attention on something, what will I focus on?
Should I go back to school?
What is my purpose in life?
The nest is empty, now what?
The “now what” phase can be a bit paralyzing sometimes. In one single car ride you drop off you last son/daughter at school and enter into a whole new era. It can be overwhelming and you might get stuck in that time zone for a while. That is ok, you will need some time to process it all. Once you have moved past this time you are ready to begin your new trimester.
Here are some suggestions on how to begin your journey:
Speak up: Ask those close to you to tell you where they see your gifts and strengths. Begin by asking those whom you respect and admire, a close friend, your husband, your bible study leader or a close co-worker. Write these suggestions down and compile a list.
Spend time in Prayer: Giving it all over to our creator is a step not to be skipped. Only He can give us the comfort and peace to continue on during any life changing event. After you have laid it all out, you can begin to petition your desires. Ask him to lead you and give you wisdom to make good choices. Ask him to give you a heart like His.
Step out: Begin by pursuing avenues of interest. Follow leads and paths that interest you. You will find that some will be closed doors but then others will be open doors. Some will lead you to other paths that will surprise you. Do not be stagnate, venture out and seek what brings you joy and peace. Remember that nothing ventured, nothing gained.
I wish the answers to the above questions would magically appear or that I could spell out the answers for you in this post. But I cannot, however, I do know that living our life in real time is our ultimate goal. I am reminded of a song that says “ain’t about how fast I get there, ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side. It’s the climb.” Every stage in life, first, second and third trimesters it is all about the climb.