I was asked to review this title by Jennifer Grant and thought it would be a fun read. It's full title is "When Did Everybody Else Get So Old? Indignities, Compromises, and the Unexpected Grace of Midlife." Interestingly, right after I started the book, I had an opportunity to get together with a few of the ladies from the Fayetteville High School class of 1980. It was fun to see these gals and think about how far we've come and the good things that are still in store (like grandkids!).
Back to my book review, though. Being a very introspective person, I really enjoyed how Jennifer didn't just share stories from this season of life. She thought about their deeper meanings. I think my favorite part was when she analyzed the phrase "midlife crisis." She said it comes from the German word Torschlusspanik, which literally translated means "gate-shut-panic." Apparently the term dates back to the Middle Ages in reference to the panic medieval peasants might have experienced as they rushed to make it back inside the city gates before they closed for nightfall. In the case of middle age (instead of the Middle Ages), it's the alarm and anxiety you feel when you realize that the door is closing on many opportunities. For me I feel this most keenly in regard to motherhood and homeschooling. The door is closing! I want to stick my foot in it or maybe even take it off the hinges altogether, but that's not the way it works.
This fall I have spent quite a bit of time thinking about the things I have left undone. It became a real burden for a while. I've heard that debts can be defined as sins of omission - and I was feeling a lifetime of debt that I was actually starting to lose sleep and shed tears over. Then I realized that Jesus didn't just die for the bad things I've done, but for the good things that I didn't do. What good news! I don't have to worry about that door closing.
"having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross." ~ Col. 2:14 (NASB)