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Which Comes First: The Beginning or The End?


I was considering a writing prompt on New Beginnings. And then tonight I went to a friend’s funeral.

And all I can think about are those SemiSonic lyrics, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

And for some reason, this somewhat sad side of the new beginnings coin has been a large part of my thought process over the last six months. Because… for whatever reason, I’ve been really struggling with growing old lately.

Now for those of you my age, you’re thinking, “You’re ridiculous and dramatic.” But I also know I have several readers who are in the college, post-college age demographic (which I recently realized no longer includes me), and you are thinking, “I know. How is that for you?”

Something about having a second kid really tipped my mid-life crisis scale. Part of it was the adjustment from what felt like “two crazy kids and their baby” to being a full-fledged family.

Also, there was something very startling to me with Isaac’s birth as Billy and I both acknowledged a deep satisfaction with the size of our family. I may have been quoted saying, “We’ve moved out of the ‘starting a family’ stage. There’s nothing left to do except get old and die.” Yeah, I heard it. You can feel free to tell me I’m foolish.

But legitimately, I have struggled. I feel a little distracted from new beginnings. I feel like I’ve had a lot and they have all included closing a door on an alternate future. Sometimes I mourn the loss of what other lives could have been, even when I’m perfectly happy with the one I have chosen. Does that make sense?

I find myself desiring a new beginning, but not really sure what that looks like at this stage of life. It used to mean moving to a new city… or dying my hair. But now I have a whole crew that’s not in the mood to move. (I am considering some maroon highlights, but losing some steam on that one…)

New dreams feel like additional things I have to tackle on top of everything else going on. I am struggling to close any doors. To admit that every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. 

And the real truth is that some beginnings (motherhood as one example, but there are others) I cannot and do not want to close. But, of course, there’s also perhaps some things maybe I should close.

So maybe I should go to God asking what new beginnings there are for me. I know cognitively that I am still very young. Okay, well maybe not very young… but young enough to keep dreaming. But I may need to close some doors rather than just opening new ones all the time. 


What new beginnings are you seeking? How do you walk through the transition of leaving other stories you’ve written to make space for new ones?


This post is part of the January 2014 Synchroblog: New Beginnings. Here is the full list of posts:

Jen Bradbury - Enough
Abbie Watters - New Beginnings
Cara Strickland - Bursting
Carol Kuniholm - Acorns, King, Beloved Community
Done With Religion – A New Year, A New Beginning
Kelly Stanley - A Blank Canvas
Glenn Hager - Overcoming The Biggest Obstacle To Reaching Your Goals
Dave Criddle - Get Some New Thinking
David Derbyshire - Changed Priorities Ahead
J A Carter - The Year of Reading Scripture for the First Time
Damon - New Beginnings: Consider These 5 Questions Before Tying The Knot
Jeffrey Kranz - Where To Start Reading The Bible
Joanna990 - On survival – my one word for 2014
K W Leslie - Atonement
Happy - my One Word 365 surprise
Michelle Moseley - Ends and Beginnings
Matthew Bryant - A New Creation
Liz Dyer – It’s a new year and time to make some new mistakes
Edwin Pastor Fedex Aldrich - Foreclosed: The beginning of a new dream
Jennifer Clark Tinker - Starting a New Year Presently
Loveday Anyim - New Year New Resolutions
Loveday Anyim - New Year Resolution Dreamers
Loveday Anyim - New Year Resolution Specialists
Loveday Anyim - The New Year Planners and Achievers
Jeremy Myers - Publish Your Book with Redeeming Press 
Amy Hetland - New Beginnings 
Phil Lancaster – New Beginnings
Mallory Pickering – Something Old, Something New
Margaret Boelman – The Other Side of Grief
Kathy Escobar – One Image

6 comments

  1. jodylouise11:38 AM

    I felt this way a lot with young kids...it was like my bearings had gotten completely knocked out of kilter and I was having a hard time reorienting. In retrospect, I think it took me a good 5 years to settle into my role as a mother - not that I didn't love my kids or the role, but it was just sooo new.


    When our kids got a bit older, I remember looking at another family with a 2 year old and a newborn and commenting to my husband how fragile of a life stage it was to enter the world of two kids. Looking back on it, it felt like the very beginning of a whole new phase for us to shift from thinking of ourselves as individuals to family. While it was a welcome and warm thought, it was also a significant shift that also included some loss.


    I'm closing in on 40 really fast, and I have to say that I'm learning to love growing older. While I'm not the biggest fan of the sagging, bulging and wrinkling part, the settling, calming, maturing, and wising-up part feels really great. While I may not have the same dreams as I had when I was younger, the dreams now are richer, realistic and more rooted.

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  2. Rebecca Cynamon-Murphy11:02 PM

    Yes. Yes. Yes. To the pondering of colored hair streaks, yes. For the rest of it, i am struck by how little i daydream about what i want to do with my life. I just can't gin up the energy to imagine what needs to happen next and that is totally foreign to the first 35 years of my life. I hate the cliche but with two kids in diapers, it's lucky i jumped off a cliff to try this intergenerational living thing before we left the newborn stage of the second kid or my life would just be boring right now. I even catch myself wishing it was boring, that's how much this stage of life has changed me.

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  3. So encouraging, Rebecca. It's always helpful to hear from others in the same stage!

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  4. Thank you, Jody. I can't express how encouraging it is to hear from someone a bit ahead of me. Other friends keep telling me to be patient, but that is not my strongest quality. :)

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  5. Sarah - I'm much older than you but I still get what you are saying - beginnings are exciting but I'm not always that keen on endings. Both of my kids are grown - one is out on his own and the other is midway through college - and going from having kids at home to being an empty nester wasn't an ending that I looked forward to, but I'm starting to adjust - I have more time with my girlfriends and I can do volunteer work that I only once dreamed about ... and if the wonderful hubby and I want to take a weekend trip on the spur of a moment the biggest problem we face is boarding the adorable pomeranian. No matter how old we get life is full of endings and beginnings. May we all have friends and family to lean on as we cope with the endings and to cheer us on as we dream about and experience new beginnings.

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  6. Thanks for stopping by, Liz. I appreciate your perspective!

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