Last week, a reader left a comment. “Jen, I just opened up my new issue of All You magazine and saw you featured. How Cool!”
It was at that moment that I realized I had not yet renewed my subscription to one of my favorites magazines. Of course, my subscription would run out for the first time in three years the very month I was in it. Soon, many friends were commenting, and then someone uploaded a few pictures so I could see.
I was featured with many of my best money saving friends, which was so fun, even though now they know just how much older I am than them. They highlighted some of my Frugal Fashionista advice, as well as a few of my Power Cooking Tips, which I first shared years ago in blogland, and now remains the jumping point for my new Ten Minute Dinners site.
And then I saw something that had me running for cover. Yes, it’s that one moment when you shrivel and die for that split second when you realize that your age has just been outted, and you weren’t quite prepared for it to be announced to strangers.
I started getting the “You are NOT 43.” And something in me wanted to say, “Well, I JUST turned 43,” like that would matter.
I’ve never tried to conceal my age on the blog. Three years ago, I shared about how I unknowingly “planned my own surprise party.” (Yes, a post from when I first started my blog and had my old camera and still centered all my text).
It’s also a pretty known fact that we just graduated an 18 year old, but maybe I assumed you thought I had him when I was 12, and then I would tell you it’s not recommended.
Well, embracing my age is what makes this blog. It’s my never ending pursuit of Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, and with that pursuit comes perspective.
Life perspective that only comes with age.
New wrinkles remind me that those marked lines came from life experiences, mistakes, wisdom, heartache which blossomed joy, emotion – lots of emotion, laughter, anger: wrinkles – all a result of a passionate woman.
I am no longer a mom giving advice to other moms when my oldest was only 8. I chuckle about that.
I am a seasoned mom. A mom still in process, with so many years still to go, but one who passionately reaches for the heart of her children.
Sometimes, we connect, other times we don’t. Sometimes, I do it well. Sometimes, I mess up. Sometimes, they make amazing choices. Sometimes, they make choices that break my heart, but we journey – together.
That comes with age.
I am a money saving expert from decades of experience. I know seasons of plenty and seasons of want. I know what it’s like to live under ones means for years, saving every little penny as vigorously as possible so we could pay cash for a “want,” only to have to live off it during years of unemployment.
I know what it’s like to build a successful business out of the need to put food on the table. Now I know what it’s like to enjoy the other side of those learning moments.
That comes with age.
I wish I could say I’ve become an organizational expert, and that I can give Ten Easy Tips to a Perfectly Structured Home, but there are somethings that just don’t come with age. Unfortunately for me, that was one of them.
Yet with age comes the ability to admit I struggle with that, and that I need help. In fact, to launch my Ten Minute Dinners site, I will even need to hire help with recipes because I can’t do it all, even though it might seem like it from afar.
I am an open book. For those that know me in real life, I pray that is something that exudes from who I am because I never want others to think life is tied up in a pretty little bow, because it’s not.
Life is about journeying together. It’s about learning from each other. It’s about sharing moments, and I am all about sharing the things I do really well, but also sharing those things I have failed miserably at, only to encourage others, “Don’t do that – take it from me.”
The older I get, the more stories to share.
That comes with age.
So, All You magazine even though I don’t think the ages were really necessary, I still love you like crazy, and am honored that you featured a few of my money saving ideas.
And while I would love to fit into the clothes I wore in my 20’s and 30’s, I wouldn’t go back. It’s got me rethinking my purpose here, and one of my new features is going to be “Jen remembers” (although I need a much catchier title.)
When I speak, I share so many stories of things I have learned from my earlier years of mothering/family manager, but I have realized that those life lessons never come into play on my blog since it’s literally a day to day post about what I am currently doing. Yet, some of my best life moments have passed, and those need to be shared.
So my sweet readers, it’s fun to journey with you, all of my 43 years. I may be “middle aged” (gasp), but my heart still thinks I am in my 20’s. And since I let my subscription lapse, I went in search of the deal going on right now with All You. You can get one year’s subscription for $19.95, but then receive a $5 gift card. This is the only magazine I pay full price for and it’s worth every penny just on the money saving tips and coupons alone.