• Jan Avellana

Year End Reflections

This is the last little bit of 2019, and the last year I’ll be in my 40’s--2020 will usher in my 50th birthday and with that, the feeling life is gaining momentum passing so quickly. It’s sobering to think that in all probability, I have more days behind than ahead of me. I worry that I’ve squandered too much time, flitting here and there, licking wounds and fretting about which road to take, doubling back and then heading out again. There is a nagging feeling that I should be much further along, having achieved something more to show for someone who has lived 50 years. At 49 years old, I don’t even feel like an adult and wonder if I ever will. In some ways I feel perpetually 25, always just starting out and learning what other people seem to have been born knowing. In other ways I feel 80, wizened, scarred from losses and pain, and sharply aware of how fragile life is. The last 10 years have been a blur of raising up my sons, saying good-bye to my father and to a close friend from high school, re-entry into full-time teaching, learning over and over again how to live with clinical depression, discovering, letting go of and rediscovering creative callings. I wonder with some anxiety, what the next decade has in store for me. I wonder how I will manage to transition out of the classroom, so that I can finish up my 12 years of service in order to collect a meager retirement? I wonder what my children will be like in 10 years time--I can’t fathom them in their early 20’s. I wonder if I will still be here in 10 years--no one ever really knows. So many good days to still look forward to God willing, and so many unknowns too. Through it all, what sustains me is love from my family and friends, trust that God is always with me whatever my todays and tomorrows bring, and gratitude for life and for learning.


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