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The Nice Thing About Being 40

A few nights ago, I was having a really rough time.  I was feeling lonely and discouraged and down on myself.  I was reading a book and lamenting that I will never write as well as that author.  I was feeling pretty worthless, when it comes right down to the truth.

But even in the midst of my tears, I knew something.  This will pass.  It is largely a symptom of winter, when the gray clouds fill the sky and the temperatures chill my bones.  When April comes and the warm breezes ruffle my hair and the trees and flowers bloom, I will feel much better about life.

It’s one really good thing about being middle-aged.  I know myself better than I ever have before.  I know that winter is hard for me.  Rules I’ve made for myself include that I’m not allowed to make major decisions in the winter, and I’m not allowed to label myself in the winter.  Things always are brighter — both literally and metaphorically — in the spring.

And a December sunrise like this one always serves to lift my spirits, too.



About Karen Koch

I like the old-fashioned lifestyle. All this new-fangled stuff baffles me sometimes. I cherish living out in the country, raising chickens and rabbits, planting fruit trees, and enjoying a slow life filled with beautiful words and ideas. I don't always achieve a slow life. I teach middle school English and manage a little burgeoning farm with my husband, and somewhere in the midst of that, I try to find time for writing, running, knitting, reading, and playing the ukulele. And sometimes, I actually succeed.

5 responses »

  1. I love your profile About Karen Koch, but more than that I LOVE Karen Koch!
    Don’t kid yourself, you are a good writer!

  2. I can so relate to the winter thing! When we were in the states for Tina’s wedding back in 2010, we found ourselves feeling down — on what should be (and was!) a very happy occasion. It finally dawned on us that we were feeling SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Our winters here in Argentina include mostly clear blue skies and lots of sunshine, and we’d forgotten how adversely the gray of Indiana winters can affect us.

    I can also relate to the feeling that I’ll never write as well as this author or that one. But I’m finally starting to understand God gave each of us a unique voice. How boring it would be if we all wrote the same (i.e., equally “well”). Your writing is like no one else’s! And God will use it in ways you probably can’t even anticipate at this point.

    • By writing this novel, I’m learning about the paralysis of perfectionism. I put off writing something because I don’t know how to make it exactly the way I want it. I’m trying to learn to just write it, and fix it later.

  3. I think you’re a great writer too – I love your style of writing. My husband has SAD. Until we figured that out, February was BRUTAL around here. Ugh. Now it’s still hard, but we know that spring is coming…


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