Remodeling and remaking

In a book I was reading this weekend, the author commented on a statement she had heard from the mother of a friend–that every ten years we need to remodel/remake ourselves. Sometimes those changes are obvious to everyone; sometimes they are more subtle and seen only by the individual.

It’s gotten me to thinking…to look back at my own life.

I can see some of the changes–and could see them as they were taking place. I think, too, about when my husband and I married. Changing my name provided an incredible opportunity for remodeling and remaking. I had spent many years being known as “the daughter of…” and living up to the expectations I felt as the oldest child of a minister father. Now all of a sudden I felt free to do things (or not) becauseĀ IĀ wanted to…not because they were expected.

Part of that process of remodeling and remaking involved what I could only call a “conversion” experience. I had been a member of my faith tradition since I was born–baptized when I was eight. But now…now my faith decisions became my own. (That’s not the only conversion experience–just the first. As I’ve grown older–and my understandings have changed and matured–and my willingness to let God have more of me, there have been other conversions…even though I have remained in the same faith tradition.)

Obviously, when we became foster parents to two older siblings, that required some remodeling and remaking. Some we could handle easily. Some of the challenges sent me into therapy–when I discovered some things in my own past that needed to be remolded and remade.

When our son was born, that brought another found. I thought I was prepared for some things because of our foster parent experience…but each child…each experience…is unique and brings its own challenges!

More recently–especially as I look back during the last ten years of my work life–there have been other opportunities for remodeling and remaking. Some of them were not by choice! They were thrust upon me by decisions that were made by others that significantly impacted my job responsibilities. I didn’t respond to them well–and the process of remodeling myself ended up perhaps taking longer than it needed to…if it’s even done yet (and I’m not sure it is!).

As I look back, though, I’m not the person I was when I was in my 20s…and I’m sure I’m not the person I will be when I’m in my 70s and 80s. Sometimes that’s a little disconcerting–especially when I’m going through the process. But despite my desires occasionally for it to be otherwise, I know that remodeling and remaking are an essential part of living.