Hills and Valleys

My questions confirmed that this indeed is a drawing of a hill with a gravestone on top!
My questions confirmed that this indeed is a drawing of a hill with a gravestone on top!

It is official:  there was a hill and I’m over it.  Funny…I don’t even remember climbing it. Oh well, I’ve heard that memory lapses with age.  And I’m forty now, so I’d better get used to it.

Now what was I writing about?

Oh, yes.

Each year, when I tack another year onto my age, I tend to glance over my shoulder to see where I’ve been and if I’m heading where I think I should be.  My heart is a fairly accurate compass, but my brain wants to see for itself.

I feel content in our new environment (four months ago, we moved from the desert of Phoenix to the cooler climate of pines, further north in Arizona.) From this horizon, I realize that the last two years had been an emotional valley.  Acknowledging the peace I feel now, I guess my son was right:  I have summited a hill.

But there is no gravestone at the top.

Despite what I imagined forty to be half a lifetime ago, I feel energetic and ready to discover what the next year (or twenty) has in store.  Age may be staking claim on aspects of my appearance, but it doesn’t fool me into thinking the best is behind me.

I may be getting rough in my old age, but I still have blooms in me :)
I may be getting rough in my old age, but I still have blooms in me 🙂

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”  (1 Samuel 16:7)

Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next. (1 Timothy 4:8)


40 thoughts on “Hills and Valleys

  1. Tim Weaver July 28, 2013 / 5:28 AM

    Happy birthday….I wish for 40 again. 🙂

    Where did you guys move? Flagstaff? Sedona? Payson?

    I finally got a job…I’m a copywriter for a CA-based technology company, work from home or, really, anywhere. Nannette still works for the city of Peoria, so we are stuck here for the time being.

    Hope all is well. Have been enjoying your Darlene series. 🙂


    • jannatwrites July 28, 2013 / 2:00 PM

      Funny how we look wistfully upon years past. (I wouldn’t want to go back and re-live them, though!)

      I’m so glad you found a job, Tim – great news! I don’t want to reveal online exactly where I went, but will send you an email soon 🙂

  2. yarnspinnerr July 28, 2013 / 6:14 AM

    Forties is the youth of adulthood.

    Happy B’Day 🙂

    • jannatwrites July 28, 2013 / 2:02 PM

      Thanks, Yarnspinnerr. Youth of adulthood – I like that. Way to make me feel not quite so old!

  3. nrhatch July 28, 2013 / 6:53 AM

    Forty is a GREAT and wonderful age, Janna with enough energy, enthusiasm, and wisdom to take inspired action Enjoy every step of the way.

    • nrhatch July 28, 2013 / 6:54 AM

      And the card is darling . . . if a bit cheeky. :mrgreen:

      • jannatwrites July 28, 2013 / 2:04 PM

        The card is compliments of my older son. He likes to mess with me! (My younger son (Pickles) is following in his footsteps…I couldn’t read the writing, but he read it to me: “No, no, no, no! You’re too old!”

    • jannatwrites July 28, 2013 / 2:03 PM

      Thanks, Nancy!You know, it’s not as doom-and-gloom as I thought it would be when I thought of being this age twenty years ago!

  4. SuziCate July 28, 2013 / 7:40 AM

    Happy Birthday!

  5. pattisj July 28, 2013 / 12:15 PM

    Happy Birthday, Janna! Oh, you’ve only just begun. Enjoy! Isn’t it nice to have young ones to remind us of how old we thought we were going to be when we hit those double digits? At least the tombstone is missing a date!

    • jannatwrites July 28, 2013 / 2:10 PM

      Haha, I’m surprised he didn’t put a date on it, Patti! It didn’t hurt my feelings at all because I know they’re just messing with me. We joke around a lot.

      • pattisj July 29, 2013 / 8:10 AM

        Joking around a lot with your kids is a good thing. 🙂

  6. Debbie July 28, 2013 / 12:41 PM

    Happy Happy Birthday, Janna! Remember, age is just a number. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!

    • jannatwrites July 28, 2013 / 2:11 PM

      It’s a pretty good story, Debbie. I think I’ll quote that! I still can’t believe I’m this old because I don’t feel it (well, except when I try to get up from the floor!)

  7. vishalbheeroo July 28, 2013 / 12:45 PM

    Happy Wali budday, Jannat:) I’m sure ur way younger and turning beautiful day-by-day:)

    • jannatwrites July 28, 2013 / 2:13 PM

      Thanks, Vishal! I’m pretty sure I’m not looking better each day, but that’s okay. Life is more comfortable now than it was twenty years ago, so it’s all good 😛

      • vishalbheeroo July 28, 2013 / 2:16 PM

        Age is just a number and in the mind. Gosh! I am in my 30s and u scaring me..lol::)

        • jannatwrites July 28, 2013 / 2:25 PM

          Haha, don’t be scared, Vishal! If we keep our minds and bodies active, age really is a number (meant to be defied)!

  8. diannegray July 28, 2013 / 2:28 PM

    Happy Birthday, Janna. Forty is the new 21 😉

    • jannatwrites July 28, 2013 / 2:29 PM

      Haha…maybe, Dianne. Only it’s better – there’s no silly pressure to go out and get drunk! My kids can chill out on the old lady jokes, though 🙂

      • diannegray July 28, 2013 / 2:46 PM

        I love the picture – what a sense of humour! 😀

        • jannatwrites July 28, 2013 / 10:14 PM

          The kids woke me up to give me their cards and I laughed when I saw that. I knew instantly that it would end up on this blog somewhere 🙂

  9. agjorgenson July 28, 2013 / 7:49 PM

    Happy Birthday Janna. For what it is worth, my in-laws claim that their fifties were the best years of their lives, so you have a decade to warm up to them! Enjoy

    • jannatwrites July 28, 2013 / 10:17 PM

      I can see how that would be true…the years between when kids go out on their own and before health issues arise. I’m not going to rush things, though – I’ll get there soon enough! Thanks for reading and sharing your encouragement, Allen 🙂

  10. Bryan Ens July 28, 2013 / 9:36 PM

    Happy 40th! I just celebrated my big Four-Oh in April, and as a wise man once said, “better to be over the hill than under it!”

    • jannatwrites July 28, 2013 / 10:19 PM

      Hahaha! Good one, Bryan! Truly made me laugh 😛 (Happy belated milestone b-day to you.)

      My husband kept trying to tease me about getting older, but I just reminded him that he’s five years ahead of me in the age game.

  11. Sean July 29, 2013 / 10:25 AM

    You’re just a youngen. I have almost 15 months on you 😛 My kids remind me of my age as much as possible. I have noticed that as they get older, they tend to cost more lol It is all fun at least until your hair falls out. I keep mine short so people can’t tell. The card is awesome and shows that he is thinking about his momma.

    • jannatwrites July 29, 2013 / 7:06 PM

      Well, I hope my hair doesn’t fall out, Sean. That wouldn’t be fun at all! I do like the card…it’s going in the “keeper” box 🙂

  12. Eric Alagan July 29, 2013 / 11:04 PM

    Happy (belated) Birthday Janna – I’m catching up with your posts 🙂

    I too believe the best is yet to be 🙂

    At 57, I look at you and say – Hey, young one 🙂 and I mean it with all love and respect.

    • jannatwrites July 29, 2013 / 11:53 PM

      Thanks, Eric! I’m still getting age jokes from my family. They’ll get bored with it eventually 🙂 I think age only holds us back if we let it. I don’t plan on letting it win that easily.

  13. Catherine Johnson July 30, 2013 / 7:37 AM

    Happy birthday, Janna!

    • jannatwrites July 30, 2013 / 4:45 PM

      Thanks, Catherine – I appreciate you stopping by 🙂

  14. Sandra July 31, 2013 / 9:50 PM

    Happy belated birthday! Sorry I missed it, but after 40, it’s all a jumble of days, right? 😉 Just kidding. I’m glad you’re taking this birthday in strides. I feel quite different in this decade in that I’m able to see things with better perspective than when I was younger. Wisdom comes with age, no? The 40s is about rediscovering self, I think, since kids are older and more independent, and there’s a lot more to look ahead for oneself. Have a great year! I hope you had a special celebration!

    • jannatwrites August 1, 2013 / 4:55 PM

      Oh, it is just a jumble of days, Sandra! It’s Friday, right? Oh…not yet? Darn! Thanks for stopping by to tease me about 40. You got to the party a few months earlier, but I made it now 🙂

  15. pattyabr August 5, 2013 / 5:38 PM

    Love the pic your son drew. Happy Birthday!
    You are a Leo just like me. My birthday is in a few days. I can’t remember my 40th birthday, It was over a decade ago….

    • jannatwrites August 5, 2013 / 7:45 PM

      Thanks, Patty! I’m actually a Cancer- I posted this after-the-fact, mainly because of my paranoia about revealing too much detail about myself 🙂 My older son is a Leo, though!

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