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  • Writer's pictureAdrea Tilford

Midlife Growth Spurt

I turned 40 this year, and in 30 days I'll be 41. It's been a wild year of growing and taking risks. Though a friend of mine said I shouldn't consider 40 midlife, I'm not sure why not. I've lived half of my life if I'm blessed to make it to 80 years old and if I get a little longer than a midlife growth spurt arriving early can never hurt! This photo essay is a reflection of this year and my attempts to live a wholehearted and full existence. A year of finding my voice. A year of next steps. A year of growth.

My 40th birthday, January - still in the land of Covid precautions. I felt quite saucy and as usual silly as I spent the time with my family in the Silt Holiday Inn. In November, just two months earlier, I encountered Covid and after working through my fear of dying and realizing I had a lot of life to live, I found myself on the brink of living differently. I would continue the grief work AND I would aim to create a life I love living.

These girls. My supper club friends. We skied and celebrated. This group of friends is incredible. Starting Supper Club four (?) years ago is one of the greatest gifts we've given ourselves. This group of friends cooks for each other, plans fun events for each other, parents alongside each other. We listen to the good, the hard and the funny. And we all love to play.

Doing life with Ian and Britty. Ian is probably my oldest friend. This is an igloo in Basalt. What a fun and wonderful night of laughter and connection to usher in 40.

I've been looking for a way to get involved with social justice here in GJ. Sam and I learned about Black Citizens and Friends when we attended the Black History month movie last Feb. I'd just finished listening to Just Mercy, and the film was inspiring as well. As a survivor of abuse, there is a part of my soul that wants to eliminate all injustices. My spiritual gift of mercy is high and even when I haven't wanted to, I've been able to recognize the woundedness of those who wound. In truth, we all wound. And we are all wounded. I joined BCF to get to learn more and help with putting on events that promote racial justice and equity in our community. It's a start, and though I may not always be able to give time to this particular group, I am so thankful for how much I am learning along the way.

Game night at the family table. We did some lasts as we prepared to sell our home and move. It was tough to say good-bye though Sam and I were ready.

Last picnic in the yard. This was a Covid lockdown staple. We met neighbors and received sun kisses.

Return to RHS as audience members. Over 20 years since I graduated. Felt good to be back to watch my niece walk the stage.

The move to Sarah's. We weren't the only house guests. This baby hummingbird left much sooner than we are able though. Lots of learning when you are renting space from a friend. Love a lot of communal living. Miss a lot of having our own space. It's an adventure I'm glad we tried.

A summer of writing. Joining Lysa Terkerst's Book Proposal Boot Camp. Learned so much. Realize how far I have to go. Thankful for the opportunity to grow and connect with other writers.

We turned 40 this year. Made it to IN for Bess' birthday. We've spent over 20 years wishing each other a fantastic next year. So thankful for these ladies and their men and watching us grow into who we are.

Paddle boards and pups. A new summer activity. Though I've tried it before, it was fun to have our own paddle boards. I fell off twice. (Not with Paisley though)

Raise the Future Family Camp. This camp was for adoptive families. What an incredible experience. Our girls connected in ways we've not seen before. So thankful for the opportunity to engage in this type of camp as a family.

Submission. I completed my book proposal and turned it in. It wasn't chosen. One day.

New school year, new school, return to coaching.

Self-care selfies. I love me. I couldn't say that for a long time. I'm so thankful I can now.

Learning a new way to grieve: together

My first try at a tri. Huge fears faced. Huge leap of faith. So excited to do it again next year.

Gave my first sermon, first public speaking and narrowed down my audience even more. My parents came to support me talking about a challenging topic for us all. So grateful for their willingness to walk alongside me.

Guest post on a long-running adoption blog. Getting connected and feeling so much support for telling my story and spreading God's message of love for us and our precious children.

Nella's 10th birthday trip.

This house...

Learning about rejection and how it doesn't mean I'm worth any less. Learning how to see myself as impressive because of my inherent worth and the little moves I make to have quality relationships. Love God and Love People - impressive.

Christmas with my parents!

What a year. Midlife growth spurt is underway. I'm planning to have another year of learning and growing. How about you?!

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