Author: Addie Parker
•9:53 PM

I am a married woman of almost five years. Five years seems like a long time at the beginning of a marriage (though I've noticed a gradual speeding up of time as the years go by).

I don't wake up in the mornings and think, "this is the beginning of my life! hooray!"  I don't think anything with the word "hooray" in it at 5:00 in the morning. But I especially don't think about how this time in my life is just the start of my story. 

But it is. {well, let's just operate on the premise that I won't be dying any time soon, and go from there, mm-kay?}

Yes, this is just the beginning of my life story. It's just my husband and me. No real responsibilities except to pay the bills on time. We pretty much live how we want to live.

I've been thinking about how close I am to the end of that time. We'll be picking up our new dog in nine days.  We might be taking on a huge responsibility for our church in the next month or so. And sometime in the relatively near future (hopefully), we'll be adding an actual child (me? a parent?!) to our family.

As hard as it's been to wait over a month to be able to bring our puppy home, I'm glad I've had this time to think and adjust mentally. The process has been slow. It mostly consisted of me being discontent with the end of what IS. The end of choosing exactly what my evenings and weekends will look like. The end of getting out of bed with just enough time to get myself ready and get out the door. The end of going out to dinner on a whim after work. The end of spontaneity. 

The end of being selfish.

I think I'm done being selfish. I think. I think maybe I'm excited to be done being selfish. A dog is going to require my presence and my time. I'm going to have to build in take-the-puppy-out-to-pee time, as well as clean-up-where-puppy-made-a-little-puppy-mess time every single morning. I have to count on that, just like I count on slippery roads and trains. I'll have to pad my getting ready time, just like I pad my commute time.  I'll have to come home at the end of the work day to let the puppy out before I do anything else (and when you don't live in town, that's tricky).

But I'll also have to take the puppy for walks, think about him, plan for him, play with him, give him attention. And that'll be good. It will all be good.

So this end is really just a page turned, a chapter passed. There is SO MUCH MORE to come. A puppy, a  baby, a way of serving my church. And, eventually, a dog, a child, and who knows what else?

The rest of my life - the whole rest of my life - is about to begin. I couldn't be happier.
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