People keep telling me to stop telling my age. They say that I don’t have to admit how old I am because 50 is the new 30. But here’s the thing – I don’t need a new 30. Although I didn’t always believe it my 30’s were awesome. I worked hard, traveled, explored and did a whole heap of foolish things. It was as it was supposed to be – high on energy and effort, even when it wasn’t in the right direction. Perhaps that’s why in this season I’m all about embracing the journey, and learning the art of aging gratefully.
It’s a funny business…this getting older thing. You’re smarter but sometimes slower, wiser but without all the energy to “make it happen.” It’s like your brain has finally hit its stride but your body is saying – whoa now, you’re not 35 anymore.
That nonsense of “all nighters?” Uh uh…not unless I want to look like it the next morning. Eating my fill of sweet treats? No way! My behind shows it every time. Oh and those insane conversations that go in circles? No ma’am. I have no more “cans” for foolishness, drama, or stupidity.
Oh wait, I was supposed to be telling you about why getting older isn’t easy, but instead I started jabbering about the good stuff. I love the notion of getting a decent nights sleep, thinking BEFORE I eat, and oh this is my absolute favorite – cutting off conversations that are not affirming or empowering.
You see? Just when I think I might want to complain my older, wiser brain reminds me of all the benefits of my age, and I discover I am aging gratefully. I am loving life, and it is passionately loving me back.
Y’all it’s a good season. I tell people it’s my year of unicorns and rainbows, the impossible and extraordinary. All around me the seeds of greatness God planted in me long ago – that in some cases I didn’t even know were there – are coming into bloom. It’s good, and I know it will be greater later.
Here’s the thing though – this feeling of euphoria and expectancy that I have – you can have it too. The key is to fall in love with life in every season, instead of wishing and waiting for the next.
I meet so many women who are waiting to be happy, waiting to pursue their dreams, or waiting for the perfect mate. They give me a whole host of reasons for staying stuck in half a life –
…when my kids grow up, I’ll start to focus on me.
…when I retire I’m going to really enjoy my life.
…when I get more money I’m going to start traveling.
…when I find a husband I’ll buy a house.
Ladies in your 20’s, 30’s and 40’s let me say this to you, and please write it on a sticky and put it on your mirror so that you see it everyday –
The reason I can so easily slide into my 50’s aging gratefully is because I lived in those other decades. Was it always easy? No – absolutely not.
If you’ve read my book you know I’ve had great seasons of struggle and success. Like many of you, my life has been a roller coaster. I’ve been well off, and I’ve been poor. I’ve been married, and I’m single now. I’ve lost people I’ve loved, and I’ve loved people who had no business in my life.
About the only thing I haven’t done is give up, and settle. You don’t have to either.
Today I look at all the things I used to complain about – my gray hairs, my laugh lines, and the extra pound or two that won’t go away – and I smile in gratitude. I thank God for grace and courage. I thank Him for a life that has surpassed my expectations, time and time again. I give thanks for friends who are family, and family who have become friends. Aging gratefully has become my testimony, a shout of praise for all that God is, and has allowed me to become.
Why don’t you join me in celebrating your season?
Let gratitude be your calling card, and thanksgiving be your expression of worship. Y’all our age is a blessing. There is no reason to worry about being too old or too young, or how much we’ve accomplished along the journey. We can’t let people shame us about your age, or be hidden from society as we grow older.
Instead, let’s be confident in who God created us to be, and let the gift of life be a cause for celebration in every season.
Hugs and Love