Thursday, November 17, 2016

Being at Peace with My Age

Happy Birthday to MEEE!

A few days ago, a friend offered to share intention cards with us. She selected a random card for each person who requested one, and shared them on her Facebook page. The one she drew for me was this:

This is a perfect intention for me because on November 18, 2016 I am turning 56. The intention card was a good reminder to count the blessings of getting older, especially since aging has some inherent icky parts. So far, all of it's manageable; the fading eyesight, the age spots, the pesky whiskers, the aching joints, the forgetful brain. When I look at the big picture, though, I mostly just smile.

I've always been at peace with my age, whatever the number. There may have been some years along my journey I wouldn't want to relive, but I love birthdays, and have found something good about every year I've been given on this earth.

Chuck and I were talking about the seasons of our lives. I broke mine down into decades:

Teens: Self-discovery. (I was trying things on to see what fit for me: humor, attitude, studies, friends, books.)

Twenties: Selfishness. (Life in college was all about me, and what I wanted to study, be, and do.)

Thirties: Selflessness. (As a mother, I learned to put someone else's needs before my own.)

Forties: Physical strength and stamina. (My life felt out of control, and I focused on getting healthier.)

Fifties: Spiritual growth. (My goals focus on my faith, relationships, and serving others.)

At nearly 56, I have to admit, I am no longer middle-aged. Who wants to live until they're 112? Do you think there are any perks left once we hit our fifties? Let me tell you some of mine.

I'm married to my best friend. It may have taken me more than half my life to find my sweet Chuck, but I finally did, and what a blessing he is to me and my family.

My kids are all adults. There may have been a time I dreaded that, mistakenly believing I would lose significance in their lives as they became more independent, but I am finding that we are closer than ever. I'm so grateful for the laughter and the love they bring into my world. I am honored when they share their concerns, their fears, their accomplishments, and their dreams with me. I am so proud of them. Of all the things I've done in my life, they let me know I did something right!

At this stage of the game, I no longer concern myself with the latest fashion trends or worry about fitting in. If it's comfortable and it fits, I wear it. Like I've said before, it's liberating not to worry about what everyone else thinks

Why yes, I am wearing my husband's denim jacket.
If I feel like going the extra mile doing my hair and makeup, I do. If I don't have time, or the inclination, I've discovered it's just not that big of a deal.

More and more, no makeup and yoga pants feel "just right."
One of my sweetest blessings is I am a grandma. Who knew you could love a baby you didn't give birth to this much? I love being CJ's grandma, and I hope I get to be a grandma to lots more little ones. It is so much fun!

The biggest perk at this age is I'm retired. I finally have time to work on my hobbies. There is plenty of time to read, write, take photos, practice yoga, go for walks, and meet friends for coffee. The one thing I never seemed to have enough of when I was working and raising my children was TIME. Finally, I have time, and if I'm not doing the things I want, I have no one to blame but myself. 

Fifty-six. I'm thinking this is going to be a another good year for me. I have Chuck, and our awesome kids, and amazing friends. I'm pretty healthy; my back and arthritis problems are not slowing me down much any more. 

Am I at peace with my age? Yes. Heck, I actually LIKE being a fifty-something. It's not a bad thing. All of you young whipper-snappers have something to look forward to.

What's the best part about being YOUR age? Go ahead, share it here. If you are younger than I am, remind me of the good times, or if you're older, give me some goals! 


  1. I love no make up/yoga pants days too!

  2. Oh Denise, this is such a beautiful post. I smiled the whole way through it seeing myself at every stage you speak of. Being 51 and a new grandma, you are right that that grandbaby has brought a huge perk to our age! And, I'm jealous of your retirement stage as I have several years to go, but I'm not holding off on my creative pursuits. Anna Quindlen describes these stages so perfectly in her book Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake (you would LOVE this book). "First I was who I was. Then, I didn't know who I was. Then, I invented someone and became her. Then, I began to like who I invented. Finally, I was what I was again." Isn't that lovely? She sounds just like you!! :-)

    1. Shari, I wish you lived closer. We would be such good friends. Thank you for all of your kindnesses to me.

  3. Happy Birthday. You look great.

    1. Debby, it was a wonderful birthday. Thanks!


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