Remind me that 50 is the new 40. I can’t believe that in a few days I will reach 50!!! I know, some say that it is “just a number” and if I wasn’t feeling like I was falling a part, I would be inclined to agree. And, normally, I wouldn’t be stressing over it… but, as proven in a recent lunch date, when a darling 20 something shared her wisdom that “age is only as old as you feel,” and it took everything I had not to reach across the table and throttle her…. I am guessing I am stressing just slightly over it.
I am convinced that if I were feeling my “ever-ready rabbit self”, this little milestone would be just that, but as luck would have it, I feel old. I can honestly say, that I have never really felt old before. Now, I know that in part it is this whole thyroid thing that I am dealing with, and in no time I will be up and running… Or will I?
I have decided, to give myself permission to slow down, to not accomplish everything that I have crammed onto my list, instead making a bucket list of things that I just have to do before my last chapter is written.
I have been surprised at what is on it, and what isn’t. Surprised more that so many of the things that I have allowed to steal my joy, now, doesn’t even rate on the top 20 of things I want to settle or accomplish on this other side of 50.
I am learning to be more grateful for what I have, and less occupied with what I don’t. More willing to bask in the love that I have, then to fret over the loves that feel lost, embracing all those who have stuck with me, and allow the ones that haven’t to fall away. I am more willing to putter through the day, less concerned about the million things I have jotted down “to do,” and more willing to spend endless time in the chair with my bible in my hand, reading the stories instead of being able to check it off the list.
I feel less compelled to do what I ott… and more driven to do what I will. As if I hit a spot on the ladder’s rung that I am contend with, not that the drive is gone, but that it is more purposeful and I am way more fascinated with the view. Easier to say no, and slower to say yes.
I am more content to be behind the scenes and I have made peace with the awkward silence, and found a rhythm of being more interested than interesting. Settled into my role and chosen profession as a story-teller, a people watcher, eager to tell the stories of those that shine bright.
I guess it would be fair to say that I am comfortable in my own skin, not needing to impress or find validation in others, other than those who I have come to trust and count on.
At 50, I have learned that God doesn’t make junk, and that anyone that would have me feel that way about myself, well doesn’t really know the one that created me. I have stopped apologizing for those quirky parts of me, that others can choose to be offended by. I have learned in my own life that being hurt and offended is a choice, and I am much to busy keeping my own offenses in check, to worry about if you are cleaning up yours. Which certainly doesn’t mean that if you have the courage to confront me in love, that I won’t work on things, but usually the ones that choose to be offended, don’t often have that kind of courage.
My 40’s were fabulous. I found myself in new ways. I learned to appreciate my gifts and quirkiness in ways that I hadn’t before. it was here in my that I learned to see me like the wildflowers that I see as I drive the dusty roads, those silly flowers seem to grow in the most ridiculous of places, yet in their awkwardness, they seem content with their surroundings and don’t seem to notice or care much that they are different.
So come what may. Raise your glasses high, let’s just hope that 50 is the new 40, and more discoveries are just “over the hill.”