Saturday, August 19, 2017

An Ode to Women 'Of a Certain Age'

In honor of a new she-shall-remain-nameless friend's great big 60th birthday today, I dust off and re-present this homage to women 'of a certain age.'

The good news is that we're alive and well and out there living our lives with great abandon and a hefty commitment to Christ and to the work He's called us to do in this season.

I honor her.  And you.  And all of us who secretly know that deep inside ...

We're forever young.

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I've always loved my birthdays.

That is until the summer of 2013 when I hit 58.  I couldn't quite grasp why that particular milestone wasn't sitting quite right with me ... until I realized that it made the big six-o quite close.  Way too close for comfort. 

Recollections of my sainted grandmother gazing out the dining room window 'just marking time' in her creaking rocking chair played in my head.  Gray hair and orthopedic shoes and endless physical maladies flashed through my mind.

And then images of Lawrence Welk and his accordian and Jack LaLanne exercising came to call.

Anyway, it was all too much for me to handle.  Downright unsettling. 

Fast forward 4 years.  I've gotten over the shock of old age menacingly looming over the horizon and have moved on.

Because I truly believe that 60 is the new 30.

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So here's to all of us women 'of a certain age'!  By God's grace, we're living energetic and courageous lives.  Sure we're sometimes bone-weary by the end of the day.  Who isn't?  But life's tragic sorrows, the grief of divorce, the ravages of cancer, the impact of death that's come to call far too soon, unresolved family issues, and jobs that make us crazy don't knock us out of the game.

We're opening the doors of our homes wide, we're envisioning new ministries, we're walking and biking, we're mixing it up in our communities.

We're writing, we're stepping out of our comfort zones.  We're creating, we're taking in new vistas right and left, we're standing up for what matters most and leaving the small stuff behind.

You'll find us dining well and some of us you are fabulous chefs.  We read voraciously and love going deep in conversations about spiritual things.  Sure, we might muse on retirement or health issues and we might not be all that certain of what's coming next, but we still laugh easily and often.

In the process of living life, our faith has emerged rock solid even though ferocious winds of heartbreak could have knocked us flat and left us lying in the dust.  Refined like precious gold, we are.  And that reality has enabled us to rise from the ashes, wiser for the deep pain we've endured.  And ready, willing, and able to share our hard won learnings with the generations that follow ... with grace, grace, and more grace.

'Cause we've been there, done that.  And we've emerged to tell our Christ-exalted victory stories.

Sorry, Grandma.  60+ isn't looking so bad any more. 




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32 comments:

  1. What a wonderfully inspiring post, Linda! Applies to men as well.

    I could beat the tar out of my 30-year-old-self, even now being at death's door.

    You know what they say - age and treachery will always triumph over youth and skill. (Either Norman Vincent Peale or Josef Stalin said that...can't quite remember which, and memory I CAN blame on age, hahaha.)

    https://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/08/your-dying-spouse-351-this-will-all-be.html

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    1. Memories ... yeah, they can fade and play weird tricks on us, can't they.

      I'm still young.

      I think.

      ;-}

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  2. I'm with you, Linda - 60 IS the new 30! At 62, I'm enjoying life to the fullest, and it certainly sounds like you are, too. No rocking chairs for us!
    Blessings!

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    1. 8 days til I join you at the big six-two, friend!

      Looks like I'm in very good company indeed ...

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  3. Love, love, love this, my friend!! Of course, I will tell you that when I turned 60 I announced that to be 60 was sensational. When I turned 70, I announced I was standing strong.😊 I am not sure what I will say when 80 approaches. Right now I am looking toward 74 in October. How did this happen?????

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    1. You make it look so easy, Pam!

      I'm impressed ... and inspired.

      ;-}

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  4. Yes, yes, and yes! "We're writing, we're stepping out of our comfort zones. We're creating, we're taking in new vistas right and left, we're standing up for what matters most and leaving the small stuff behind." Love that. At 52, I realize I still am just starting to grow in wisdom (hopefully) of what really matters. Very inspiring post Linda!

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    1. 52!

      You're smack dab in the middle of your prime, girl!

      Love watching what you're doing from afar ...

      ;-}

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  5. Boy, can I relate, Linda! I have quite a few years till I'm 60--six to be exact--but I know those years will fly by with the speed of a tornado crossing Kansas! ;-) And I really don't think of 60 as being all that old anymore. ha! I do think with the emphasis on health (and sometimes "youth") in our culture and the abundant resources we have to keep ourselves young--like exercise, healthier diets and medical advances--we really are staying younger. So I totally agree that 60 is the new 30! Move on over gray haired ladies--the forever young, bold and beautiful chicks in their 50's, 60's and are dancing like there's no tomorrow!

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    1. You're so right, Beth ... we have so many more healthy, helpful resources and choices than our grannies did. Our options are wider and more doors are open to us.

      I love it!

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  6. Aging is something I struggle with. Some days, I'm still young in mind, body, and spirit - others, I feel fearful and fragile. Almost always is the nagging thought:I'm not ready yet! Aging continues to be a day by day experience and another one of my works in progress! Happy birthday to your friend ... she's lucky to count you among her blessings and candles on her cake!

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    1. Yeah, it can be a struggle ... especially when some kind of nagging fear comes to call and we feel a bit fragile around the edges. I've learned to ride through those moments, to recall that they don't last forever, that God's mercies are new every morning, and that my future's not defined by my random emotions but by solid faith.

      I'm hearing ya' this morning, friend ...

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  7. You my friend are a great reminder that age is merely a number. Some days I struggle with the growing numbers of grey hair and the body changes that come with age, but hey, I'm strong, healthy, and have a good life. I have too many blessings to let a number steal my joy!

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    1. Alecia, hi! How fun to see you here today! Sounds like your summer is laded with blessings. Let's hear it for refusing to let numbers {in any shape or form} steal our joy!

      Have a good one ...

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  8. I just arrived at the big 6-0 yesterday, so this is timely for me! It still seems unreal. I don't "feel" old - well, except maybe when I try to get up too fast. :-) But I feel I have a lot of life left to live, God willing!

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    1. Happy Birthday to you, Barbara! I hope your day was filled with lovely surprises. And I'm with you, God willing, He has plans for our future ... maybe some big ones, yes?

      Thanks for partying with us!

      ;-}

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  9. I love your words today. I tell people that this is my favorite time of life. I feel as if I know myself better. My life experience is a plus. I am able to dream and pursue dreams because God calls me to do that and I don't have young kids to run after. I am writing, hanging with friends and learning how to extend hospitality in new ways. Here's to late 50s for me. It's a good place to be.

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    1. The way you venture through transitions, with all that courage you've taught us, is a true inspiration, Mary. I can't wait to hear how God continues to open doors for you.

      Literally!

      Looking forward to connecting more come fall. It's been a quiet blogging summer, hasn't it ...

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  10. Smiling as I read this, still trying to adapt to being 60. It's been the most challenging one for me. Okay, the only challenging one! Your words give me the perspective I need. Now to keep it ;)

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    1. I hear ya ... it's interesting how the same milestones hit us each differently.

      60 is a hard one though ... it just seems so . very . old!

      Those were the days.

      May the best be yet to come as we keep on figuring this out!

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  11. You certainly are precious gold. Thank you for keeping up your example of living and loving well! :)

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  12. I read this the first time on my phone, but I don't do much phone typing (ugh), so I will tell you now how encouraging and "right minded" this post is! Thanks for saying this all so well.
    And, on a side note, I just got a copy of Adam McHugh's book for introverts. Your Listening Life quote below reminded me that I'm so excited to start reading more of his good words from that earlier book (which was just released in paper back).

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    1. I'm not a big phone type-er either, Michele. Takes f o r e v e r.

      And yep my copy has arrived from B & N, sitting on my dresser, waiting to be re-savored. Looking forward to discovering what he offers in this expanded edition ...

      No one does book reviews like you do. I hope you'll be sharing this one ... can't wait to read your take on it.

      :-}

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  13. Linda, the photo reminded me of my great-grandma, so I clicked on your link at Holley's place. I turn 40 this year--it's a milestone, but I feel like my life is just beginning in some ways. I always enjoy the wisdom and fun that the baby boomer generation shares. Here's a Gen X-er toasting you today!

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    1. Oh I'm so glad that great-grandma is coming to mind for you, Sarah! And congrats on turning 40. Yep, life is just beginning.

      What a blessed season awaits you!

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  14. I needed this, Linda. I'm getting close to 55, and I still can't believe I'm not in my 20s anymore. ha. Or at least 30s. I've always thought of age as "just a number" until I hit 50, then I began noticing all the disparaging comments about it. Sigh. We know better though!

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    1. I know, I know! Sometimes I can't quite believe that I'm 60+. It's kinda surreal, but it is what it is.

      And I'm planning on making the best of it.

      Thanks for being here, Lisa ...

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  15. We have a friend who is 92 years young... she still drives, and has an amazing garden, sees with her own eyes, and is as spry and nimble as any 50-year-old! She gives me hope :) She has outlived two husbands, and laughs and loves life greatly. A beautiful woman... indeed, 60 is the new 30, and 70 is the new 40... lol! I love your tribute to age... it comes to us all should we tarry on this earth, and we can choose to embrace the life that we have, with thankful hearts for the breath that we breathe... hugs to you dear friend... and a happy birthday to your dear young 60-yo friend :)

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    1. 92 years young. LOVE that perspective, Marilyn.

      One of my mom's dearest friends is 100. Another is in her late 80s and is still running around in stiletto heels.

      Forever young, for sure ...

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  16. Thank you Linda...I have been giggling a nd shaking my head yes...I will be 51 in March...and health issues have popped up...and like I just told Lulu, I always thought I would age gracefully, funny, the good Lord has other plans, lol.

    Smiles

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    1. How good of Lulu to bring us together today, Linda! So fun to have you join us here ...

      ;-}

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'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda