I’m almost 50. Just typing that out seems so bizarre. Not that 50 is old but I don’t think of myself as being half a century old. But alas, ‘tis true. The wrinkles don’t lie. I don’t mind getting old. I like that my hands look like my mom’s. I like that I have stories.
I don’t want to turn back time. There is honestly a significant amount of pain in my past (as is the case for anyone with a beating heart) that I’d rather not revisit. Can I just say, “middle school” or the exhaustion of being a young mommy? I did love my 30’s however. Those were some good years, but there’s so much striving in our younger years. My 40’s have not been so kind to me. I’m looking forward to 50.
My Friday Five Link Up prompt this week from Mrs. Disciple was Five Perks of (Age). Be sure to go read her post. She’s in her 30’s – good years!
I told my 16 year old that I was writing a post on perks of being almost 50 and that they were all “P’s”. Horrified, she said, “You’re talking about pee???” I said, “Well this IS an issue of being almost 50 but not a perk so… no. That’ll have to be another post for another day.” Or not. I think that’s just something we all know about at our age and would rather not discuss. Can I get an “Amen”?
What’s good about being almost 50? It was hard to limit it to 5 perks but I managed. Ok, no I didn’t. I threw in an extra. Saved the best for last. You’ll see.
With age comes experience. With experience comes perspective. Or at least it should. I am able to see so many things through the lens of my life experiences and the experiences of those around me that give me a much broader perspective than I had at 20. It’s like living in a small town and then traveling the world. You can never think “small town” again. Oh wait, I’ve done that. And it’s true, I can never think “small town” again. My mind, spirit and heart are broadened. I appreciate things from a much bigger perspective than I used to.
Even in pain, even in a mess but especially in the good parts of life. Even in the imminent empty nest season. EVEN in menopause… oh my, yes it’s coming like a freight train, there is a sense of peace. Making peace with my past and moving forward into the great unknown with peace. Maybe I don’t always have peace in the daily but overall, I know Who is in control of this crazy ride. Did you ever see the bumper sticker, “No Jesus, No Peace… Know Jesus, Know peace”? Having experienced the good, the bad and the ugly, I know Jesus better than I ever have before. I also know His peace.
I don’t have to ask for it. Revolutionary! Granted “all things are permissible but not all things are beneficial” (1 Corinthians 10:23). There has to be order and the toilets have to get scrubbed but generally speaking, I don’t have to ask for permission. I delete what I want to delete. Go where I want to go. I get to feel what I feel. Cry when I want to cry. Laugh when I want to laugh. Dance when I want to dance. Nap when I want to nap. I can wear what I want -and it WILL be comfortable.
Up until these years, much of my life story has been dictated for me. Yes, my life choices were mine, marriage, having babies, etc., but my daily choices were made for me. Diapers needed to be changed, kids needed to get to soccer and everybody needed to be fed. I was the sustainer of lives. I’m in the season now where I can eat chips and salsa for dinner and stay up late because you now what?? I can take a nap if I want to. And I do. No one’s life but mine depends on me to survive.
You’ve probably heard, “The days are long, the years are short.” Time is a factor at the age of almost 50 and I know full well that my years are getting shorter and shorter. I don’t feel the need to rush through them. The days matter. I’m walking slower (sometime out of necessity. Almost 50… remember). I’m taking the time to appreciate. I’m taking the time to wonder.
I’m more comfortable with my “yes” and “no” even if it’s not popular. I’m letting go of the need to be perfect. I’m giving myself permission to live.
As an almost 50 year old and an almost empty nester, I’m asking myself what I want to be when I grow up. I’m finding a new purpose. My calling. I’m getting to figure out who Andrea is now and what Andrea wants to do and work those things out as they align with God’s purpose for me. God is clearly showing me that my purpose, my calling, is to write. And I’m being affirmed in that almost daily. It’s quite scary at times because it’s new, but it’s also thrilling.
And a bonus perk… You knew I couldn’t stick to just 5.
In the spirit of sticking with the “P” theme, this is my little Punkin’. We facetime almost every day and I usually greet him with “Hi, Punkin’!” And he smiles. And he grabs the phone and we talk and make funny faces and noises. And I tell him “I love you!” about a hundred times so he won’t forget before tomorrow. Grandkids are most definitely a perk of being almost 50! I love this boy with my entire being.
Oh, sure, there are flip sides to all of these and downsides to every age but this is a perks post so only the good stuff here.
What are some perks to being your age? I’d love to know. Leave a comment here or on the EPFH facebook page.