My family is celebrating a milestone that makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time: I’m turning 50! I want to cry because well, it’s FIFTY, for heaven’s sake, and when I look in the mirror, I can see I’m not a spring chicken anymore. I want to laugh because my 40’s were my best decade yet, and I hope life continues getting better.
When I was 20, 50 year old women looked mature, established, and OLD! Surely by fifty a woman would have her act together. However, I now realize that unless something drastic changes, I’m not going to be able to get myself together by May 8th. But I’m happier now than when I was thirty. I’m still learning and growing. That’s progress, isn’t it?
The Bible has some positive things to say about aging (and hopefully maturing):
“Gray hair is a crown of glory…” Proverbs 16:31
“Wisdom belongs to the aged,
and understanding to the old…” Job 12:12
I’m sorry to say that thanks to L’Oreal, I’ve spurned the gray hair God meant to be a crown of glory, but I have learned some things about myself, God, life, and relationships. Here’s what I’m still learning after 50 years:
How to View Yourself
1. Remember that you are an amazing masterpiece crafted by God with unique gifts and talents.
2. Receive God’s forgiveness and grace when you mess up. If God forgives you, don’t withhold forgiveness from yourself.
3. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Step out and take risks to be the person God created you to be.
4. You can make a difference in someone’s life today, even by making a phone call.
Relationship with God
5. Remember God’s amazing love for you. Receive it. Remain in it.
6. Fifteen minutes a day with God will change your life.
7. Change your focus from your problems to his power. Turn up the music and worship.
8. Don’t be afraid to pray for miracles. God will surprise and amaze you.
9. Give thanks for 5 things every day.
10. Ask God to forgive you for 5 things every day.
Relationships with People
11. Say “I love you” often.
12. Focus on listening.
13. Don’t wait for people to call you because “it’s their turn.”
14. Deal with conflicts as they come up. Remember you don’t have to have the last word.
15. Don’t forget the power of touch. Love on your people with hugs, pats, and kisses.
16. Breathe deep and count to 10. Keep calm and carry on.
17. When life is too much, take a walk around the block.
18. Don’t be afraid to say “no.”
19. Listen to relaxing music while you work.
20. Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. Go to bed early. Tomorrow will be better.
So given the choice between laughing and crying as I celebrate my 50th, I’ll choose laughing any day, and my family decided to celebrate it up. Join me on Thursday for what I’ve learned about enjoying life, maintaining perspective, marriage, self-care, and real life hacks.
I’d love to hear from YOU. How old are you –if you don’t mind sharing– and what’s something you’ve learned?