Saturday, January 21, 2012

Pinch Me...I'm Middle Aged

I'm comfortable in my own skin!
To some degree, I've always been "old." Even when I was young, I was old (at heart). Partly because of my childhood, growing up very quickly because of the turmoil in my formative years, and partly because I've always had a slant for the "mature."

Then I had children. I never wanted to be an "old" Mom. It took me 10 years to get pregnant and hold a pregnancy, so I was 32 when I had my twins. Recently it hit me....I'm middle aged. Wow! When I turned 40 (3 years ago) - sad but I just had to write down...2012 - 1969 to make sure I was going to be 43 - I had a very difficult time, you can read about it here. My friends, who were in their 40s always said how liberating it was, I didn't get it. The truth is up until a few days ago, I still didn't get it. I didn't want to admit that, so I got really good at believing I got it, but I don't think I really did. I would say that your 40s were fine...but liberating, freeing...I wasn't feeling it.

Here is my theory and my most recent lesson on being middle aged. (The following paragraphs are penned with the help of my 40 year old ramblings... Don't hold too much weight...obviously these are generalities...we are all very very unique!) When you are 11-12 years old, you are somewhat of a misfit. You are not really a "child" anymore, but you're not quite a teenager either...where do I fit? Then you are in your twenties...still very young...still hanging on to a number of those things that you did when you were in your late teens (18-19)..20s no big deal. In your twenties too, I think you could still get away with having all your "drama"...still kind of fall into that trap of "it's all about me" stage. For some their graduating college, others who have chosen different paths have chosen their life direction by their late twenties (have children, got a job...).

Then come the thirties. I think this might be a kind of a misfit age too. Not in my young twenties (extended late teenage), not quite in my forties (oh goodness NO!), kind of a strange level place. Probably a very necessary place to find our footing and our place to handle our next phase.

You see I totally skipped my twenties. So when I had toddlers, I had to find others who had toddlers too. Most of them came in their 20s. I'm so glad for those young people in my life that helped make my 30s..purposeful...helped me stay..."young". So no wonder when 40 came, it felt scary.

I'm here to tell you, 40 really is fabulous. And I'm not at all exaggerating. I woke up one morning last week and realized...I love being old. There is a comfort in this fits me! I'm not into petty drama, I don't want to be consumed with being overly critical..(that starts building in the late teen years..because of course you know everything when your 16...) Just kidding!...kind of. When you reach know you've hardly ever been right, you've made tons of mistakes, your body is not yours anymore and as my friend once put it.."it's work to stay dignified on a high fiber diet." Well, lots of grace abounds as we get older!

Being in your 40s of course you are looking at your 50s. I know for me, I'm digging in my heels and enjoying this place of freedom. Freedom to be mature (or act goofy), have gray hair and maybe not hide it (I'm not there yet), freedom to not feel like your too young to have wisdom and letting go of trying to fit in places I don't really belong....after all, I'm not 20 anymore.

I know I'm not the only one who grapples with my age now and again. Here is the bottom line, I am fearfully and wonderfully made, I don't know everything, but I do know some things. Life has taught me lots of things of which I chose to learn lessons - (you know sometimes we chose not to learn and have to repeat lessons over and over again). I'm a Jesus lover, a wife of 21 years and a Mom of 10.5, I have lots of lessons to continue to learn. I love people, people of all ages & I'm thrilled to still have young people in my life - hip young people who still want to do "coffee" makes me smile! I still feel like I could fit anywhere, but realize where my main source of encouragement will come from. I do have peers..and in your 40s...that is just as important as it was in your 20s.

Pinch me...I'm totally thrilled to be middle aged...I really really am! I feel like I've just gotten my passport and I'm headed for a great new adventure. I know I'm weird! That is OK, because I'm in my 40s and it really is liberating! :)

1 comment:

Michelle said...

You are young at heart so go with that dear friend, plus my dad always said life begins at 50, so hold on, you're not there yet!