A Certain Age

Happy Birthday?          Yes please!

It’s been an interesting year.  Almost a year ago, to the day, I turned fifty.  It was no big deal.  Just another birthday.  It’s only a number.  That was before my body rose up against me.

Every symptom I Googled brought up an article that started with the words “At a certain age . . .”  WHAT certain age?  Surely I’m not at any certain age.

Look, it took me forty years to feel beautiful in my body, only to find a completely different one now, just a few years later.  What cruel joke is this?

Well I’m not going back to hating myself and despising the person in the mirror.  There is another birthday looming, and I am determined to find the beauty in my new self.

The following is what I have come up with so far:

  • Older and wiser.  The decisions I make are based on experience, not whim or intuition.  When people ask my opinion they take it to heart.
  • Beautiful.  People are beautiful.  Faces are stories.  Eyes are windows.  My face and eyes say I have a story.
  • Confidence.  Having experience brings confidence.  As I age, I am more confident in the beliefs I hold, based on my experiences.  Having confidence allows me to be myself.  Right out loud.  Ever wonder why Gramma Shirley was so outspoken?  The span of life experience and the confidence it gave her, earned her to right to speak up.  I can’t wait to be really old so I can say some really outrageous stuff!
  • Death defying.  Let’s face it.  Every day is a gamble.  Step out your door and you take your life in your own hands.  Heck, stay in and suffer stroke or fall on a wet floor.  I have made it through FIFTY-ONE Minnesota winters and have lived to tell about it.  As of this writing, I have defied death 18,625 days in a row!
  • Touch.  Never underestimate the power of human contact.  As we age, we are touched less and less.  It is a hunger from which many don’t even know they are starving.  Hug much.  Squeeze a hand.  Kiss a cheek.  Pat a back.  Link an elbow.  Nudge an arm in jest.  It is the one gift I receive as I give.
  • Openness.  I keep my mind open, and let everything fly in.  I believe it is when we close our mind to ideas and people that we become old.  I’ve met a great deal of young people who seem very old because they have closed their minds to new things.  And my heart.  I keep my heart open.dscn0572
  • Hands.  My hands may be arthritic, but they can type my thoughts.  They can prepare meals, work in the garden and scratch a dog’s ear.  They wear rings that carry meaning for me.  They remind me of my mother’s own arthritic hands which never stopped moving despite her limitations.
  • Peace.  The opposite of peace is fear.  Fear comes from worrying about what has happened in the past or will happen in the future.  There is only now.  Right now, and only now, can I choose to be at peace.
  • Passion.  For life, for love, for creation.  My passion starts and ends with me.  No one can give it to me, nor can they steal it for their own.  On these pages are my passion.  Enjoy it, hate it, comment on it, but you will not feel it as I feel it.  And as long as I feel it, I am new.

Clicking on the cupcake photo above will bring you to a recipe for
Brownie Batter Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes
on Kevin & Amanda’s Recipes/Delicious recipes to spice up your dinner rotation.

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About Jean

Trying to make sense of it all and . . . for the most part . . . doing it. View all posts by Jean

11 responses to “A Certain Age

  • irishkatie

    Happy Birthday! (Not sure if it was a few days ago..or today…or tomorrow. Does not matter. HAPPY BIRTHDAY *smiles and sends a birthday hug*

    That was beautifully written. And it did have an air of quiet confidence it in. I liked that. (I loved the part where you say you keep your heart open by the way. its a saying I always use.)

    My favorite bullets were several. #’s 1 thru #9 to be exact. *grins* ..

    As for the cupcake recipe. You. Are. Banned. From ever doing that again. OH MY GOD, I clicked on it…and a giant mmmmmmluuscious photo of a choco frosted morsel of heave STARED at me and taunted me. Ohhhh *gurgles in my throat*. I waaannnttt chocolate.

    *smiles*…err..sorry, I got distracted.

    Anyway, here’s to many, many more years…in fact, so much more that when you go to the doctors they will start to say, “I’m amazed at your age you can still whup those young 90 years olds at…”

    • Jean

      First of all, thank you very much! My birthday is today, and I am having a lovely day.

      The cake. I know. *wiping drool*

      “…rock band.” I want to whup the other nursing home residents at rock band. They will have it there by then, won’t they?

      • irishkatie

        OMG…that image you just put in my head…..geriatric rock! *shakes my booty and moves and grooves*….or in my head at that age …*shuffles around and shakes my walker*

        By the way … I still want choco cake….just saying.

  • livingsimplyfree

    I am so glad you found my blog because it brought me to yours, and happy birthday. This is the first post I’ve checked and it rang so true to me, I can’t wait to read the rest of your blog.

    I am turning 50 in December and am happier than I’ve ever been. I was like you, it wasn’t until I reached my 40s that I was prepared to authentically be me. I gave up trying to cut my grey hair 2 years ago and embraced that this is who I am. Some people still tell me I need to hide it, but why? I tell them I earned every one of them.

    I loved every point you made, but the one on beauty and every one being beautiful was so honest. I wish people could find that peace when they are younger. My youngest daughter-in-law is so insecure about her looks (and yes she is beautiful) that she refuses to let anyone see her without her make up fully done. It’s so sad because that was me at her age. Today I wear none, except a little mascara for special occasions (like a wedding)

    • Jean

      Finding your blog almost made me late for work. I can’t wait to go home and read more! Thank you for the kind words. Above all, I try to be honest. Not the “your butt does look fat in that” type of honest, but the “if you feel good in that, you ought to wear it” type honest. Ha!

      I am still wondering what I will do when my grey becomes pronounced. I guess I will decide when I see it. But my family did find a bit of grey along the sides that I didn’t know existed. Oddly, once I got over the shock of it, I was rather excited about it. I hadn’t expected that reaction from myself.

      I look forward to sharing more words, both read and written, with you!

  • Androgoth

    Happy belated birthday, I hope that you
    enjoyed every minute of it my friend, by
    the way that chocolate bun looks yummy
    and I wouldn’t mind one or even three of
    those beauties. Who cares about age, it
    is just a number after all, okay enough of
    that what other goodies did you have, on
    your birthday party of course? 😉 🙂 Mmm

    Androgoth

  • Boomdeeadda

    I’m also ‘a certain age’, was 51 in June. I think it beats the alternative, so I don’t worry too much about it. The whole hot flashes, no sleep thing was a bit of a dilemma, but after 10 years of coping I decided to start HRT, I’m managing so much better and wish I’d done it sooner. I recently bought a giant-magnifying makeup mirror because I couldn’t do my makeup without my glasses anymore. So, a patch here a stop-gap there…it’s all good.

    • Jean

      How wonderful! Congratulations on defying death with me! I used to say it beats the alternative, but after a spell with depression, I stopped saying that, because sometimes in my head I didn’t really believe it. I started Black Cohash, and it has really helped. I no longer wake up wondering “what’s the point?” Remember when we were kids and patches were cool? Let’s run with it! (I bought the magnifying mirror a few years ago! 🙂 ) Thanks for reading!!

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