Updated: Jun 16, 2019
Planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still yield fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and very green, to declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. ~ Psalm 92: 13-15
Here I am, on the eve of my 55th birthday, reflecting on my life. How did the years go by so quickly? Am I really middle-aged?
When I first entered the workforce in my late teens, I thought my coworkers who were in their 40s were old; those in their 50s were really old. I was amused when the ladies in the office talked about hot flashes, gravity and memory lapses. Hair color and retirement plans were their favorite lunchtime topics. I listened to them tell stories of the “good old days.” I couldn’t relate to the generation gap they talked about. I smiled when they forgot what they were saying in mid-sentence. While they blamed hormones, I honestly thought they were melodramatic; I concluded they had always been forgetful and easily distracted. I giggled when they told me getting older was not for sissies.
Yet, now here I am. By my own youthful definition: really old. As many times as I throw off the bedcovers, only to sit up moments later to pull them back over me, I should have tone arms and a flat abdomen. I share stories with the newbies of a workplace before computers and how I used carbon paper to make duplicate copies of correspondence. As I demonstrated how to use carbon paper, I realized I was on the mature side of the generation gap. Hair color and retirement plans are everyday topics. Really, believe me when I tell you my mind was once sharp and focused. I do have it all together…I just can’t remember where I put it. Dang hormones.
While I would definitely do some things differently, I am thankful I don’t have significant regrets. I made my share of stupid decisions and unwise choices; yet in hindsight, each one was a lesson learned and a stepping-stone. I’ve spent many days in the valley enduring difficult times; by God’s grace, I persisted and rejoiced on the mountaintop. Each experience, tear and heartache, have been expertly woven together by the Lord’s hand, creating a beautiful life tapestry.
As with each new season of life, I do have some trepidation. Most likely, I have lived more days than I have left to live. I wonder if I planned well enough for retirement. I know I will continue to wrestle with gravity and, at some point, decide gray hair is age appropriate. I have earned the right to respectfully speak truth to the younger generation. I look forward to an encore career, where it isn’t all about the paycheck or climbing the ladder.
So while I may now be an official middle-aged AARP card carrier, there is still work to be done for the Lord. I will continue to look for opportunities to encourage others. I will testify of God’s goodness and declare His faithfulness. I will tell stories of what He has done in my life over these past five decades.
And, just so you know, getting older ain’t for sissies.