life after the birds fly the coop

Archive for the month “November, 2014”

Embracing Age

They say that 50 is the new 40. Well, if you ask me, I say “what was 40?” At 50, I feel alive, important, improved, and energized.

Three weeks into a move and a total life transformation with a husband with a new job, out of the house, traveling extensively, I’ve learned that “I can do it!” I can handle things on my own: dealing with contractors, dealing with unfound items I thought I needed but really didn’t, and being alone, a lot. At 50 I can honestly say these are things that I wasn’t prepared for at 40.

I have learned that the smallest of setbacks, like people showing up unexpectedly, or not showing up when they are supposed to, not having all of the kitchen utensils you think you need to make food turn out OK work out. It’s all good.

I’ve learned that I can live with less as easily as I’ve ever lived with more…more contact with others, more demands on my schedule, more expectations, from others and myself….I’ve learned that saying “no” means I’m not letting someone down, but giving myself some power. And when I say “yes,” it truly means “yes.” And that feels SOOO good.

I have learned that I know what I like and what I need, and I can find both, without compromising relationships, integrity, or freedom. I can be kind and be nurtured, not always simultaneously, and that’s okay too.

I have learned that a dog can truly be your best friend. When I was distracted with kids, job, my life, and my extracurriculars, my dog was kind of a “loving nuisance.” I’ve learned that dogs are the most loyal, loving, and steady friends that a person can have. I regret the days when I looked at my pet(s) otherwise.

I’ve also learned that friends come in many shapes, sizes, ages, nationalities. They are my children, my neighbors, my cousins, sisters, brothers, parents, pastors, and more, and they are not delineated by any factors other than they are in my life and we care for each other.

I have learned that my body is a gift. It’s not a venue to express my fitness, my beauty, or my sense of self. It is who I am where I’m at. I can find exercise outside of expensive gyms in the raking of leaves, walking the dogs, and cleaning my house. If I have a “meno-pot,” nobody cares (but me…and I’m gaining progress on accepting that). It may go away. It may not. I don’t care. I appreciate fresh air, nature, the ability to move my limbs at will, and think my own thoughts. It’s a gift many don’t have.

I don’t know if 50 is the new 40 or 50 is the new 60. It doesn’t matter. The important thing is to embrace, accept, and love where you are. Right now. Today. And Tomorrow.

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