I stepped into the classroom of second graders and made my way to the teacher's desk. "Are you someone's grandmother?" one little munchkin asked.
"No, I'm the substitute teacher," I said with forced smile, trying to recover from such a fierce Reality Check that early in the morning, and making myself promise not to hold a grudge against that little...um, cutie pie.
I turn 54 in less than two weeks...indeed, quite old enough to be someone's grandmother. If you're 55 or older, you're probably calling me a baby. But if you're 40 or younger, I'm sure 54 sounds as old to you as it looked to that second-grader. I remember when it sounded old to me, too.
But I don't feel old. In so many ways I feel the same as I did at 5 and 10 and 18, and in those moments when I said "I do" and held each of my babies for the very first time.
When I was facing 50, time took on new meaning. The hour glass was more empty than full, and not only had I wasted a lot of it, but I could see what was left slipping away, seemingly faster and faster.
It made me think about aging. What it meant to me. How I wanted it to look on me.
I decided I wanted to be able to enjoy whatever time I had left. I knew the road ahead was full of physical potholes, so I focused on getting healthy, from the inside out. I felt guilty for taking my body for granted for so many years and vowed to treat it right from then on.
I became my own best friend, accepting the good and bad, my weaknesses and strengths, likes and dislikes. I developed high expectations for myself, but also cut myself some slack. I focused on finding balance, although it's still a struggle. Work. Play. Time alone. Time with friends and family. Giving. Taking.
I refused to give into the stereotypes, the standard expectations of what it means to be an older woman, of what's considered "proper". I decided to shake things up in my life, to stretch and appreciate all aspects of myself, to discover and expand the talents God gave me.
In the process I discovered a sense of freedom and excitement and joy that I'd never known.
So as I head into another year, I'll just continue being me, who wears jeans, loves to dance, and wants to keep learning till the day she dies.
Because aging with grace just means living with grace, whether you're celebrating your first birthday or your 100th.
I wish I'd started sooner.
GenerationFabulous's latest blog hop on what aging gracefully means to us. Go HERE to see the other contributions.
Powered by Linky Tools
Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list...