Friday, February 02, 2007

Reflections on Turning 50

Lisa and I had our pictures taken this week for the church directory. Maybe it was the lighting but I could see more of my scalp through my hair than ever before. When it came time to decide if we just wanted the free picture or buy additional copies, the free one was more than enough! As another 50+ friend of mine said, "Why do I want to show people how old I am?"

Other than the mirror not being nearly so flattering any more, I enjoy my "coming of age". I came across a new view of what it means to be "over the hill" that I could relate to and want to pass on to you as well.

On the Journey To Aging Gracefully

I turned fifty last month, "over the hill" as many cards declared. In the months leading up to my birthday, I was puzzled by the thought of turning fifty: How could this have happened? I do not feel like I am fifty. Gradually, with reflection on the experiences of my life and all the learning that has come from those experiences, my focus turned to the wisdom that has come from fifty years of living. Yes, I am "over the hill" of trying to earn love instead of accepting the grace of unconditional love; "over the hill" of worrying so much about what everyone else thinks of me instead of delighting in being me; "over the hill" of trying to save the world, learning that "being with" is more important than doing.

My aching knees, greying hair and need for reading glasses cannot be denied as parts of the aging process. They are proof that I have grown up, but now I desire to grow down, to grow deeper, into greater communion with God and with the people in my life. Most of life's lessons, like those mentioned above, come to me over and over again, each time in a deeper, more meaningful way. The one that is most prominent for me at fifty is that relationships are the key to a fruitful life. I look forward to learning more about life and love, fruitfulness and joy, as I continue on the journey "over the hill" towards sixty.