So why aren’t “50 somethings” hashtagging, DIYing, Pinning and Snapping? In our own ways we have "been there done that!”
We wrote recipes on 3x5 index cards and shared them with our friends.
We took rolls of film to be dropped off and be picked up a week later costing $10 for 24 pictures. Half of them were blurry or too dark to even see what the picture was. We had photo albums where we slid each picture into plastic pockets on pages.
We looked at magazines and cut out pictures with scissors and took them to the paint store to match the paint or to find fabric at Hancock.
For some face time with a friend we would sit in real life and chat.
We washed our faces with Dove soap and that’s all because that's what our grandmother did and that's what our mom did.
To share something fabulous with our friends we would call them on the family phone that was attached to a wall with a long curly cord that oftentimes got tangled. (Our’s was aqua!) The phone was hung on a hook and if you didn’t put it back on the hook no one could call. (Okay, that’s it! Now I’m officially sounding old!)
We called a list of 20 people to plan an event, left messages on answering machines and didn’t mind waiting until they called back.
We wrote handwritten letters on yellow legal pads to friends. (Yellow was the only color.)
When we traveled we would stop in certain cities where friends or family lived, find a phone booth, pop in a quarter to give them a phone call to save money on our long distance phone bill.
We loved making collages. We would cut out words and pictures from magazines and glue them on poster board with Elmer’s drippy white glue which caused the clippings to warp when dry but we didn’t care.)
For party invitations we visited the Hallmark store, bought a tiny package of 20 invitations, filled in the blanks, licked, stamped and sent. (Think Precious Moments here.)
There was only one book store. We would browse to find a book to buy and read. We had no idea what all of our friends were reading but that didn’t matter.
The athletic department at Wal-Mart had two items for exercise. Gym shorts and t-shirts. This is what we wore to exercise. By exercise I mean walk or jog. But we did get excited when step-aerobics was offered at the church.
We “50 somethings” have decorated, crafted, “recipeed”, trained children, traveled and exercised and shared it all with others in our own simple ways.
We have also addressed one too many Christmas card and we are tired. It was amazing how many of my friends decided not send out cards this year, but more interestingly, were “okay” with it. In a wonderful way we feel free of being defined by all of that but at the same time we are thinking, “What now?”
Here I am in a blink - I just turned 51. I am the “older woman”. There was something cool and savvy about turning 50, but being 51 feels pretty blah and hum-drum. Welcome to the 50’s! It didn’t feel very welcoming to me. It felt more like I was about to go down a long dark hallway not knowing where it would take me. As I sat and pondered all of this, God spoke and said to me,
“But what if you haven’t even seen your best days?”
What? Many of us feel as if “those days”, the days when the house was full of kids, activities and even the dreaded laundry, were our best days. Why? Probably because we enjoyed it so much. Maybe it’s time to change our perspective.
We have lived out many of our dreams and still feel a bit dissatisfied. It was so wonderful (well, most of it!) and we doubt there is a future up ahead that can beat those days. I do wonder where the mother bird flies when her nest is empty? The comfortable life of retirement seems attractive but sometimes purposeless. I’m convinced that we don’t want to live our lives around “the next time the kids come to visit.” And something tells me that they don’t want that either!
You’ve heard it said, “Live every day as if it were your last.” What does that do to you? It makes me feel under so much pressure. Like, live every minute to the fullest. Is that even possible? These kinds of messages drag me down because I’m sure I can never ever measure up to this. That’s why I got excited when I began to believe that I hadn’t even seen my best days. That message shines such a positive and winsome light. I started looking for my next purpose in life. I started praying earnestly that God would send it to me. I began to look at all the ways God crafted my life, my strengths, my passions, my skills for a particular purpose and the future began to seem very exciting. I was telling my friends, “What if we haven’t even seen our best days?!” In fact my family heard me chant it with so much joy and expectancy that my husband had my birthday cake decorated with “The best is yet to come!”
My friend Leslie and I were discussing living out our lives with the fullest, God-given capacity. Capacity means “grown and stretched, not withdrawn and shriveled.” She reminded me of the purpose of wineskins. This is such a fabulous analogy for those of us who are entering this next stage. (Notice, I didn’t say season. If I say that I feel like I’m probably winter...cold, dark and dead!)
Leslie said, “The wineskins are filled regularly - they stretch to hold much more than they could when first made. Unused, they shrivel and shrink.”
That’s it! Fill ourselves with God-given purpose on a continual basis. How am I living out my days at fullest capacity? This is driven by purpose. We were designed to live life making a difference no matter what age or stage. So go out there and find your purpose. Then you won’t retire...you will refire!
I am that “50 something” woman - and I’m getting okay with it.
These types of posts can be inspiring but very frustrating at the same time. You might be thinking, “It sure is easy for her to say, ‘Go find your purpose!’ And leave it at that.”
Here is a little takeaway. I believe that life has changed us with its bumps and trips along the way. This, coupled with amazing experiences, as well as the not so amazing, has made us new people. We are different. Life has changed us. We have more skills, more understanding, more grace and definitely more freedom. It’s time to go and discover who we are now at 50 something. It’s time to re-discover who we were before we were wrapped in the amazing role of motherhood. Take some time for yourself and go on a treasure hunt. You are a treasure right where you are.
So wake up tomorrow believing the possibility that,
“Your best days are ahead!”
If you are interested in going on a treasure hunt of finding new life purpose you can go here to read more about how to re-discover your life.