Today is my birthday – a milestone birthday. One of those birthdays that you are both excited about and dread it’s coming at the same time. This is the big 6-0 birthday and I find myself both looking forward and becoming retrospective.
On the plus side, many grocery stores offer a senior discount on Tuesdays and the local craft store often has 60 and over coupons that I can finally use. I no longer have to worry about forgetting people’s names because as a member of the grey brigade, I am allowed to forget and no one gets too uptight about it. People will make excuses for you and finally start to accept you as you are. You’ll hear yourself described as “colorful” or “she’s led such an interesting life”, for the same things that made you an irresponsible dreamer forty years ago. Funny how things balance out.
On the other hand, there are those gray hairs and wrinkles and when the doctor asks me where does it hurt, I have to write out a list to read so I don’t forget all the bizarre places that are aching.
I don’t remember where I read it (I’m old, you know, deal with it), but someone wrote about loving the colors of fall because the leaves age so beautifully. I really need to hear that because in today’s society, it’s so easy to get caught up in a youth culture that fears aging.
While I may not find the grays, the wrinkles and the extra pounds physically beautiful, I’m realizing that the lessons I am learning have a different beauty all their own. A beauty that is spiritual. A beauty that stands outside of time.
I have learned, and am still learning, patience. I have found many things that are worth waiting for – like taking time to develop relationships,
making time for long walks,
or waking up in time to see a sunrise and still slowing down enough to enjoy the sunset of the same day.
I am developing an empathy and compassion that is much wider than that of my self-centered youth and springs from patience.
I am walking with a faith that has become a quiet bedrock to base my life upon, but also, a springboard for action when needed.
A birthday prayer – Thank you Lord, for calling me to yourself. I would not have chosen the paths that you laid for me, but looking back, I can see that your hand of guidance was always with me. So, Lord, let me live my senior years with the vividness of fall leaves on a crisp autumn day. Let me enjoy the gentle breezes as much as the strong gusts of winds and not question where they send me. Let me live with a vibrancy and beauty that is deeper than the rich green of my early spring ever was.