I thought about keeping this one quiet. Or at least quiet-er. Is it really a good idea for everyone to know that I’m turning SIXTY?
I struggle here. We should all be proud of our age. Right? You know, “Gray hair is a crown of splendor” stuff. But then I wonder, will folks still ask me to speak if they know I’m that “old?” I hear over and over, “We’re trying to reach a younger audience.” Or will people buy a book from “Old Elisa?” Sure, Joyce Meyer and Phyllis George and Stormie Omartian sell gobs of books. But me?
Who am I kidding? While I might not exactly look sixty, I sure don’t look that much younger, as a very polite waiter responded to me last week while I was out to a celebratory lunch with friends. That turkey skin on one’s throat doesn’t lie.
And then it hit me – Hey! This blog is called Really. And it’s about living really and really living. So why pretend? Why not embrace – and invite others into what (really) can happen when we turn SIXTY?
So I’m sharing a list of six realities I’m embracing about turning sixty:
1. Perspective. I can see better from here. Well, not physically of course. I leave reading glasses of various strengths all around my house. But in my heart soul, I can better see what doesn’t matter and what truly does. (Pet stains, fingerprints and dishes in the sink vs. family gathered around the table, friends answering my texts and a body that can walk two one-hundred-plus pound dogs.)
2. Urgency. When I number my days, I tally about ten years ahead for the current level of investment I enjoy. Sure, those years might be struck short by illness or family need or the state of our world. Or they might stretch out even further. But waging the odds, there are about ten years left to write and speak and mentor and lead by stewarding the gifts God has placed in me. Before my voice is even more crackly and my throat is even more turkey-like.
3. Freedom. (I LOVE this one!) While I care (sort of) about what others think of me, I’ve given up being ruled by such thoughts. I stay in my workout outfit (that I rarely actually work out in) most of the day. I refuse to carry about the dead weight of everyone else’s choices. I’m running out of energy and time and breath. Even though I work hard and never give up, I still can’t do everything I want to do. When I find toilet paper hanging out of my jeans (really?) I truly laugh. Hard and without too much of a blush.
4. Honesty. Recently someone told me, “I’ve never heard someone be as transparent as you are as a speaker. It’s like you say everything that goes through my head but you say it out loud. On a platform.” (I think the woman meant this as a good thing.) Yup. I’m not pretending anymore. It’s too hard to fake it. And it doesn’t help anyone. It just perpetuates the mythology that anyone really can ever be perfect.
5. Parameters. Physical parameters: Due to a herniated disc, which required multiple spinal injections to carry on any kind of enjoyable life, I’m finally (sorta finally) admitting that my own body is changing. Not just the turkey chin thing - no, my real body as in my physical being and lifespan. Mind parameters: Mine aren’t the only opinions that matter. Other people think carefully about issues and interpretations and deserve consideration and respect. There are oh so many more. I’m learning to live within the parentheses of parameters.
6. Gratefulness. At last, I’m grateful, really grateful for the good and bad, easy and hard, beautiful and broken elements in my life. I see the value of both. I thank God when a friend lingers in the deathwatch as I observe her family and friends (me among them) gradually release our grip on her presence in our days. I remember what my daughter was praying for a year ago and notice – really notice – how God has granted exactly that in her days today. I finally understand what women ahead of me meant when they said their husband is their best friend.
Sacred sixty. Happy birthday to me! All sixty years of me. Really.
Want to send me a birthday greeting? Here’s what I’m asking for this year:
Go to my Elisa Morgan Author Facebook page. If you haven't already "liked" it, then like it and share it. When you share, encourage your friends to sign up for the Really blog. I like friends and birthdays are a great time to make friends.
Another way to celebrate is for you to encourage 6 friends to sign up for Really. Text or email 6 of your friends to sign up for the weekly blog at www.elisamorgan.com.