Monday, August 3, 2020

Check Engine Light

In other words...welcome to your fifties.

Relax, it's not all bad but there are a few things that catch you by surprise when you hit your fifties, and number one on my list would be how things don't work the way they've always worked. How you go to bed feeling perfectly fine and wake up with some inexplicable ache or pain that in our house are dubbed 'sleep injuries'.

I've written posts about my 20's (here), my 30's (here and here) and my 40's (here), and wanted to hit this current decade before the next rolls in. Barrels in? Eases in? Really hoping it eases in, but since this is 2020 it will probably barrel.

Also, lest anyone's confused, my birthday is NOT today. Carry on.

Once you turn 50 your temple is in need of some significant maintenance, starting with your roots that abruptly and quite rudely need tending all the way down to your mysteriously aching feet. The bigger thing though is there's this thought that niggles at the back of your mind, slowly making its way forward and you kind of scratch your head and think, wait, what? I'm not old. Am I? You have to admit you're not exactly young either, and you need to make peace with that.

It's a process and I bucked and kicked a little at the start. It took me a couple or four years to find my rhythm with this new age, new season, new me that's still the old me inside but definitely not the old me in the mirror, at the eye doctor, or the gym, the salon, the dermatologist or a host of other places.

We're always being told you can do anything, be anything, it's never too late....but when you hit your 50s you know that's not quite true. Yes you can, and I think should, step out of your comfort zone at any age, learn something new, be bold and be brave, but also there's your back to think about and how you like going to bed at a decent hour and why can't I remember a person's name when I only met them five minutes ago?

In writing these decade posts it's been interesting to look back and see what all transpired in the course of ten years. I started my 50's with the most fabulous fun surprise weekend in one of my favorite cities on the planet-New York.  I wrote about it here so won't rehash that now, although I wouldn't mind reliving it in person one day.

When everyone calms down I mean.

At the start of my new decade we were living in the wilds of Northern NJ, a hop skip and jump from the Big Apple. One daughter was a very recent college grad embarking on a career path, and one daughter was still a college student. Nothing makes me realize a decade's come and gone in a flash more so than reading back that last sentence.

I loved my girls college years, their friends, having them at home for breaks, long talks in the kitchen as we cooked holiday meals together, maybe not so much the moving them forty gajillion times in ridiculous heat and suffocating humidity, but those years were awfully sweet in terms of watching them become full fledged adults.

While in my 50's our extended family experienced the devastating loss of one we held so dear and it marked these years in a way very few things can. I was reminded over and over during this decade that God truly is near to the broken hearted.

Time has a way of steam rolling ahead. My girls finished school, one added a Master's Degree to her resume and one married, birthed two babies, moved to the other side of the world.

We retired relatively young, and I say we because even though hubs was the one who retired on paper,  we're a team and we both had to figure out what our new everyday would look like. Also, we moved south and built a house which wasn't aggravating or stressful at all. Ha!

I've traveled a lot in my 50's, made lots of new friends, still treasure the old who knew-me-when, and drum roll...I was given the best title in the world-Nana. Be still my heart.

And now it looks like I'll be rolling in to the next decade during a pandemic.
With a side of crazy because people have lost their ever lovin' minds.

As the decade winds down I can say I've grown accustomed to the new old me. Some days there's still a level of frustration at not being able to jump high and fly fast because in my head I can still jump high and fly fast, but mostly I like knowing God isn't finished with me. That He gives me new mercies every single day, more chances to be a better wife-mother-sister-daughter-friend than I was the day before.

I drop that ball a lot, but I keep picking it up, re-planting my feet forward. If there's anything I've acknowledged in my 50's its that time is fleeting and you never get it back.

So I rage against time, not with botox and plastic surgery, but with grace and forgiveness for others yes, but also for myself because that's where true contentment is born.

I wake up every morning and before my aching feet hit the floor I sing to myself an old camp song...'this is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it...'  Some days the WILL! has to be capitalized and exclaimation pointed, but in this season I know with a certainty I haven't felt since my 20's, that how you view your life is a choice. I choose joy.

I want to be grateful for the gift of each new day and for the long list of things I love starting with my hubs who has retained his boyish charm, my beautiful daughters who are solid in their faith, their compassion, and their integrity, granchildren who light up every corner of my heart, and the beauty of creation right outside my window.

The proverbial 'they' say 60 is the new 40 and since I absolutely loved my 40's I'm saying cheers to this next new decade looming large in my front window.


  1. This is a well-written review of your past ten years (and more). I love every line. You inspire me to choose joy in spite of what we see around us. Joy is definitely the better option.

  2. What a great post. Though I have not found my 60s to be the new 40s, I am confident that you will. You are active and youthful and you look fantastic. Loved the "sleep injuries" designation for all those morning aches and pains. I spend a fair amount of time looking up my current sleep injury on Brad and Bob's You Tube channel. They're the best physical therapists in the world or so they say.

    Here's to a world calming is my prayer along with so many.

  3. What a beautiful post and you will embrace the 60's just as you have every other decade. And, you will do it with grace and charm. Like you, I've never been as aware that making every day count is sooooo important, I have no time to waste. Blessings abundant to the sassy 60's that await you!

  4. You always make me feel more positive Joyce. Great post.

  5. This is a beautiful post. As someone who is much closer to 70 than to 60, I really enjoyed your "recap". We must be grateful and content in where we are as we age, that's the only way to really be happy.

  6. What a wonderful look back at all your 50's decade afforded you. You look fabulous by the way. Now you have me singing ...and be glad in it, and be glad in it.

  7. Well said, Joyce. Gosh, I'm looking at 69 this year. How does that happen? Sixty IS the new 40 so you do have much to look forward to and be thankful for! Sending an early birthday hug!

  8. Thanks Joyce! I'll turn 50 in November, so a I appreciate the wisdom, humor, and perspective. Blessings!
    Laughter and Consistency

  9. Thanks. You made me laugh - and cry a little. I'm 3 1/2 years ahead of you so I read your post and felt I experienced what you have, and are... and will. I love to think that we of our generation are aging better than our mothers & grandmothers. We dress, think, and act younger than they did in their 60's. But maybe they felt the same way. All we can do is see the joy and enjoy the ride, and spread love around. I'm sure you will do that!

  10. Hi Joyce, you make honour to your name always... JOY...! I enjoyed enormously reading your 50s decade and what a great exercise this is...! It really makes you realised HOW blessed we are!
    And the review made me be thankful for all my blessings- ‘sleep Injuries’ and all , I have so much to thank our Lord for -like you , especially for my two grandsons who light all my face and 💓. Love reading you and as one who is very closely to my 70s I can tell you that the 60s ride is much more enjoyable precisely because we have seen our children become good adults and great parents... now, it’s our time to delight in them..!!

  11. You have definitely been blessed. How nice to retire early and have your beautiful home on the lake. I enjoyed reading this post. The years never bothered me until I turned 60!! Happy Birthday and may God continue to bless you and watch over you and your family.