(Inside: Moms stress about getting older. There are hard parts to aging, but there are awesome awesome things about moms getting older…)
My birthday is here.
My husband asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I didn’t even have to think, “Not to turn 38.” With each passing year, I dread more reluctantly my birthday.
But, the ironic part is, when I think back on my life and best years, they’re always the years I’m in.
The twenties brought a career and marriage and a move to a beautiful state.
The thirties brought two more sons, introduced me back to my career, and gave me the confidence to pursue writing.
Then, I look at people ahead of me in life and notice they seem rather happy too.
Perhaps each decade holds its own charm.
Maybe aging isn’t such a crisis, but rather a bridge we cross into a more empowered life.
Because when I really think about it. When I stop all the things and I reflect, some of the best parts of my life have come with age. Every time we blow out the next set of candles, gifts are given to us that only come with age…
(Side note: I am painting with a broad stroke here. These are the ways I’ve seen myself grow. It might look different for you, but I hope it’s just as impactful.)
1. We feel empowered to dream bigger.
I love that with each passing year, I seem to discover a few more of life’s treasures and dream bigger. (Why can’t I do that? Why can’t it be me? I’m going for it.)
2. Our confidence is increased.
I’m past the “first big things” part of my life – I have gotten married, chosen a career, bought a car, bought a townhome, sold a townhome, bought a house, remodeled our home, gave birth to three sons, started a tutoring center from my home…etc. I look back on my life experiences and see what I have done, and think – I’ve got this life thing! Bring on the next challenge!
3. Our faith is more grounded.
I’ve seen God pull beauty from pain, turn impossible situations into okay, and continually reveal Himself to me. I also better understand pain, how my anxiety works, and how I feel comfort and nourishment. It’s a journey, I don’t know if I’ll ever be “there,” but through layer after layer of experience, I’ve learned to better walk with God and trust in him. I have a “peace in him” now that I didn’t have in my early twenties, and for that, I am incredibly grateful.
4. We have a more healthy view of how I let other people’s opinions impact us.
Through experience, I have learned – really learned, over and over – that people aren’t thinking about me all the time. They are too busy trying to get things done in their own life. In general, people don’t stress over our stupid mistakes as we do. Everyone’s too busy with their own problems. It isn’t all about us and that is so great! It helps up better make the best decisions for ourselves and our families without the weight of outside opinions – so emotionally freeing!
5. It’s easier to get compliments on our outfits. (Hear me out on this one!)
I taught high school all through my twenties, took a break to be home with my boys in my earlier thirties and this is my first year back in the classroom. I now get way more compliments on my outfits from my students than when I was a twenty-something-year-old teacher. This has made me wonder why…because, if anything, I put less effort into my attire now that I am trying to get myself and three little boys out the door.
I concluded that when you get older, the expectations of wearing trendy clothes go down. So, now that I am back in the classroom and for the first time in my teaching career am technically old enough to be my students’ mom, I don’t think they expect much out of my attire, so when I do dress cute – they tell me.
It’s kinda awesome.
6. We have a greater appreciation for life.
I don’t think everyone is invincible like I did in my youth. My grandma is gone, and my grandpa joined her this year… I long to have those sweet people back with me. Also, I’ve lost friends and acquaintances at way too young of ages. Accidents or illnesses have stolen beautiful people from us here on earth.
So, when I look in the mirror at the increased lines and deeper sages, how vain of me not to appreciate that I get to still be here on this planet with my family. And even more, I’m healthy, my parents are healthy, I have a beautiful family and loyal friends. I’m blessed. Every day is a gift.
7. We have learned to live more intentionally.
With age comes wisdom, discernment, and a better ability to know in my gut what really is important to me. With that comes a different kind of ability, a stronger one, to live my life with more intention.
8. Our overall deep joy, the kind that doesn’t depend on circumstances, is stronger and healthier.
Bottom line, passing years, and reflection experiences help me see how much beauty life holds. I’m grateful to be on this earth surrounded by amazing people and things right here, right now. I better understand real joy and feel it more daily.
So back to my husband bringing up my birthday. Back to the fact that a cake with my name on it is sitting in the fridge. My birthday.
I’m making a choice.
I’m going to feel the joy of celebrating the day that God created me today.
And realize that many of life’s greatest gifts…
Only come with moms getting older.
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Cheryl is a mom of 3 boys, wife, speaker, high school teacher, and author of Empowered Moms & Kids. She has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and is passionate about learning and teaching. On www.empoweredmomsandkids.com you’ll find inspiration and encouragement for moms raising tweens and/or teens. Read more in the “about” section of this page.