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 The Struggles of Turning 50

My classmates and I from the graduating class of 1985 are turning 50 this year.

That’s just crazy to me, honestly.

There’s a Facebook message a few of my female classmates have posted which talks about how they’re not ashamed of getting older. It’s a message of embracing their age, not despising it.

I love it, and can relate to the struggle.

Hopefully this won’t sound vain, but many guys also have a hard time getting older. Some aren’t bothered in the least, but others of us are.

My hair bid me “adieu” many years ago, so it’s not a BALD thing. I’ve always struggled with my weight so that’s not it.

It’s me not loving the aging man staring vacantly back at me in the mirror. I guess getting older is harder than I thought it would be.

I used to tell older people, “Youve earned every gray hair and wrinkleenjoy it!” But now that it’s my gray hair (or lack thereof) and my wrinkles, I’m not feeling it.

As I wrote in a blog several months ago, a man from church showed me a picture of myself from just a few years ago, and then nonchalantly noted that I “look much older now.” That’s a tough pill to swallow.

It’s not that I want to be young forever. God forbid! No, it’s more that I have to come to grips with me being more vain than what I ever imagined myself.

The reality I should focus on, however, is that my life has never been better. My grandson just turned 5 and my granddaughter was born two weeks ago. I’ve been married 30 years, have two amazing children and one uber-keen son-in-law.

The fact that I don’t feel as photogenic these days is irrelevant. The truth of my actually looking like a 50-year-old man (GASP!) is one I must accept.

I don’t think of my wife as “old.” No, she’s more lovely and lively now than ever.

I see pics of classmates from my elementary years in New Franklin and my high school years in Alma, and don’t think of them as “looking old.” While I usually don’t comment, especially on posts from my female classmates because I never want to come off as inappropriate, I love to see them embracing their age. It’s a beautiful thing to behold.

What I’m trying to say is this: if you’re struggling with your age, or perhaps more to the point, about looking your age, I feel ya. I get it.

But maybe, just maybe, it’s not about how much older we look than we did in our wedding photos or our senior pictures.

Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young.” – Benjamin Franklin.

I asked my grandson, “Do you think I look old, Joshy?”

He laughed and said, “No! You’re my Poppy.”

And maybe that’s all that matters. If this is the case, it really takes the pressure off trying to look younger.

God, my prayer for today is this: help me love that dude who walks in my shoes, just like You love him. Just like my family loves him.


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