Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Halfway to 90

Many thanks to family and friends who sent me birthday cards, emails, and phone calls celebrating my natal day yesterday.

One of the greatest challenges of getting older, I think, is learning to do so gracefully. I have this horror of doing something or acting in a way that would make people look at me and say, "Mutton dressed like lamb."

A few months ago I went through the postpartum "bonk" of having my hair fall out by the handful. Much of what is growing in around the edges is coming back in silver. To color, or not to color: that is the question. For now, I have settled on not coloring. Part of this is laziness and a wish not to poison myself with chemicals absorbed through my scalp, and part of this is the desire to get comfortable with getting older.

At the same time I am learning to make peace with grey hair and new lines on my face, I am also trying not to fall into complacency and just letting myself go. Did I mention the shiny new elliptical machine in my basement? Now that my coughing is practically nonexistant and I can take a breath without hacking and turning blue, I think I'll be able to get on it and start walking off the extra poundage that I have acquired throught the years. This recent bout of illness has been helpful in that it helped me to get off the sugar, yeast and wheat -- all things that make me "fluffy."

I'm not sure how 45 is supposed to feel. In some ways I feel like I have been this age forever, and in other ways I still feel like a naive 18 year old who still has a lot to learn. I have accumulated a lot of regrets over the years -- duties left undone, things done that should have been left undone, and I woke with the desire to pray and ask God for forgiveness for all my failings and grace to help me through my remaining days. This Psalm came to mind:

Psalm 32

Blessed is he whose
transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man to whom
the LORD does not impute iniquity
And in whose spirit there is no deceit.

When I kept silent, my bones
grew old
Through my groaning all the
day long.
For day and night Your hand
was heavy upon me:
My vitality was turned into
the drought of summer [Selah.]
I acknowledge my sin to You
And my iniquity I have
not hidden.
I said, "I will confess my
transgressions to the LORD."
And You forgave the iniquity of
my sin. [Selah]

For this cause everyone who is
godly shall pray to You
In a time when You may be
Surely in a flood of great
They shall not come near him.
You are my hiding place;
You shall preserve me from
You shall surround me with
songs of deliverance.

I will instruct you and teach
you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye.
Do not be like the horse
or like the mule,
Which have no understanding,
Which must be harnessed with
bit and bridle.
Else they will not come near you.

Many sorrows shall be to the
But he who trusts in the LORD,
mercy shall surround him.
Be glad in the LORD and rejoice,
you righteous;
And shout for joy,
all you upright in heart!

Here's to another year, Lord willing. May I not be a horse or an ass in it.


katrina schumacher said...

Glad you made it this far deary, 45 seems so long ago to me, six years, and such a change that came during them, the leaving of all my children and the departure of our dear Grant.

Please know that I continue to love you and pray for you and your family.



Carol said...

I came here to comment, even if you had not written a new post, so I was pleased to find one to read. *grin* This is "De-Lurking Week" and I wanted to show you I care by making a comment. *grin*

Happy Birthday, Cheryl! Hope this year will be your best yet! My birthday was the day before yours! :-)

Joyce said...

Dear Cheryl,May you not be overcome by the regrets or what ifs, but may the LORD sanctify all those things to your good. Romans 8:28. Yes, may this coming year be one of God's blessing.

Manda said...

Amen and Happy Birthday! Love and hugs!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you that you shouldn't colour your hair. I did that in my 30's as I had so much gray. Now, I'm sorry that I coloured it. I am trying to get it lighter each time I go for my monthly "dye" job so that I will eventually end up being blondish and then I will let it go natural gray. I have to do this gradual so that I don't shock people.
Tried to call you on your b'day, but you were out.
Love, Mom

TulipGirl said...

May the coming year be filled with unexpected joys!

And, I'm so afraid this is going to come out wrong, but please take it as the compliment it is intended to be. . . You're younger than I thought! *blush* Your posts have the air of years of wisdom and maturity, that I just assumed that you had left 45 behind you years ago.

(And since I don't recall ever seeing a picture of you. . . well. . . most bloggy friends look nothing like I imagine them to. . .)