Mid Life – Schmid Life

Check out my "Racing Stripe!" Thanks to my buddy Joe Indovina for this pic.

Staying Happy in MidLife! Thanks to my buddy Joe Indovina for this pic.

“Most people don’t grow up. Most people age. They find parking spaces, honor their credit cards, get married, have children, and call that maturity. What that is, is aging.”

Maya Angelou

I am 57 years old and feel like I am finally coming into accepting this beautiful, whole mid life thing I’ve been going through. I cannot believe at times, how I took my own youth for granted. I also can’t believe the things I worried about in my younger days.

They say youth is wasted on the young and ok, I get it. It would be nice to have a few things back right now, like a smaller waistline. But then I wouldn’t have all this wisdom and maturity I finally get to enjoy.

I can’t lie. It has been hard to accept certain parts of being over 50. Most of all, I can’t believe how naive I was about the changes my body would go through. I’d look at older people and make fun of the sagging skin on their arms or the fact that they couldn’t see or hear. It is pretty humbling when those same things start to happen to you.

I’ve struggled on and off with being ok about the sight and hair changes, the attention and focus issues, and the forgetfulness. Mostly I realize some of those things can happen to anyone at any age. My own 32 year old daughter couldn’t remember her banking PIN number when planning her work conference a few weeks ago. 🙂

So the thinking I’ve been coming into lately has been one of acceptance. Of loving my body and who I am no matter what. Of accepting who I am and embracing my age. (a mantra really for any age!) That’s why my opening quote is by Maya. She and my mother are really my role models for aging acceptance.

I quit coloring my hair a few years ago. It just got to be too much. Too much upkeep, too much trouble. The temptation to take it back to full on (dyed)color left me after the first year. This was one of the things I felt most strongly about- embracing the changes that were really mine, a part of my aging process. I didn’t take hormones through the change either. I had good role models who encouraged me to hang in there. I got better at deciding what I really needed to be emotionally healthy. I left a job that I loved because the drive was too dang far. For me, I have to do the mental work of healthy attitudes before any kind of physical work (like exercise or a career change) can really take root.

You know me pretty well by now to know that I’m a grace and love kind of person. I want to be the child of God who embraces unconditional love for all people. It doesn’t mean I agree with everyone’s viewpoint. It also doesn’t mean I condone unacceptable behavior when someone isn’t treating me well. It just means that I give others the right to have their viewpoint and I expect them to respect mine. And I love them pure and simple for who they are. This is the attitude I try and embrace every day. Aging and faith have taught me this.

When my silver hair grew out, it came in mostly on the sides of my head. I have darker hair down the middle and pure silver all along the edges. I call the darker part my “racing stripe.” And truly, I mean it.

Jo By Tree

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16 thoughts on “Mid Life – Schmid Life

  1. Cathy McElhaney

    I always thought I would grow old gracefully…but I never expected it to happen so soon! I still dye my hair..I even went blonde! I am getting in the best shape I have ever been with Pilates ( I LOVE it!) and walking, walking, walking! I am just not ready…there are grand children to raise and life to be lived! My mother was never ‘old’ either. I remember my daughter in laws saying, after she met my mom for the first time “She’s your MOTHER? How old is she? MY grandmother is 10 years younger and acts 10 years older than her!” Ha ha.
    You look great Joanne…don’t ever change!

    Reply
    1. Joanne Cain Post author

      I love you Cathy! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on age and I love that you are taking care of yourself by walking and Pilates. My mom has aged gracefully and has always wanted to be young at heart.
      Blessings!

      Reply
  2. fgassette

    Love the hair. I’m sixth-six and enjoying it, even with the health problems. I’m alive and that is a blessing. Just brought a chair gym and use it at least twice a day. I find it is not your age but your attitude that counts.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

    Reply
  3. Julie (aka Cookie)

    Joanne I have often lamented in my postings that I am troubled by the chronic need in our western culture to hide, do away with, defy our aging. The incesent need by so many in our society to augment this and that simply in the name of vanity and youth. Now I’m not saying we should say to hell with it all–I believe in aging and dealing with what comes with that aging. I do not color my hair, botox, dress in the clothes of a 20 year old, as so many ladies my age are doing, desperately trying to “recapture” that youth of theirs—there are bigger fish to fry in life then me wanting to lift and tuck this and that and look as if I’m some gorgeous 20 year old.
    Yes I exercise and I work hard at that as at this age it’s not as easy as it once was—and yes I do want to continue having a physical appearance that is “acceptable”—but one thing I have learned in these years hovering between 50 and 60 is that it matters not so much about the acceptance of this youth obsessed, waif thin culture of ours, but the acceptance of God. He takes me wrinkles, crow’s feet, laugh lines, sagging this and that, forgetfulness and silver hair, plus everything else that comes with this wonderful and challenging aging process, as I am—I don’t have to augment, alter, change a thing about this physical appearance of mine for Him and that is certainly fine by me 🙂

    Reply
    1. Joanne Cain Post author

      Julie, how truly beautiful your words are. God loves us as we are, wrinkles, etc.- all of us. I worry too over the obsession with youth in our culture. I’m hoping our generation will change the thinking forever. Embrace our age and live life to the fullest.
      xo Joanne

      Reply
  4. Marianne

    Let’s face it, youth is beautiful…the rich color of the hair, the smooth tight skin. I often catch myself staring at young girls in awe of their thick hair, flawless complexions, taut silky skin, clear eyes, and smooth makeup (no crimps or crooked lines). And I realize, like you, Joanne, how much of my youth I took for granted or wasted away complaining about something I didn’t like about myself.

    Now certainly is the time of acceptance. I, stopped coloring my hair years ago. Oh, I won’t say I don’t miss the lovely true color of my hair, because I do. Color makes one look alive and bright, but it’s way too much trouble to keep up with, as you mentioned, and I think we’re blessed the way we are graying. I’ve gotten many compliments on my gray hair, as I’m sure you have too. You certainly are aging gracefully and beautifully.

    Wisdom? Choices? They are the ultimate gifts of Heaven, and I possessed them once. Hold on tightly, Joanne, they are very fragile.

    You are a beautiful person, who is accomplishing many beautiful things within and without. You are truly blessed.

    Love and hugs,
    Marianne xo

    Reply
    1. Joanne Cain Post author

      As one beautiful woman to another, I appreciate your words and encouragement. I have been greatly uplifted by your example of consistent writing and publishing, and I love love love your spirituality. Thank you for being a part of my life.
      xo Joanne

      Reply
  5. Sunday's Child (trying to be full of grace).

    I join you in celebrating the “over fifty” club.
    As you, I have earned the right to celebrate my age.

    While I still color my hair (my last toxic hold out) I exercise more now than I had time to in my younger days. I eat better, I take the time to be in the moment and I find happy and grateful every single day.

    I love your girlish giggle. I adore the twinkle in your eyes. The fact that you don’t wear bedazzled skin tight jeans………..makes me love you even more.

    Being apart of your “silver” club is pure goodness.

    Your honest and wise Grace about you, sort of spills over to all of us who brush elbows with you.

    Thanks for sharing your insightful wisdom.

    I love that you are okay in your own skin.

    You inspire.

    smiling.
    D

    Reply
    1. Joanne Cain Post author

      We do have a “silver club” don’t we? I love that. Thank you for sharing your grace and love ALL THE TIME! You are a kindred spirit and I’m so appreciative of your friendship.
      xo

      Reply
  6. Cindy

    HI Joanne, what a great pic at the top of this page! It is just plain cute”! Your expression is bursting with “girlish” laughter and charm! It is a wonderful and freeing feeling to be comfortable and secure with who we are both on the inside and out! With all the “beauty” you have in your heart, I wouldn’t want to change a thing about yourself( inside or out)! Enjoy the 50’s…”The Best is Yet to Come”

    Reply
    1. Joanne Cain Post author

      Hi Cindy, well, this was a tough decision- to put that pic of me at top and bottom. Mostly the top pic was the hardest. I am not into promoting myself; I’m into promoting grace and love. But I finally decided I might be an inspiration to someone else, just by that photo.
      This was one of my top most read blog posts of all time. Thank you for being a loyal reader and for being just who you are- a special person!
      xo

      Reply
  7. Gallivanta

    I am so glad you don’t hide those gorgeous silvery curls under another colour. This colour was made for you, just you. It’s as unique as the colour of your eyes, and it suits you perfectly. 🙂

    Reply

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