I have hit “that age”…finally!! These last 6 months have been a real roller-coaster for me. Being in school full time, leading women’s ministry, and now the the big m-pause! Wow, triple whammy! It helps me explain some of the aggressive behaviour I have been exhibiting in the last little bit. Hahaa!
In sociology class yesterday the prof was talking about aging, and what society says about it. We have that magic number (65), gray hair, wrinkles, and menopause. All indicators of aging…or the way our society looks at it, “getting old”!! The sad thing about it all is that we have, as a society, defined it as a time where we become irrelevant, not worth paying attention to, or not valued. “Gray hair and wrinkles are just grey hair and wrinkles”, he says, “but we have attached a negative meaning to them, and for what purpose? To sell more youthful products? If we lived in a gerontocracy, we would look at aging in a totally different light. Aging would then be a valued process, a time where we attain wisdom, experience, and financial security.”
He’s right. As a society we are obsessed with avoiding the aging process. Stay young as long as you can…and buy whatever product (and lies) that are being sold. Billions of dollars a year are spent on creams, trainers, diets, “health”, cosmetic surgery, and leggings (my pet peeve). For what end? So we can perpetuate the myth that being younger makes us somehow more interesting or attractive?
I think it’s just a distraction to keep us from the truth. And as women, we are lied to even more. Why are wrinkles and grey hair more attractive on a man than a woman? Think about it? Sad, isn’t it? We, as women, are constantly being pitted against each other. Turning us into competitors, be it appearance, sex appeal, accomplishment, parenting, firm buns…etc…whatever the latest polls show we are obsessed with. Life becomes a competition.
How can we get out of this?
For me personally, this aging process is GREAT!!! (I am getting closer to seeing heaven! Yay!) Maybe the hormone fluctuations bring out some more aggression, but on the flip side, it could also be making me more truthful…at least to myself. I sag, have wrinkles, a few grey hairs…so what? I can now be released from trying to get attention. That false attention that so many of us think we need in order to be validated as a woman. Truth is, I am not competitive, and I don’t really understand it. It takes up so much energy, and it causes rifts in families and relationships that should matter more. If you’re competitive with the people you love, who wins in the end? No one.
So much of the Proverbs in the Bible talks about wisdom. Wisdom comes with age. And in that knowledge alone, we should look forward to aging.
Proverbs 4:7-8, 10-13 NLT) “Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment. If you prize wisdom, she will make you great. Embrace her, and she will honor you. My child, listen to me and do as I say, and you will have a long, good life. I will teach you wisdom’s ways and lead you in straight paths. When you walk, you won’t be held back; when you run, you won’t stumble. Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life.”
When we look for advice, who do we listen to? Usually we get advice from someone who is older, someone who has gone through a season like we are going through, someone who has lived! Right?
All I can say now, is that if these last 6 months have been this exciting, then I can’t wait to see what is ahead. No matter what comes, with Jesus it is worth all of it. These years that will pass by will be full of adventure, but the best part of it all is that I am getting closer to HOME!!!!