Wednesday, September 7, 2011

This Turning Fifty Thing

There's something about turning 50.  I don't know why, but there just is.  Most of my life, I've worried about how I looked, what I wore, what my weight was, who liked me, who didn't like me, if I looked like the perfect mom...and now...

Don't get me wrong, I still want to look nice and have good manners, but the things I'm concerned about have changed.  My priorities are different.  And I think I've become my mother and all manner of older women I've seen out in public.  I don't have to have make up on to leave the house and I might even go out in sweats and a pony tail.  But the worst thing is, I don't seem to have the filter on my mouth that used to be there.

Don't worry, I don't mean I cuss like a sailor or anything like that.  But I have opinions and I find myself expressing those opinions, when before, I would have never spoken such things.  I would have bitten my lip, gone my own way and shaken my head in silent wonder all the way home.  Now, I just say what I'm thinking.  I'm never rude or mean spirited about it, but I put it out there...yes I do.

Sometimes I come across people who move me so deeply that I have to say something to them.  Like the beautiful old man on the beach in St. Augustine.  I followed him around with my daughter until I got up to the nerve to approach him, tell him he was beautiful and ask if I could take his picture.  My daughter was completely mortified!  But people matter, and I want them to know that.  Even if I don't know them.  I've gotten this boldness that I didn't have when I was younger and busy raising my children.  Now, if I feel led to say something, there's no stopping me.

Or how about the time I came across an elderly gentleman in the rose garden, who had a crippled hand.  I just had to ask him what he did for a living, did he work with his hands?  I asked him to tell me a story of his life and took a picture of his hand.  He told me stories that made me cry and soon others gathered around to listen.  I just couldn't seem to stop myself.  This turning 50 thing has taken away that filter that used to be there!

I've grown past the point of worrying about what other people think of me.  Oh, I want to be liked and I'm a tenderhearted lover of people, but something in me wants to let others know what I'm thinking.  I don't know if it's that I've rounded the half century mark and I'm facing the second part of my life, but I feel like there are so many things that need to be said.  As a society, we've let our young people down in many ways.  We haven't told them of the important things in life.  We've let them believe that they can start out life, right after graduation, making a gazillion dollars and they don't even have to work for it.  Sex is blasé and women are objects.  It's every man for himself.

So I have things to say...and I say them.  I don't judge, but I have opinions, thoughts, ideas.  This turning 50 thing is tricky.  You have to strike a balance.  You're not old, but you're wiser.  I actually feel more alive now than ever.  The politically correct thing to do today, is to accept and be supportive of anything and everything that comes down the pike.  Everything is a gray area.  There is no right or wrong.  But, you see, some things are right and some are just plain wrong.  And if we don't say it, then our young people will continue to go farther and farther away from the truth.

So there...I've put it out there.  And some might think I'm mean...but guess what?  That doesn't bother me as much as it would have when I was younger!

Don't worry!  I'm still in His lap!

58 comments:

  1. Go get em, tiger!
    Susan

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  2. erin, you are the most amazing woman I have ever met. I love you. Amanda

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  3. Good for you! And I think that this new generation of young people are starting to understand that they're not going to get the gazilion dollar job. Thank goodness. I think they all needed a little reality check. I love your story about the people you talk to. It actually sounds like you've been doing a lot of listening, not just talking. And that's just as important!
    Stopping by today from voiceBoks.com!

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  4. Thanks, Susan! Much to the embarrassment of my children, I am!
    XO,
    ~Erin

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  5. Amanda,
    You know how much I love you. I count you as one of the most precious people in my life!
    Hugs,
    ~Erin

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  6. Thanks for your kind words, Michelle. I really do try to listen. Sometimes that's all someone needs...someone to listen. Yep, our young people are getting a real wake up call!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  7. I so agree with you. I'm 56 and it just continues to get different. Much different than before 50.

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  8. erin, i love that you asked to hear the stories of both men. and i LOVE that you asked to take their picure. hearing "stranger's" stories is sometime the most uplifting, eye opening experience. i love hearing people's story. i shamefully admit, i took a picture of a man this weekend, but not bc i was intrigued by him in a good way :(

    50/almost 50 is amazing on you. you are beautiful from the inside out. i have to tell you, my husband was reading my comments the other day and said, "who's erin? she's really pretty!" :) he's right!
    at almost 29, i learn more each year to not worry about what others think. i completely agree, there is right and wrong. there can be good and can be bad. it saddens me when people are so money driven and materialistic. don't get me wrong, i like pretty things (at a bargain price) but at the end of the day our greatest gifts are the love that surrounds us.
    sending you lots of wednesday love!
    xoxo
    maria <3

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  9. Denise,
    You're right...so different!
    Thanks for visiting!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  10. Maria,
    I always love when you visit! Thanks so much for your kind words. Actually, I'm almost 53! Yep, a grandma.
    I love asking people about their lives. I try to ask those who look like they never get asked!
    You are beautiful on the inside and out and you are a blessing!
    Hugs,
    ~Erin

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  11. Raylene,
    I LOVE that. I'll just say I'm 33 instead of 53!
    Thanks!!!!
    ~Erin

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  12. We know we're OLD when we mortify our kids and we don't even care...When I turned 50 my little granddaughter called me to wish me a happy birthday. When I told her how old I was, there was a long pause on the phone, then she said, "Wow Grandma! That's old!"

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  13. Becky Jane,
    I don't FEEL old! We gotta lotta livin left to do! You look so young! You have a glow about you!
    Love you,
    ~Erin

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  14. You go girl! I'm right behind you. Once a very shy young girl, I have come out of my shell somewhat, too. Thanks to age and an out-going sanguine hubby. I loved this, Erin! Keep going!

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  15. Sweet, sweet Erin....Turning 50 ROCKS!!! If you remember, I did it back in April. You are right though, it is like something inside clicks when we turn 50. Something liberating about it. But it is a fabulous time in our lives; and what I believe to be our time to SHINE!! ~Love & Hugs...M

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  16. Lynn,
    I'm 52 and I think when I turned 50 I felt something click. And it's great. 50 rocks!
    Hugs,
    ~Erin

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  17. M,
    That's so funny, M! I just said that to my friend, Lynn! Im having a great time. Aside from the hot flashes, that is!! LOL
    ~Erin

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  18. I must be ahead of my game, then, because I'm halfway to 50 (officially on Monday) and I don't really care what I look like when I leave the house. Sure, I brush my hair, but if I'm wearing a slightly-dirty shirt and no make-up, I don't bat an eyelash. My mom, on the other hand, is past 50 and only goes to the gym sans make-up. Not to mention the hair coloring once or twice a month.

    I really hope that my severe shyness and quietness goes away by the time I'm 50. Not sure I can go much longer without friends and dates. :(

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  19. Love your post as always. Now that I am a member of the 50 club I can certainly relate. Although good or bad, holding my tongue has never been my strongest suit. Love your posts. You're an inspiration to me!

    Dianne

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  20. Love learning this about you Erin! :) I am pretty sure what you have to say when you speak your mind is more often a blessing and benefit to others. :) I agree that although makeup, jewelry and clothing are tools that can enhance, they can also detract from a lady's God-given beauty. True beauty begins on the inside. We need to praise God for the qualities that make us unique and special, and quit spending so much time trying to remake ourselves.

    Blessings and love! :)
    Denise

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  21. Sarah,
    The fears of shyness will keep you from making priceless friends...friends who would each be a colorful thread in the tapestry which is your life. I pray for you that the Holy Spirit gives you a boldness to go out and seek the kindness of others. You are worthy of friends!!!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  22. Denise,
    I do put on make up for my hubby still. Thanks for your kind words. I do try to have grace and mercy in my approach towards others...see them through the eyes of Jesus!
    Hugs,
    Erin

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  23. First of all, a very happy birthday. Want you to know I love the 50s and thought it was such a surprising fun, wonderful decade. enjoy every moment!

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  24. What a wonderful post! Wishing you the happiest of birthdays - enjoy. Thanks for the insights you've given. I'm slowly learning that I do not need to please everyone but do need to take the time to ensure that I'm happy - If mama's happy, everyone should be happy, right?

    Stopping in today from VB. Hope it is a great one.
    kristie

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  25. Jean, I'm so embarressed. It's not my birthday!! I'm 52, but my birthday is coming and I was reflecting with some friends how life changes when you hit 50. I should probably said that in my post. Oh well, chalk it up to blogger error! My birthday is 11/29!! ;0)
    Thanks so much for stopping by!
    ~Erin

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  26. Oh Kristie, see my response to Jean above!!! I'm mortified that people think it's my bday. But thanks so much for stopping by. Don't you just love vB???
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  27. I think it's great that you approach people like that! I've never quite done that, but I do tend to offer advice to random shoppers next to me and what not. I'm from the south where people tend to do that more. Up here in the north, I get some who talk with me and then I get some who don't seem to want to the info. That's fine with me.

    Keeping asking questions, you can only gain knowledge!

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  28. I love this post. I wish more people would speak to "strangers"! It's amazing what's hiding in people's hearts... I love the fact that you told the older gentleman that he was beautiful; you must have made his day :-)

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  29. That's right, Kelly. And you never know when the person you speak to just needs to know that they matter!!
    Thanks for stopping by!
    ~Erin

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  30. Thank you, Jenn. I followed him around the town square in St. Augustine twice before I got up the nerve. I told him that his face told stories and that I thought he probably lived a wonderful life. His eyes just twinkled and he smiled back at me.
    I appreciate you stopping by!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  31. Dianne,
    I'm so glad you're a part of the club now. I never worried about you speaking your mind anyway!!
    I love you!
    ~Erin

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  32. You go, girl. I agree that as we get older, certain things just stop seeming so important... like, does my butt look big in these jeans... at some point, it really doesn't matter, because it's just not that important. What matters is people. (Don't get me wrong... I still worry about what my butt looks like in jeans, but I hope to someday just let all of that go, and just be happy in my own skin. I feel like I'm at least getting closer to that, but it's a lofty goal for us as humans to set aside our vanity!)

    But I'm glad you have found the courage to speak your mind, and to tell people you meet that they are beautiful. I don't know if I'd have the courage to ask a random stranger if I could take his picture, but I definitely find people beautiful, in so many ways, and maybe I should be bolder about asking to capture a moment--maybe it might really make that person feel special for a little while. And really, isn't that what we all want--to be noticed, to be cared about, and to be appreciated?

    Thanks so much for sharing! As always, beautiful sentiments shared with a beautiful heart.

    Smiles, Jenn (stopping by from voiceBoks MTR)
    www.misadventuresinmotherhood.com

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  33. Maybe you could make me cry just a little bit more before the end of the day.

    Wow.

    I see nothing wrong chitty chatting with a total stranger. You probably made their day. Oh, and I gotta say about your old, mean and grumpy boss. I remember hearing one day while I as hating on someone, a voice that said, "I died for them too."

    Kinda sucks loving the neighbor sometimes.

    Keep rocking mama
    Sharon
    http://sharon-moms-madhouse.com/

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  34. Hi!

    I've just discovered your blog and am loving what I read. I just had to post today, because it made me smile.

    I tend to be someone who speaks their mind; I think sometimes you just have to. You are right, there is so much political correctness in the world, that the Truth tends to get stuffed down due to worry about offending someone.

    The Truth is the Truth and when it's offered with Grace, it's the best thing in the world. Keep speaking up, one day your children will admire you for it!

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  35. Jenn,
    Your post about the trip to the amusement park cracked me up!!! I so enjoy your blog.
    I think people just want to know that they matter!! And you are so right about the truth being offered with grace. I love that!
    Thanks for coming by.
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  36. Sharon,
    Don't cry...if you were here, I'd give you a big hug. You are so tenderhearted. I love that about you! And you are right...He died for my boss too. Thanks for that!
    Hugs,
    ~Erin

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  37. Sue,
    I'm so glad we found each other. I just visited your lovely blog and prayed the Colossians prayer for you.
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  38. Erin, first of all, congratulations on turning 50 and blessings be upon you. I think that as we grow older some of the things that were a bother in our younger days just slide off our backs. I do not think you are mean. You are authentic. I love people who are true to themselves.

    VB Rocks!

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  39. Oh Miriam,
    Thank so much for your kind words. I hope that I am always authentic. You are a blessing to me!!!
    Thank you so much for stopping by!
    Hugs,
    ~Erin

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  40. I have a feeling it's precisely because you're in His lap Erin, that you have the freedom to express what's on your mind! Happy 50! It sounds wonderful!

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  41. Oh, thank you, Beck. I'm sorry to tell you that it's not my bday. I should have put it in the post. I'm 52 but I noticed the change as soon as I turned 50. But thank you so much for your kind words!! I try to stay in His lap!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  42. Good for you, Erin, for saying what's in your heart now. Just be glad it only took you until 50 to realize that you should. Proud of you, sister! ox

    Going to Alexa review you now.

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  43. Amberr,
    I think it's just that priorities change once we've raised our children and begin creating another life for ourselves. You are a good friend, sister!
    ~Erin

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  44. I find as I get older I don't tolerate other people's nonsense like I used to. I just have no patience for pettiness or negativity. I do have to admit I do cuss like a sailor sometimes. Never blogging or in public, but at home I shall be honest I have a potty mouth. I used to be so careful when the kids were small but now that they're older I find it harder to restrain myself. I love your last statement. Hope you have a great weekend.

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  45. Kim,
    I think you hit the nail on the head. I just don't have the patience for pettiness or negativity OR meaness.
    I'm so glad you came by, sailor!! ;0)
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  46. This post is so very beautifully written. It brought tears to my eyes.

    I am nearing 30. And I'm having a hard time with that. I feel like I'm still 16 years old, but everywhere around me seems to think "Oh, you're old now" and I'm having a hard time transitioning. I most certainly feel that filter melting away (I don't swear either) but I have become bolder in my years- I have more guts. And I'm learning that my opinions are of value too. That it's okay to put it out there.

    Since I am the mom with very little children, struggling the way you mentioned with life and money and stress and tears over trying to make ends meet, you have given me much hope for the future. To finally find a place in my life where I am comfortable in my skin. Where I am confident about myself.

    Thank you for this post. I found you on voiceboks. I'm following and have grabbed your button.

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  47. Brae,
    You are so sweet! Thanks for putting my button on your blog! We do feel younger than our age, don't we! That is so weird. I'm so glad that you have reached a place in your life where you are comfortable in your skin and confident with who you are.
    Thank you so much for stopping by!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  48. Erin, you've given me hope with this post. I'm 38 and often wonder what goes on in the head of my in-laws who are in their 70's. Are they content? Do they fear being older? Do they live fearful of death? (They own a funeral home & have buried many of the people they went to school with) - I just find myself sitting in awe of them, with many questions about aging. Don't get me wrong. I don't view 50 as the end of life. My husband will be 50 next year. I just wonder how will I be at 50? Will I be joyful, more wise, carefree? Luckily I already have the no makeup and ponytail part down. LOL! :)

    Blessings,
    Rosann

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  49. Rosann,
    I can honestly say it feels great. I'm not especially liking the hot flashes or mood swings, but I finally feel like my thoughts, desires and dreams matter!!! I've been helping little ones with their dreams for so long, that I almost forgot I had dreams of my own!
    I'm so glad you came by!
    ~Erin

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  50. I'm still in my 20s so I can't give an opinion. But I would definitely say this is a beautiful post..:)

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    1. Aw, thank you! Enjoy every decade of your life!
      ~Erin

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  51. Can't wait to hear how you strike the balance and hopefully learn it for myself!

    Warmest regards,
    Joy
    http://www.PardonMyPoppet.com

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    1. I'm learning every day, Joy! Life is certainly an adventure! Thanks for stopping by!
      Blessings,
      ~Erin

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  52. I like your outlook on the world and life! It's great to let people know they are appreciated and beautiful-it not only makes them feel good but us as well.

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    1. Thank you, for your kind words, Heather Lynne! That's the whole purpose of this blog. I'm so honored you stopped by.
      Blessings,
      ~Erin

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  53. Great reminder! I already feel a little bit more that way as I get into the 2nd half of my 30's. I imagine it's very freeing!

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    1. It is very freeing! I'm celebrating life every day! Thank you so much for stoping by!!
      Blessings,
      ~Erin

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Thank you for giving us a little nugget of truth from your heart!

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