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April 11, 2013

on turning 52 - attitude is everything

Warning...this is a long one but it's my birthday so indulge me (wink, wink).

When I was younger and heard people say that age was just a number I always brushed it off as an older person trying not to sound old.  Now that I'm the one saying it, I know that it is so much more than that. 


While there is no denying that our bodies can only do so much when it comes to aging and creams and scalpels can only preserve youth to a certain extent, our minds, hearts and spirits are another story.  We alone are in control of our attitude toward life no matter what life stage we are in.  Our mental outlook can be that of a fresh young thing or a bitter older woman.  Our hearts can choose to be thankful for what we have and see those who love us, or they can focus on betrayal and discontent.  Our spirits can soar with anticipation and hope or they can wallow in what might have been or used to be. 

  
At 52 I am more secure in who I am, in who I was created to be and it what brings me happiness.  I am less concerned with what others think of me and with trying to be all things to all people.  I am realizing that following God's will for my life does not give me the authority to judge how others live their lives.  I am learning that loving people does not mean changing them or condoning their actions.  I have learned everyone has a story.  No ones life is absent of struggle and heartache.  I am learning to forgive myself for my past wrongs as I accept the human frailties and imperfections of others.

Kelly Rae Roberts wrote the most thought provoking post yesterday on finding our voices and she shared this quote...

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen." ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


This is so true.  How we live our lives after the struggle is what defines our beauty.  Not the date on our birth certificates or gene pool.  When people say age is just a number, I get it.  In so many ways I feel younger now than when I was in my thirties and forties and carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. 

I spent the majority of the first 50 years of my life trying to please others and control circumstances so that the world would be better according to my vision. What a waste of time and energy. What a load of angst I gave and carried. It can be difficult to let go of the past. It can be difficult to truly forgive both others and ourselves but hanging on to past hurts and disappointments only enslaves us further to them.


 Oh, sweet ones.  As women we need to learn to love ourselves, imperfections, limitations and all.  We need to stop expecting others to bring us joy and learn to find joy in the beauty around us.  We need to count our blessings and be thankful instead of focusing on our disappointment and pain. 

"Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.   For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength." Philippians 4:11-13
  
I know you have a story...I know your life has been filled with struggles, mine has too.  I have stories that would shock you, stories that would bring you to tears.  We all do.

Living a beautiful life is a choice and at 52 I choose to be thankful and content even if everything around me is telling me otherwise.

xo, Patty

40 comments:

  1. What a lovely post. Having just turned 47 I know what you mean about feeling more free - of course it would be lovely to have the same body I had ten years ago but I wouldn't swap that for my current attitude toward life. At the risk of another cliché you are as young as you feel - and I feel great! Happy birthday x Jane (P.S. that rose is beautiful)

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  2. Happy Birthday, Patty! You look terrific! Your thoughts on age and time are beautiful and so true. I love that quote you shared. Only with the Lord am I able to not just survive aweful circumstances, but become more lovely inside and out for that matter! I think wisdom and love for life makes a person more beautiful. :) I hope and pray that 52 is the best year so far for you!!
    Blessings,
    Leslie

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  3. Patty- First of all- Happy Birthday to you. You are an inspiration in your thinking and outlook. Your ideas and thoughts mirror my own. I LOVED my 50's. I thought they were some of the best years of my life-Now that I have turned 60 I am thinking THESE are the best years-lol. I hope you have a wonderful day AND a wonderful year! xo Diana

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  4. Patty,
    A beautifully written post and very thought provoking at the same time. I will think on these things today and try to do so every day, as I am aging too, will be 48 this year. Keeping hold of the past is exhausting and can wear you down, I know this to be true since I'm guilty of it myself. I will make a concerted effort to remember your wonderful words of wisdom in the coming days.
    I hope you have a fabulous Birthday today!!

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  5. Happy Birthday Patty! At 54, I cannot agree with you more. I wrote a post in the same vein this morning. ourtreasuredabode.blogspot.com I would love for you to check it out if you have time. God bless and have a great day!

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  6. Happy Birthday!!

    I have read this post a couple of times, as it really resonates with me.

    Leanne xx

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  7. Happy Birthday Patty! I have just had my 56 birthday and agree with everything you wrote! You go girl!! :)

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  8. Happy Birthday! Wishing you a wonderful day.
    Excellent post.

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  9. What a beautiful, wise post. On your birthday you have chosen to give US a gift! Thank you and I hope you have a blessed birthday as you celebrate being 52 years young!

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  10. HAPPY
    HAPPY
    Birthday!!!
    I hope you have a wonderful day!
    Mine is next week and I'm going to be 58! Sure don't "feel" my age!
    Deb :)

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  11. What an awesome post! I agree with you. Age is all in your attitude! I'm fifty, and proud of it. This morning I heard someone say "FORTY is the new TWENTY" -- and I thought to myself, "yes, that's what I thought when I was forty. Now, I believe FIFTY is the new twenty. LOL Happy, happy day Sweet Friend! xo

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  12. Happy Birthday, Patty and I wish you many, many more happy & blessed years. A truly lovely post, thanks for sharing it with us.
    Hugs xx

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  13. Patty, you are gonna make me cry. Only because you are so right and at 49 I'm reminding myself of these things daily. I wish you a very Happy Birthday and thank you for sharing your wisdom and sweetness.

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  14. Have the Happiest of Birthdays! Thank you for sharing a valuable life lesson!

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  15. Patty - first thing - Happy Birthday Sweet Lady! Secondly, I find that the most serious, heartbreaking, horrible times in my life have brought me to the point that I can help others in that same situation. I know the Lord knew that unless I went thru some of the things I have, I couldn't and wouldn't have the compassion and love for others in the same situation. If we only completely trusted Him with our lives, it would be so much easier. Or at least, it would be for me.

    Beautiful post.

    Judy

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  16. HaPpY BiRtHdAy to YOU!!!! Yes, it is true! It is all about the attitude. I used to have a plaque in my kitchen
    that said when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. It may be trite, but it is a choice. The 50's is great..
    maybe not physically...boy those little aches and pains...but the confidence is wonderful!
    Hope YOUR day is fabulous!

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  17. Happy Birthday! I love this. I'll be 50 this year and everything I'm reading is speaking to my heart. I posted something this week about my crown of gray/silver hair. I get it this. I really do.

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  18. What a lovely post. I agree with all that you've said. Hope you're having a wonderful birthday!

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  19. Happy Birthday sweet Patty! You have been such a blessing to me!

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  20. Happy-Happy Birthday my friend! I hope you got my text, and card in the mail today. You have written a very thought provoking post yourself, here today. Your words echo in my mind, as if I could have been writing them from my own thoughts as well. Isn't it such a freeing thing? To feel good in our skin? I think 50 does that to us. And for me, being one whole year older than you...I feel the exact same way.
    Bless you dear friend of mine.....I hope your day was perfect!!
    xo Kris

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  21. happy b'day dear.. a big hug!!

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  22. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to a lady that "gets" it. Hope your day has been all you wanted it to be.
    That was such a beautiful and meaningful post. I can sure identify with it. Today is our daughter's 43rd. b/d. I'm hoping that at 50 she'll gain more maturity to stop trying so hard to control her world and everyone/thing in it. As you said we all have our stories.
    I'm 72 and luckily am in pretty good health for somebody my age. I don't let minor or even major hold backs stop me (I had both knees replaced less than a year apart) for very long if at all. I usually pick myself up and keep going. I feel about 60 not 72, I seem to have a more tolerant view point of the world. I remember when I turned 50 my feelings about myself changed and I was better able to handle situations that used to stymie my spirit. I'm a crafter, stay very busy, reading blogs, being inspired, trying new things I never would have before. I'm hoping to start redoing pieces to sell, help our "budget" some, keep us both busy.
    My husband is quite negative, he won't try something, he tears everything down and always says it can't be done. I was raised to think I was slow, not able to handle many things, something in me didn't listen to that, I tried anyway, what did I have to lose?
    Personally I think getting older is more interesting, if my darned body didn't try to slow me down too often. But I rest for little bit and go again. Seems like 50 is a magic age if we recognize how we're feeling and go with it. My oldest son turned 50 just before Christmas and I see a difference in him altho he's always been very confident. Sorry this is so long, I identified so much with your wonderful post. Enjoy your life immensely.

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  23. Happy Birthday, Patty, and thank you for a beautiful, thoughtful post. I have to say I entered my 50's with some nagging doubts, but I do realize now that wisdom comes with age and although our bodies are aging as well, we have the smarts to keep ourselves healthy. The same with our mindset. I do realize that I have more years behind me than I have in front of me so I'm determined to make them the best. And yes, we need to put the past to rest in order to focus on the joys of today and the future. Thank you for the food for thought...you are a very wise and compassionate lady!

    XO,
    Jane

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  24. Happy Birthday Patty. Being 50 again doesn't sound too bad at all. This year I turn 60.

    Oh Crud.

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  25. A lovely post, thank you for sharing. There is a saying: " life is like climbing a mountain, it gets physically tougher the higher you climb, but the view gets better and better!". A very happy birthday to you :-) Pam xx

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  26. Happy Birthday! What a beautiful post, thank you for sharing.

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  27. First of all, Patty ~ happy birthday! I hope you have a beautiful and blessed day. Secondly, I am loving the words you wrote today. So eloquent and full of wisdom. May I share this blog post on my FB wall?

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  28. this was perfect for me to read today. beautifully said. it spoke to my soul and to my heart. Happy Happy Birthday to you, patty! :)

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  29. Hear hear my dear birthday girl (and I hope it was a wonderful birthday, sorry I'm late to the party). All so true! I refuse to let age define me, limit me, or tell me what I can and can't do! Happiness and attitude are within our reach if we only hold out our arms:>)

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  30. Happy Birthday!!
    And thank you very much for this beautiful writing, I enjoyed every word of it.

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  31. What an absolutely beautiful post this was!... Happy Birthday Patty! XO

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  32. Happy Birthday! Thanks for sharing your beautiful post... it touched my heart.

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  33. Patty,

    Happy belated birthday sweet lady!

    When my sister died at the age of 43, it forever changed the way I think about age. You won't hear me bemoaning getting older. It is a blessing that some will never experience.

    Your post was lovely.

    xoBarb

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  34. Happy Birthday, Patty! I love the quote you shared by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. Lovely, heartfelt post :)

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  35. Happy birthday, sweet lady!!! I am a day late but nonetheless just as heartfelt! I agree and love your post...it was an encouragement to me! Hope u had a lovely day with serene thoughts and peace!! That in itself is a gift and blessing!!

    God bless you!!!

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  36. Happy birthday Wise Lady. Hey, I am older than you and also am learning more and more each day and each year. I tend to enjoy today and look forward to tomorrow rather than dwell on the past, or past mistakes. Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe.

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  37. Happy belated birthday. I haven't been keeping up with my blogs as much lately. I just read today's post and realized that I missed your big day. So I came over to read what you had shared with us. I'm so glad I did. I believe exactly the same way and had tried to put that into words to someone just this week. I will turn 60 next month and find it hard to believe! I don't feel that old - the way I always thought 60 was old. I love where I am in life and plan to continue enjoying myself. Thanks for the wonderful words.

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  38. Happy Happy Belated birthday. I love this post and could not agree more. I am going to be 55 this year. Yikes~! I am learning to be content where I am and with what the Lord has blessed me with. You can look at the glass half full or half empty. I choose to look at it half full. What a blessing that is in and by itself ;-)

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  40. Just found this post on Sew Many Ways....loved the entire message. I am 53 and agree with all you have posted. At times I can't believe I am this old but honestly I have never been more content. Thanks for sharing,
    Linda
    mysewwhatblog.blogspot.com

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