69 and Feelin’ Fine


Editor’s Note: Coffee & chocolate help keep you young.

I turned 69 on the very first day of this month. There, I’ve said it again without any pain. It’s been amazing to me how truly painless the experience has been.

Now, I’ve never been a person who was particularly concerned about my age. I’ve never tried to hide it or felt the need to lie. I did lose the opportunity to further a relationship with a man who, before finding out my age, was seriously interested in our friendship growing. However, when he discovered — to his shock I might add (what can I say: I look good for my age) — that I was 9 years older than he, his interest just switched off completely.

Personally, I think he is rather shallow — but I won’t say that out loud because it would sound like I was guilty of “sour grapes.” But I really do have a reason to consider him less than mature in that area becauseĀ I know several very happily married couples with the hubby being the younger of the two. In fact, it’s quite a common thing in my experience, so, naturally, I figure anyone who doesn’t at least want to give the relationship a chance has to be a little shallow.

But I digress. Back to the subject at hand: When I was in my 20’s, I looked forward to being 30. In fact, I was eager to get there because I was just sure that I would be mature and stable and have my life well under control, with a positive future ahead. But, doggone it, when I got to 30, I discovered I was still the same not-very-organized, procrastination-oriented, speak-before-thinking, but fairly happy girl that I’d always been. Not to say that I didn’t have a sensible job or didn’t take responsibilities seriously. I did, but I wasn’t established in the career I had degrees for, nor did I have a husband and family. So much for being “settled.”

As the years rolled by, I realized that “being settled” wasn’t all it was made to look like, and I relaxed and decided to just be who I was and give it my best. That was a great decision, and since then, the Lord has led me into several avenues that have made my life very rich and fulfilling.

When I got to 40, I didn’t sweat it. I was married by then and was pursuing one career that gave me a lot of enjoyment. I was involved in a lot of Christian ministry, and that had always been one of my more important goals. So 50 came along with no sweat as well and rolled right on by. I lost my husband when I was 54, and I will admit that the prospect of facing going into my 60’s alone did seem a little daunting, but I knew the same Lord who had carried me through all the other years of my life was still there.

So, even though I can’t say that I was excited about turning 60, I am happy to say that it didn’t depress me, and I sailed right on through just fine, still basically enjoying life.

But for some reason — and I honestly don’t know why — the idea of turning 69 hit me very hard. When I thought about it, my stomach sort of knotted up, and I felt vaguely depressed. I prayed about it, and the sensible part of me lectured me about being silly. Nevertheless, I continued to feel “down” and found myself hesitant to accept the age transfer. If anyone asked me how old I would be on February 1st, I found myself feeling a little choked at saying the number out loud.

But then the big day came — and went — and I enjoyed every minute of it. And yes — if you think I sound surprised — you’re right. I was surprised. But it was like something broke loose inside of me — or got unlocked somehow. I was able to say the number without the slightest hesitation. I was able to, with a genuine smile, actually take ownership of 69 years of age.

From the moment I took that ownership, I realized that something very positive was going on. Now I suddenly feel as if I have a new beginning — sort of right out of nowhere. It’s as if I’ve got my ‘second wind,’ as athlete’s term the experience. Some kind of shadow has been lifted, the way ahead is clear, hurdles don’t even look as big as they used to, and I’ve decided I’m definitely going for the gold. So — 101, here I come!