Let me be fearless about aging.

Let me welcome each day, each year, as a friend and own them as a gift.

I love the pronounced lines on my face, a now-permanent reminder that I lift my mouth with the left side of my face first. I love the delicate spider-web of crow’s feet visible in the light of day, they mean I’ve laughed. I like my white hair at my temples and, when I see my hands, firm and capable, cleaning, caring, soothing, writing, wiping, holding, caressing, fixing, I think, I have such Mum Hands and it makes me happy, are hands a ministry of love? The freckles of my youth are still visible and I’m in that between stage, the middle years, no longer young, not yet old, the middle place and it feels like a balance, sometimes a tight-rope, other times, stability and rest.

There is a fearlessness about a woman aging well without bitterness, comfortable in the place that she has grown into with grace. The angst falls away, the second-guessing of my words and my feelings, my opinions, so little is written in stone and I feel even my spirit relaxing like my skin. Every year, I get more acquainted with myself and I am beginning to think that I’ll quite like growing old, I’ll wear long skirts and TOMS, I’ll laugh too loud and people will call it cackling.

Let me sit here with my pen and my coffee, paying attention to the days. It’s in the years passing that I move from wanting to “change the world” to wanting to change myself and slowly I’m beginning to understand.

It was my birthday. And there was no cake or party. And I didn’t mind one single bit because I’m finally comfortable enough in my own skin to admit, I just don’t like parties very much.

Linked up with Heather of the EO for Just Write, an exercise in free-writing, without the editing.

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In which I want to turn my life upside down (as usual)
In which I have an Evangelical Hero Complex
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  • Oh, Sarah! I love this. I made an intentional choice before my 30th birthday to embrace my age and all that comes with it. And so 30, 31, and 32 have each been welcomed in their own way. 

    • Yes, exactly – embracing our age. Love that phrase.

  • Love it! I looked at our family pictures we had done and my first though was “wow I look old!” but then I realized it was in a good way….I looked like a mom, I looked happy.

  • Lalania

    Just have to add my 2cents here: in my opinion, 30’s is not middle age. You are still young! You are not even half way through your life yet! (look at how old your grandma is … you will live that long or longer yourself) You are only as old as you feel (the number is just a number) and you can feel as young or as old as you mentally want to – you get to choose. But if you choose to think of yourself as aging now, your body will surely follow (I have personally seen it). I am turning 41 next week and am about to give birth to my first child and I certainly don’t feel like I am aging! I feel like I am just at the beginning my life! I choose to be young, to feel young!

    • thanks, Lalania – so happy for you and your new babe! No, I don’t think of myself as old at all, I think I was more writing about being comfortable being older, the settling into myself. (And as far as Grandmas go, well mine passed away a while ago!). I still feel hopeful and youthful but neither am I “young” and I’m okay with that. 

  • Lovely. I am often surprised at the reflection I see when I look in the mirror, because it reflects a woman, when most of the time I still think I am a girl. It’s so wonderful to just embrace who we are, here and now. 

  •    Beautiful!  “I feel even my spirit relaxing like my skin”

  • KathleenBasi

    I dream of aging gracefully, and I suppose I have some good role models, my mother and her mother, to aid me in that process. This is beautiful.

    • I have good role models for it, too. It’s nice to see it before us, isn’t it?

  • Jenmonique1971

    33 is still quite young. 🙂 I don’t know who said life begins at 40 but it really does! I am far drom old.

    • No, I don’t think we’re old at all, Mon! (But older? Yes, I am and I’m glad for it for sure. Maybe mature? Who knows…)

      • Jenmonique1971

        In the words of the great Jon Bon Jovi “not old just older”

  • I turn 33 in a few months. You have inspired me to embrace that with a little more grace. ”
    The angst falls away, the second-guessing of my words and my feelings, my opinions, so little is written in stone and I feel even my spirit relaxing like my skin.” Love that. Love.

  • I love this.  I have a forever half-written post in my head called, “Wrinkles.”  Basically, I’ve been laughing at the way that our society values youth and beauty over age and experience.  I can understand why young people might feel that way, but what does it say about me that I myself am tempted to buy into that value system, even as I transition into the “age and experience” category??  Why on earth would I ever be embarrassed about my age?  Should I not instead by proud of my age and the many beautiful/difficult experiences that God has given me?  Truly, the more I think about it, the less sense our youth-obsessed culture makes to me!

  • I love this picture of growing up. I’ve heard it gets smoother, this journey to discover who I am. What I’m wondering now, is how old do I need to be before I feel that people will take me seriously? I may be a wife, mother, student, doula, skeptic–but sometimes these things are minimized when one finds out I’m 23. Is there magic age when I suddenly have a socially acceptable amount of experience worth sharing?

    • I don’t know if that age ever happens. I spent a lot of my twenties trying to appear older so people would take me seriously and now I wish I’d just been the age that I was. In some ways, I suppose we’re all like kids that way – we have a hard time being content with the age that we are! You are who are, I am who I am and your voice and experience should be valued regardless. 

  • I think I have about ten years on you, Sarah and I think that this is key:  “It’s in the years passing that I move from wanting to “change the world” to wanting to change myself and slowly I’m beginning to understand.”  Yes.  The key to peace.  The key to really loving.  This shift in what change means, that’s what the years give us. 

  • Val

    good article.  I love being 48 – even though people think I am younger – I love every wrinkle, every gray hair, and look for to getting older.  I don’t want to be old – I want to be older but full of live, love, and a joy to those around me.  I am comfortable being me.  I see others around me (my age or younger) trying to find the foundation of youth – and I just laugh.


    I turned 40 in January, my dear. You’ve written succinctly what I’ve been trying to express for months. 

    I am more comfortable being me now, more content with God’s mercies new every morning and no hoarding manna for tomorrow. I inhale every day and exhale thankfulness. Life is all grace. How dare I scorn a single minute?

  • I love this.  you are a beautiful person.  I turned 30 in January and my age doesn’t bother me, although some days I still feel like my big girl pants are falling down around my ankles exposing the vulnerable side I hear goes away in your 30’s.  Maybe my Jesus year will be my golden year 😉

  • I thought I was going to be all graceful about accepting my age…And getting wrinkles, fine. Weight that’s harder to shed…{sigh}, but okay. More attention needing to be paid to general health, sure. But then I noticed I’m losing my hair. Not all at once…but my hair is significantly thinner. Not. Okay. With. This. At. All. BUT I still feel plenty young, so that’s gotta’ count for something, right? 

  • Oh, I love your outlook. There’s usually so much anxiety around aging, but this line caught me:

    — “my spirit relaxing like my skin”
    Yes. That’s what I want. Exactly.

  • justamomandmore

    beautiful sarah. i’m with you…pen and coffee and paying attention. yes to this. let us pay attention and enjoy these days!

  • I never liked birthday parties either 🙂 My last one was my 25th and it felt awkward and silly, not to mention I didn’t even get to spend time with my friends, they were talking among themselves and I was busy serving food, etc… I don’t mind aging, hm, maybe it’s because I’m almost 30 and still look like I’m 18? lol

  • Sarah, I love this perspective and I appreciate your blog — your honesty, your ability to express what many think but can’t put in words that communicate well. I’m a lurker and finally am prompted to comment 🙂 I am a generation older (my kids are about your age!) and admire your attitude. I want to look at aging the same way. I’ll admit it gets more difficult because now I notice that once I passed a certain point, I experience more of that “invisible” problem. I want to lean into life (my blog title) and I would love to be helpful to you lovely ones with young children in any way. My own life has been a messy path, not straight, but I’m still learning. Blessings to you and your family!

  • “I finally became weary of the emptiness of trying to prolong the youth of my body, my temple. I was tired of trying to be normal. The floodlights which used to draw attention to my architecture have now been replaced with a few simple accent lights. I prefer instead to work with the natural light, simply softening the shadows – enticing you to look and appreciate without being so blatant. I stripped off the paint and I no longer try to hide the cracks and discolorations in the stonework. Sure, I’ll touch up some chipping plasterwork, but I no longer try to make it look like something it isn’t. It’s not new. It’s not flawless Italian marble. And I want visitors to notice and enjoy the eternal beauty in its age, and to see the marks left by its rich, long history. I want them to be drawn into the stories behind each of those marks. There is more beauty in those stories than in anything I used to try and cover them up with.”

  • Jenn

    I’ve never minded getting older… there is a certain grace about women who aren’t afraid to admit their age I always admired as a young 20 something and I decided back then that I wanted to be like that so it’s what I work towards. In June I’ll be 37 – bring it on! 🙂

  • oh yes! i had to make a deliberate choice to embrace my age about six months before turning 25 (when i was lamenting my singleness). then 30 rolled around and it was my best celebration to date. this year… 35. i can’t wait to celebrate big again. “It’s in the years passing that I move from wanting to “change the world” to wanting to change myself and slowly I’m beginning to understand.” <–this is so, so true and i wish more women would celebrate their years and understand how precious "maturing" really is. though to be honest, even as i type that word (maturing) i feel too young to use it properly. 😉

  • Carol

    Love the comments!  Yes, get this early.  I am 58 and have looked younger than my age for most of my years.  Recently the frown lines between my eyes have been all I see…I don’t mind aging but don’t want to look grumpy about it!  Yesterday my son took a close up picture and said how much he liked it…but all I saw was those particular lines.  After voicing a desire to fix it, he said “Mom, you’re making an idol of those wrinkles.” Ouch.  He then affirmed the good he sees.
    It reminded me of something the Lord spoke to my heart years ago:  “Carol, if your value is based on anything you can lose, you’re on shakey ground.”  As I pondered that, I realized the only thing I could absolutely not lose was Christ.  
    Such wise young women to choose now to love and accept what is eternal…you in Christ…not the passing and fleeting.
    blessings, Carol