Life Changes After 40 (Ladies)

I have always loved birthdays, mine, and other peoples. I enjoy buying gifts and celebrating. I never thought about getting “old.” I have a cousin who cries each year. Not me, I was never one to dread growing older.

I remember as a child playing house with my baby dolls. My cousin and I spent a lot of time together and we would break out the dolls, the toy dishes, plastic food, and dress up. Then in my teen years, I was in a hurry to be “older,” so I can do what the “older” people do.

In my 20’s I was on my way to my 30’s, then my 40’s, and still, I was feeling young. Then along came the big “five-oh.” No amount of childhood imagination prepares you for the changes that come with each new season of life.

For the record, I do still enjoy birthdays.

In our youth, we are filled with dreams, hope, and expectation. Playing house, feeding our dolls that never grow up and leave the nest, plastic food that never rots in the refrigerator, always glamorous in our dress-up, paper play money that flows like confetti and never runs short, and a prince charming who loves and adores us and never leaves us through death or divorce. Everything is bubbles and butterflies in the imagination of youth.

As we go through our spring and summer of life, setbacks, and disappointments are not that devastating because we are still young, and even if we must start over, there is still time. We are still dreaming, hoping, and expecting.

But then comes the Autumn of life.

Our perspective starts to change because we know winter follows autumn. We may look back and wonder where all the time went and how did it fly by so fast. If we experienced loss, or we made foolish choices in our youth, we may be tempted to regret and grieve. Our thoughts may turn into “If only I…”

When we are young, we are filled with energy and life. We are still cool and relevant. But what about when we no longer feel cool or relevant? What if we are entering this season of our life alone? What if we are watching the clock and panic and fear are just a step behind us and desperation is breathing on the back of our neck? Then what?

Dear sister, stop, take a breath, that’s right… breathe. You are going to be alright.

A friend once asked me why I enjoy my birthdays. “Don’t you worry about getting old?”

No way! Age is a right of passage. And it is a path we must all walk. And we should walk it with dignity, poise, and class.

Sure, there are things we can no longer do now that we did when we were young. Like stay-up all night, wear daisy dukes and halters, eat whatever and however much we want, and not worry about our tummy that is no longer firm and flat, and perky ta-tas that need no assistance with underwire (or padding). By the way, if you do not know what daisy dukes are then you are too young for this post.

Let’s step out of our feelings so we can understand what is really happening. Let us embrace this season of our life with confidence, boldness, and understanding. Let us quit fighting the inevitable and shrinking back in fear.

Do you know what will age you faster than a birthday? Worry, fear, anger, unforgiveness, and downright unhealthy choices. C’est la vie! (That’s life!)

After age 40 our metabolism slows down.

But this does not mean you have to give up. You are still alive! It may be a natural process, but there are things you can do to fight it and to boost it, like diet and exercise.

No, I am not suggesting you begin starving yourself, just make healthy choices when it comes to the food you are putting in your body. Remember, we eat to live, not live to eat. There are so many informative articles out there about foods to boost metabolism. (I know because I have read them.)

A body in motion stays in motion. Get those endorphins flowing, girl! Exercise gets the blood flowing and firms the tummy, arms, legs, and booty. Sure, it may take some discipline and a lot of willpower to get started, but I guarantee if you stick with it, it will give you a bounce in your step and you will walk taller, firmer, and with confidence. It will also fight the brain fog that comes with age. It is a win-win!

Remember, you aren’t competing in a body-building competition (unless that’s your thing), you are staying active and taking care of your body. Take those walks, ride that bike, do those squats, turn the music on and dance in your living room. Get your body moving! I repeat, a body in motion, stays in motion.

I was talking with a woman recently and her fear was about when she got older, who would take care of her, and what nursing home she would be in. Whoa! Slow down, girl! Put the breaks on that thought! Where is it written that it is a given that age must bring frailty? I have not read that book. The book I read says:

Because he sets his love on Me, therefore I will save him; I will set him securely on high because he knows My name, he confidently trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never abandon him, no, never. He will call upon Me and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him, with a long life I will satisfy him and I will let him see My salvation.

Psalm 91:14-15
You are probably noticing changes in your hair, too

I have always had thin hair, that’s why I have always had short hair. As I get older, I notice changes in my hair. Sigh…the luck of men to be able to just shave their head, huh?

Again, this comes back to nutrition. There is so much information out there, check out this article from Healthline. And here is a read for the 6 ways your hair changes after 40 and how to fix it.

Remember, you are beautiful! You are you and there is no one else that is you. God created you and He called you beautiful! You have purpose!

Indeed the very numbers of your head are all numbered. Do not be afraid; you are far more valuable than many sparrows. (Luke 12:7)

Age and menopause is nothing to be feared.

OK, so it might feel like you have an oven inside of your body, and you sweat through the night, and your mood changes like the weather, and your body changes, but there are positives, too, like buh-bye Aunt Flow.

But seriously, I am not making light of the changes that come in our bodies. I have been cold one minute and stripping my clothes off the next, I have been just fine one minute like a normal human being and then a raging lunatic the next, crying over commercials, wondering if I am still pretty, and when did I stop being “cool.” The time of menopause can almost make you feel like a stranger in your own body. And while diet and exercise are beneficial, a visit with your gynecologist may be in order. So go get that check-up!

No matter where you are during this season of your life, you are going to be OK. Happily married or broken and alone, you are going to be OK.

I look back on my life and I think there are lots of things I would have done differently, people I would have steered clear of, mistakes I wish I would not have made, and I am faced with a choice. Do I forgive, let go, learn, move on and live? Or do I wallow in pity, regret, anger, and depression? I choose life!

People say that with age comes wisdom. I don’t think that is always true. I think we all know at least one person who is “older,” but not necessarily wise. Age may bring learned lessons, but it doesn’t bring wisdom. True wisdom comes from God, the Bible says in Psalm 11:10 that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, it is the true foundation.

My friend, maybe aging in years does not bother you, maybe you are in the best physical shape of your life, and maybe your youth did not leave you with regrets, and if that is so, then I am happy for you. But one thing most important, is your spiritual health, your heart health. One day, no matter our age, we will all close our eyes for the last time here on earth, in all your caring for your physical health, be sure you do not neglect the source of eternal life. Take your vitamins, eat your veggies, do that exercise, AND nurture your relationship with the One who created you and truly loves you, wrinkles, gray hair, and all. Without Jesus, it is all for nothing.

I hope as you step into the autumn and winter of your life, you will do it with gratitude and wisdom. And when the final winter breeze blows across your eyes you will step into eternity and into the arms of our Savior who calls you Beloved and welcomes you home.

Be Free & Stay Free

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