Struggling Through My Fifties

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Words of Christ - 6/52
Image by Roger's Wife via Flickr

I didn’t know that I would be so fearful now that I’ve reached my fifties.  My life has changed drastically and the people who were there for me have moved on.  Not in abandonment, but in building their new lives.  So now I’m alone in a certain way and it is having a strange effect on me that I didn’t anticipate.

As a disciple of Christ, I rely on His love and protection more so now than ever before.  I need Him more than I’ve ever realized, and maybe that is His design for this time in my life, that I feel the need for Him.  I’m thankful and grateful for His power in my life and I am renewed spiritually every time I pray and pour my heart out to Him.

Yet I keep finding myself in a state of fear of life, which I’ve never experienced in this way before.  I think about those who have died young like Luther, John Ritter, Vesta, Teena Marie and others who lived only to reach their fifties.  I know that it’s wrong to think this way, especially as a child of God, but these thoughts keep coming to my mind.  It’s a strange struggle – to think of not being alive like so and so and to imagine life in another realm.  Yet I feel that I’m not ready to go because I haven’t accomplished my call to my satisfaction.

When I talk to my ex-husband, he tells me that I shouldn’t think that way because I AM accomplishing my call. I AM doing what God would have me right now in this moment.  I know he’s right, yet those thoughts keep coming back to my mind whenever I feel like I’m missing my mark.  If I had my way, I’d be making a lot of money as a writer and blogger – money that I’d be gifting to this worthy cause and that worthy cause.  I’m an Oprah wannabe.  Jealous of her ability to gift the brothers of Morehouse with full tuitions.  If only I could be like her.

I wonder why some people roll smoothy into their calling from the age of twenty like Oprah did, and some can’t get it together even as they reach their fifties and are still struggling like I am.  I just wonder about that kind of stuff.  Then to know that some folks pass away right at the point of finally getting it right.  The fifties are that time when we slowpokes have our chance to finally make it.

Or at least my limited thinking leads me to believe such.  After all, Colonel Sanders didn’t make it big in KFC until he was 65 years old.  At least that’s what I’ve been told.  So I go back to pondering all of these things.  It’s probably not good to think too much about stuff like this, but I can’t seem to stop myself from it.  Prayer and reading God’s Word is the only thing that keeps my mind from wandering away.  Most of the time, anyway.

Thank God for His Word and His Love

21 Comments Add yours

  1. Ahh, Anna Renee in you I have found a kindred spirit. I too have had similar thoughts. So many of my friends, family & co-workers have passed away in their 40s, 50s & 60s. A close girlfriend from my previous job died of a massive heart attack at age 51 leaving behind her husband and three children. That scared and upset me so badly.

    I had my own brush with death at age 49 on Nov. 7, 2008. My blood pressure had shot up to nearly 200 on both the upper and lower numbers. I had the worst headache of my life and I lost sight in my left eye. As I lay in the emergency room on that gurney my life literally passed before my eyes. The damage to my vision was so bad that I was blind in my left eye until I had retina surgery Jan. 2010. Some of my vision was restored but I will never be able to see the way I used to. Had to give up driving.

    I always thought time was on my side. Never thought I would become ill or disabled, however my DNA laughed at me. The very things my parents had have that caused them to die in their mid-60s caught up to me and my brother. When I turned 50 in 2009 I realized I had lived more than half my life and wasn’t going to live another 50 years. That’s when the race against time began.

    Since I do have a chronic illness and suffer from chronic pain, there is definitely a sense of urgency to get everything done before these diseases snuff out my life. In order to accomplish my goals I’ve had to make critical changes in my lifestyle. I must watch what I eat, stay away from negative people, stand up for myself, and get my priorities in order. I’ve been fortunate in that my family came to live with me last year. I finally had to admit I couldn’t do certain activities on my own any more and needed help. That’s another revelation, admit you need help and go get the help. Too much pride will kill you.

    We Eisenhower and Kennedy babies have said countless Goodbyes to our parents, the Greatest Generation. The generation prior to us who suffered through the Great Depression, WWII, the Korean Conflict, Jim Crow to pave the way for us to have opportunities they could only dream about.

    Now we pick up the banner and hopefully pave the way for the Millennials who are the future while still reaching forth for our hopes, dreams, & goals. So Sister Anna to paraphrase the 5th Dimension Let’s enter into the Age of Aquarius while flying Up, Up, & Away in our Beautiful Balloons!!

    1. Anna Renee says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this with me, Deborah. At this point in life, it does seem like a race to get things done – especially when you have chronic illnesses. I know someone with diabetes who has lived through so much pain yet is still thankful to the Lord for life after 30 years of having diabetes. That is a blessing right there. I dont have chronic illness, thank God, but I do have aches and pains.

  2. Anna Renee, all I can say is you spoke the thoughts that have daily been invading my mind. Although I’m just shy of 50 the reality of time being on our side or not has been been enlarging itself as I watch other pass on around me.
    The thoughts of not fulfilling my call and purpose to the fullest before leaving this realm have awakened me in the night and greeted me in the morning.
    While I fully lean and depend on God knowing full well He knows the very number of my days as I push upward in age, I still ponder.

    Thank you for writing this post, it spoke to me that I am not alone and that this perhaps is normal as we become older.

    Bless you always,
    TonyR

    1. Anna Renee says:

      It just seems that this is the age to worry about mortality and accomplishment at the same time. It’s strange, though. Thanks for sharing, TonyR

  3. James/Big Mac says:

    I think we all experience those times when we see,what time it really is.
    For me it’s a motivator to get up off of my rusty dusty and get about the business of God.
    Because if I’m busy about God’s business,then I’m where I should be.
    The anxiety comes when I’M ABOUT MY BUSINESS AND NOT GOD’S BUSINESS.

    1. Anna Renee says:

      The business of God is the only business that will last. That’s what Jesus says, and I believe it. I’m learning this more and more.
      BTW, James you sound like my 91 year old Auntie – she’s the only one I’ve ever heard say “rusty dusty”! 🙂
      She’s in perfect health, walking around under her own power without canes or walkers. I have friends my own age who cant even get around as well as she does. She’s worked hard her whole life and that has helped her stay fit.

  4. Amenta says:

    Psalms 82:6 and John 14:12 strengthen me I hope they will do the same for you.

    Peace!

    1. Anna Renee says:

      Thank you for sharing your favorite scriptures with me, VA! Brother, your blog is blank! Why have you done this? 😦

      1. Amenta says:

        You’re welcome. There seems to be a problem I am having. It there but seems to take a long time to come up. I have been in contact with them about it.

        Thanks

        1. Anna Renee says:

          Oh. See there I was assuming you took it down. As they say, we should never ASS-U-ME because it makes an
          ASS of U and ME 😉

  5. Carolyn Moon says:

    I understand what you’re going through now–for each decade, I believe, has its own revelations that we must ponder in order to move on. You have your faith and I’m sure people who love or admire you for the gifts that you tend to minimize.

    It’s a human trait..to compare ourselves with the exceptional trappings of others. Oprah’s gifts and persona are exceptional across the board. There are very few who have the notoriety or the exceptional acclaim that she has and with that there are still naysayers and detractors. Having said that, there are so many who have done great and magnificent things for others that go unnoticed. I remember you celebrating a milestone with your blog…so you’re being read everyday and there are some or many out there who have epiphanies due to something you wrote. Please don’t marginalize that. The world is a big place and there are hordes of people doing great things out there who aren’t being heralded in the way of an Oprah or a Mae Jemison for that matter. They are known only to those they help or innspire in a number of ways.

    There is this instrumental by Yanni (yeah…I know) ^◡^ which is titled “Never Too Late”. For me, although there are no lyrics…the feel of music and vocals that reflect feeling without lyrics –stir me. Vesta’s theme song for “The Women Of Brewster Place” also comes to mind. I’ve been listening to Yolanda Adams quite a bit lately. “Never Give Up” and “I believe I Can Fly” provide solace. Great musical therapy and reading your Bible are life strengthening and keep you on the path or paths that you’re meant to travel.
    This is a good thing you’re experiencing although daunting at times. You’re about to soar to another level and I’m glad your readers are getting a chance to share some of it with you!! Peace and blessings Sister Anna..

    1. Anna Renee says:

      Thanks for all of this, Sister Carolyn! I know this, but somehow it slips my mind in the midst of my ponderings. Thanks for reminding me! 😀

  6. Reggie says:

    50s?!?

    Well, I’ll be there with you in a few years.

    1. Anna Renee says:

      Boy, you know you about 49 and 3/4ths right this minute!! lol

  7. righteouschoices says:

    Ditto my sister, my experience to the tee, even that Oprah wanna be, part lol. The fifties is such an opposite swing of the pendulum from the tweens, teens, and young adulthood. I never thought of death during those years, and everything just hummed along perfectly in my body, and I was never bothered by what it could or could not do. Long story short, I am overcoming a number of things as I allow the Holy Spirit to renew my mind. Meditating in the Word of God daily, and speaking/confessing His Word over my life daily is my deliverance. In particular deliverance from the fear of death, among other things. So don’t back up off the Word of God, it will produce the faith you need to walk above your circumstances. PEACE

    1. Anna Renee says:

      Meditating in His Word is the key. I used to read the Bible with a mind to accomplish the reading. To finish whichever book I happened to be in so I could go on to the next book. All with the goal of saying – “look at me, I’ve read through the ENTIRE Bible for the fifth time!”

      There was absolutely no meditation involved. Now I know better. Thanks so much for your comments.

  8. Lin says:

    If you Google the names of people who were 50 or older when they made their mark on society, you’d be surprised & realize it’s never too late! However, I don’t think it’s healthy for anyone to compare their life to Oprah’s. Her’s is a rarity in the best of all worlds. But I do think that YOU were meant for great things, & perhaps you are accomplishing them right now, & you’re simply not aware of their effect yet. *ponder*

    One.

    1. Anna Renee says:

      *Pondering* Thanks E.S.

  9. blackmystory says:

    Greetings

    I too have entered in to the no, no zone of the dinosaurs according to my daughter when she was 12 years old. lol! Alas I was reminded that I had reached a milestone that many of my contemporaries haven’t. At 20 years old I thought 50 was just a short walk to the grave. Now that I am 50, I wondered what all the fuss was about.

    As the saying goes it is not the destination but how you arrive there that is most important. I think that all that have commented have expressed the sentiment (more or less) that we take our lives for granted and when it’s time to add up the cost, we realize we’re been short changing ourselves physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Yet as Lin said, many have started on a new path after 50 and left an indelible mark in their own way.

    Once I turned 50, I chose not to die easy by using those people as inspiration, along with the desire to leave a legacy for my children. I think the fact that this plateau has inspired you to assess where you are critically is a good sign. It indicates that deep down you are still searching for a chance to make a difference.

    Everyday lived is a day borrowed from enternity. Every day awake is a chance to move. Where there is movement there is life. Where there is life there is hope. In hope there lies the key to greatness. Let’s not wait till a crisis occurs to enjoy each day fully, for tomorrow is never promised to us.

    Let 50 be a second wind and not a winding down. Embrace it enthusiastically! After all you only see it once 🙂

    1. Anna Renee says:

      Thanks, Blackmystory! I remember when I was in high school and we watched those science films by 21th Century – the ones that talked about what the year 2000 would be like.
      It was 1975 and I was only able to calculate that I would be 40 in 2000. I couldn’t go beyond that, because 40 seemed like a few steps from the grave to me back then.

      But here I am at 51 and Im alive and looking like Im 39! LOL
      Instead of being jealous of those I admire, I’ll go back to admiring and being inspired by them as I do what God has gifted me to do. I wont allow negative thoughts to make me look at my life as winding down.

      Jealousy and fear are time stealers and I’m getting my mind back on track. I truly appreciate your words of encouragement!

  10. Anna Renee says:

    Thanks, my blog family for encouraging me and giving me a swift, yet gently kick in the rusty dusty!

    I’m back!! *to Return of The Mack music*

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