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Growing Old-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: January 19, 2020

I overheard a conversation at a ladies fashion store. It went something like this:

Lady in dressing room: “It’s strange, I used to be a size 8 but something in my body has changed.”

Store Owner: “Yup you’re right.  Did you know that as we grow older our boobs grow longer, and so do our ears, and noses.”

I wasn’t ready for that kind of information and that conversation just about made me fall over. I was shocked to hear of yet more changes I wasn’t prepared for.

We applaud and admire youth and beauty. The flawless skin, tight and skinny arms and slim taunt legs. Looking into the mirror when we were 20 we could never have imagined that beautiful, unlined soft skin would one day have wrinkles. It happens. We have no control over it. It’s part of the circle of life.

When I was younger I recall looking at older women with their wrinkled necks, sun spots on their hands and hair styles from two decades ago and thinking:  I don’t want to look like that. Somehow I’ll manage to be different.  If you have a ton of money, you can inhibit the alternations, but eventually it all catches up with us. When those unsightly lines, grey hair and various strange marks show up on our bodies what is the best way to handle the startling physical and emotional changes?

I cling to the verse in the Bible that says: “We do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16). This verse continues to give me hope, and here are some wonderful and positive things I’m learning and experiencing as I grow old.

  • I’ve worked hard all my life to be accepted, to prove myself and to the world that I’m smart and I have value. I’m done proving. I’m done people pleasing because at the end of the day you will like or not. I’m done wearing myself out trying to accommodate everyone’s expectations. Each day I ask God to fill me with His love and to pour blessings onto people around me. If I fail, that means I’m still human.
  • I’ve learned to love my body, wrinkles and all. God gave me this body to use while I’m living this life and I’m pretty happy it’s working for me really well. But I take good care of my body. I try to eat healthy, take my vitamins, get good rest and exercise this by walking, golfing, shovelling snow and other bodily activities.
  • There are no prizes for getting up early, sacrificing some leisure activities, keeping a spotless home or NOT reading a book on a rainy afternoon. I kept waiting for the rewards but there were none. So now I allow myself those hidden pleasures of enjoying things I’ve put off for years.
  • I’ve learned to “be in the moment” and enjoy whatever life throws at me. I recognize that everything has a special significance and I don’t want to miss out on any conversation and laughter. I know how fleeting time is and I settle in to savour all of life’s moments.
  • Wear your favourite clothes. Whenever you want. Or lounge around the house in your favourite hoodie. Years ago I wouldn’t have taken out the garbage without wearing make-up. Now, I’ve been known to go grocery shopping without brushing my hair. Because at the end of the day, what does it matter?

I’m not being flippant or uncaring. In fact I love people and life so much that I want the marker on my grave to say: “She Loved Well.” But I’m learning to walk with Jesus the way He commanded in Matthew 11:28: ““Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

For most of my life I’ve worked hard and experienced being weary and burdened. But Jesus doesn’t ask us to live that way. I’m learning how to walk with Jesus through the “unforced rhythms of grace.” The key word is grace and I’m still learning how to live it.

As you grow older and wiser, what are you learning to let go?


Posted in: Beauty from the Inside Out, becoming, care, Christ, Expectations, Freedom, God's love, grace, growing old, happiness, Jesus, joy, laughter, love, love yourself, rest, Valued

7 responses to “Growing Old-by Heidi McLaughlin”

  1. Sandra L Gauer says:

    I too am learning how to grow old and I am loving it. My husband often sends me questioning looks when I go to the grocery store wearing my tee shirts and active wear pants. In days past it would have been sport shirts and jeans with my makeup on and every hair in place. I am living for the Lord, no one else.

    • hmclaughlin says:

      Isn’t it awesome to be freed up from some of those inner “expectations?” But only brave girls do this and I’m delighted that you are beautifully courageous going into the aging years. I want to go out in Glory…growing in glory from day to day. (2 Corinthians 3:18). We still haven’t met Sandra…one day! Love and hugs, Heidi

  2. Kathy Eggli says:

    Thank you Heidi for these wise words, I so enjoyed reading this, was just what I needed, I’ll look forward to more❤️

    • hmclaughlin says:

      Kathy, how lovely to hear from you. We all need to know we have friends that are also walking this journey…encouraging each other on. You can subscribe to my blogs by going on my website and signing up for it. http://www.heartconnection.ca
      Would LOVE to see you this summer. Hugs and love, Heidi

  3. Zsuzsanna koller says:

    Love what you wrote Heidi. ..my sentiments also. Just having a birthday today ..66. and noticing physical age signs more and more. .focus is shifting to inner evolution. ….

    • hmclaughlin says:

      …66, what a great age. You’re going into the best years of your life. YES, inner evolution. That’s the very best!
      Hugs, Heidi

  4. Margaret Sprackett says:

    Wonderful perspective Heidi. I have only known you to be a kind loving accepting freeing person to others…It is wonderful to allow yourself to feel the same way…

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