Embracing 50 And Beyond

By Debe Lange
By Debe Lange

Another birthday has come and gone. I once heard a mother with grown children explain that while her children were growing up, it was hard trying to get them to remember her and her husband’s birthdays. Now that she and her husband were over 50 and their children had grown into adults, she can’t get their children to forget them.

Too often we look at the outside shell of our bodies and wish it would match what’s going on in our heads. We just know we’re younger than we look, but it’s only those our own age that seem to know what we’re talking about. Certainly our kids don’t, but then why would they? They’ve not reached this time of life yet, but they willI overheard a son telling his father one day, “Dad, I just don’t get it. How come the older I get, the smarter you get?” How true. Oh, how telling that one statement is of how the younger generation views us.

Unlike the young people of today who are growing up in a world of chaos and fear, we were truly blessed. Our world was calmer and much simpler. We grew up in a time when we addressed a policeman as “Sir”, and where we were taught to never point a gun at anyone for fear of harming them.We learned our neighbor was more important than ourselves and that we were to help others in need, not take advantage of them. We survived wars, “hippiedom”, and flower children. We learned right from wrong without any grey areas, and that any life was to be valued. Our generation was unique and has left it’s footprint in history unlike any other.

Through it all, we’ve gained some incredible lessons. We’ve become more decisive in what we believe and where we stand. Yet, we’ve also become more tolerant of those a little different than ourselves. We’ve made some mistakes through our lives; some we’d love to take back, but it has caused us to be more forgiving of those who have followed in our footsteps.

How we handle situations and circumstances today is probably much different than we dealt with them earlier. We have gained wisdom that we’ve tried to pass on to our kids … not always successfully. However, although they may not take the advice and counsel we’ve given them, you can be sure they’ve heard it and will remember it for some time to come.

We are examples. We are the result of both the good and the bad things that have happened to us and others are still learning from us. We’ve become more patient, kinder, and through our experiences, we’ve gained some confidence in our abilities and discovered our gifts and talents.

So, as we age; as we remember the Mustangs, Camaros, and GTOs, the early Beatles and Ferry ‘Cross the Mercy, The Nelson Family and Bonanza; and as we watch our own children wrestle with the same decisions we did, we can know that we’ve REALLY lived. As long as we persist in growing “up”, we’ll never grow “old”.

Submitted By Shirley Price & Debe Lange

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