There are some of us who will grow old gracefully. Others of us will just grow a little more grace.
I spot older women sitting elegantly, a statue of sophistication with their hair set tight and nails meticulous. Their lipstick red “within” the lines, because that’s what years of experience gets you. I hope I’m like that when I get older is a thought I have as I pass them by. But lately I’ve spied a familiar woman’s reflection in a dusty window, her platinum pony flopping while she cleans—and I just know—meticulous isn’t my thing. Nope. This old mama’s gonna have blue hair. Oh, well.
But blue hair or no blue hair—growing older takes lots of practice. By “lots of practice,” I mean, age and repetition have taught me a few priceless lessons.
For instance, I don’t take the time or energy to obsess about things like I used to. Fuss maybe—not obsess. Not only am I more comfy in my skin, but I’m more snug in my cycling pants that compress everything from my ankles to my hips. Oh, good news. I’m so thankful the padded shorts my honey bought me provides the cushion I need to sit on a bicycle seat the size of a book binding. Even better news.
I no longer stress and try to match anything. Not even socks. I used to come unglued with the mystery of it all. How does a laundry basket fill to the brim with not one single match within the heap? I hated the sock monster that roamed our laundry room. Granted, some socks worn enough to decompose in the lint trap, but what about the new MIA’s?
I can’t say I didn’t enjoy those days of matching. I did. Matching furniture. Matching cars. Matching hair-dos. And matching clothes. All three children dressed alike for Fourth of July pics, even as they got older. Then on Easter! Their Aunt would make them all coordinating outfits. All five girls and then…Josh. Poor thing. To think I made him wear greener than green pants to match his sisters. He cried in the pictures. Then he rebelled with camo. Now, years later, he would be delighted if I purchased anything his kind of outdoorsy style—and then actually wore it. But other than the few times leaves have molded themselves to my grippy jeans from too much hammock time—camo is really a no.
The girls? They are different. Most of the time I change if I’m hurrying out the door with even the resemblance of a similar piece of anything to them. After all, someone might think we “planned” the event. Forbid my black and white striped maxi-dress match their black or white…um… clutch purse. “Uhhh, Mom.” Nope. It’s okay. It’s just payback for the many times I was a clothes-control freak. Now my shoes no longer match my purse, and my mood no longer has to match my day. God is good like that.
There is so much mommy, wife, and superwoman pressure off of me–I could melt into a puddle of goo (Unless…I’m under a pressure-cooker book deadline, like now. Praise God!). But for the most part, I revel in these de-stressed years. My decorating style eclectic with a relaxed farmhouse feel. Or maybe just a farm-ish feel with one surviving 4H bunny getting fat in the barn. A ton of my furniture already with a de-stressed appeal. Why couldn’t I see the blessing in all this chippy-aged feel years ago. Like when I was micromanaging life while making sure all the children brushed their teeth? All the time. A cavity neurotic mama.
Now. Some may think I’ve let myself go. Given in. Or simply given up. It’s really true—I’ve done all of those things. When you are older you relax a little more, because you don’t want to waste the remaining time God has for you. I’ve given in to the belief that a perfect outside makes a perfect inside. I’ve given my will to a God who knows what perfects is, yet loves me anyway. Ahhh good grace. Certainly, I’ve given up the notion that I am unloved. Even though these days I get lonelier than I used to—with our baby away to college. My house clean and quiet. I miss dirty boots and humming laughter. Boooorrrrring! Would somebody please make some noise?
But I know God loves me. My family. My best friend who is like a sister to me and puts up with…um…muchness. My friends. My honey, who was my honey before the chaos of our lives swept our attentions to another realm of indescribable love. I feel so blessed that some days I fight harder to give up more of myself to more people.
So, blue hair—don’t care. God’s Word helps me fight the cluttered chaos of my emotions and bad hair days. His grace gives me open windows to throw out mistakes. His love allows me to grow old with grace—not as in graceful though—just grace. My happy redefined. I take the good and the bad. But mostly I take the dog out. Boy, I miss my baby daughter! Now where did I put my mismatched socks? Picture-Jonathon Malm