Happy Birthday To Me! This is 55 and the Life Well-Lived
Today is my birthday! I am 55. For the past few weeks, I have been struggling with 55 – the age. I have only had this struggle with age one other time. On my 30th birthday, I cried the entire day. I cannot tell you why 30 was so hard, but I can tell you why I have been struggling with 55. You see, I had expected to have done so much more by 55. In fact all this time, I was just looking at what I failed to do, and I forgot to look at what I have accomplished, and what I still plan to do. I forgot to look at my entire life and see that I have had a life well-lived.
What I Thought A Well-Lived Life Meant
By 55 I wanted to have traveled internationally to Italy, Egypt, Greece, and Aruba. I wanted to have raised all my children. It wasn’t my plan to have my children spaced out so much. I would have had them much closer together. By now, I would have begun to focus on some of my dreams after the kids were out of the house.
Additionally, I hadn’t planned on my husband getting a job in Corporate America in his 50’s. I also didn’t plan on having a child with special needs – most people don’t! These are all things that have changed how I view my life over 55.
What Does 55 Really Mean?
First, I truly believe that negative thoughts and words are damaging, and I also believe that you have the ability to make things better in your life. However, that never stops me from having negative thoughts. But just this past week, after wallowing in self-pity and less than stellar thoughts, my pastor said something about shifting our focus. And right at that moment, I decided to look up the Biblical Meaning of the number 55.
Fifty-Five: The number 55 is a connotation of the double influence of the number 5. Five symbolizes God’s goodness, grace and kindness. Therefore, 55 symbolizes the intensity of the Grace that God has for all His creation.
So What Does A Life Well-Lived Really Look Like?
In fact, after seeing what 55 means, I began to look at my life differently. I decided to exam all that I have done. There are other blog posts that discuss a well-lived life, and what that all means. I don’t know that I necessary believe other people’s lists. One list says having “no regrets.” Unfortunately, there are moments in my life I do regret (but that is probably another blog post!)
Fortunately, I came up with a list of my own that define my life. Here are just some of the things I have been involved with from age 18 to 55. These are achievements that I can proudly say, “Look what God has allowed me to do.”
Married for Thirty-Five Years
I married at 19. Everybody said it wouldn’t work. We have now been married 35 years. However, my husband and I didn’t just marry each other. We married in the presence of God. We made a covenant to honor, love and cherish each other all the days of our lives. However, we have not always fulfilled that covenant perfectly, but we have not strayed from the bonds that God has created. Furthermore, when you place God in the center of your marriage, He has a unique way to making sure you work things out even if that isn’t your intent.
“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.” Psalm 127:3
We had 6 children. I am so used to saying, “I have five children,” but we have had 6 children. One is in heaven. I miscarried early on so we don’t know if we have another son or daughter. What a great reunion that will be one day meeting and finding out who that child is.
The Honor of Being Pregnant
I have carried children in my womb for almost 4 years. What an awesome responsibility. I didn’t take the incubating of babies lightly. I knew that I was housing God’s greatest creations. Those 4 collective years are some of my best memories.
Sustaining Life Breast-Feeding
Another awesome thing I got to do was to nurse my children. I allowed my children to grow and be nourished at my breasts for over 8 years. My breasts are saggy and have plenty of stretch marks, but they have served a grand purpose in sustaining life. Some of the greatest moments of this life well-lived have been while nursing and raising my children!
While many moms were out creating businesses and working in the real world, I was homeschooling my children. This is year 26 on this journey. Raising humans each and every day, teaching them, helping them to grow into godly adults, and instructing them in every area of their lives has been a delight. Of course, not every moment was delightful, but the opportunity to raise such amazing humans is not one I ever took lightly.
Caring for Aging Parents
Helping to care for loved ones. When my father was ill, I had the pleasure of caring for him from driving him to dialysis appointments or doctor’s offices to creating special meals for him. My children got to have a great experience spending time with their grandfather. Now I am helping to care for my mother. While it is stressful to watch your parents age, it is also an honor to spend the time with them. Many children do not get that honor.
Experiences That Have Blessed Me Beyond Belief
Attending three Disney Social Media Moms Celebrations, 1 Beaches Moms Event, Blogging Branson, and a Permission to Hustle Retreat. Meeting outstanding bloggers, becoming friends with strangers over the internet, and getting to see some behind the scenes things at Disney have rocked my world.
While these experiences have truly propelled me into a life well-lived, I do not for a second believe that I have accomplished these things on my own. I know that God had His hand in each and every one of these experiences.
Having a Child with Autism
Sharing Jack-Jack with the world. The light that shines in that young man is truly inspirational to me and others. Getting to share him via social media is a privilege I do not take for granted.
Looking At Life Through a Different Lens
So as I began to look at my life through a different lens, I started to see all that I have accomplished, and all that God has placed before me. I do not have a top blog, and I don’t travel to exotic destinations, but I have been given the opportunity to grow, experience, and learn each and every year.
I am a mom to five amazing humans, a grandma to 5 little granddaughters who light up the room the moment they walk in, a sister, an aunt, a friend, a and a confidant to some of the best people alive. Additionally, I have been a stand-in mom to my children’s friends. Each and every time I have been called mom by someone I didn’t birth, I feel a double blessing.
I also know that I am not done in my journey. As long as I am alive, I will continue to learn and grow. In fact, God and I have some big plans for the next 30 years. Make sure to follow along with my journey to see what’s next in this life well-lived.
Are You Living a Life Well-Lived?
Maybe you are thinking that your life hasn’t been great. Maybe you are wishing you could have done things differently. However, looking at your life through a different lens may enable you to see all you have been blessed with. Life is a journey, and in fact, I am documenting these birthdays to see how I have grown. Year 54 was learning to Celebrate ME!
I encourage you to write down all you have accomplished over your lifetime. When you see what you have done, it will motivate and inspire you to shift your focus! Seeing the wonderful sometimes take time. Often blessings are hidden and will be slowly revealed to you. Keep adding to your list as you uncover the blessings!
Here’s to having a wonderful life!
Reviewing movies for parents from a Christian perspective since 2005. Know Before You Go!
Christian Homeschooling mom – 30 years and counting
Autism Mom & Disney enthusiast