“Middle age is when your age starts
to show around your middle.”
When I was younger, I pushed myself once I made my mind up. I challenged myself to go harder, faster, better. But as I’ve matured, wisdom has taught me about rhythms and pace. I’ve learned self-care and how I injure more easily now.
I’ve lived through bright neon colored clothes, chunky headbands, Olivia Newton John, and Jane Fonda. I’ve survived French-cut body suits with cuts arching up to the underside of a rib cage, spandex, Susan Powter, and Cindy Crawford workouts. This was the early 90’s and late 80’s, during which time, exercise had its own signature. I pray some of it stays there too, never to be repeated.
I remember step aerobics being the newest thing at a local Gold’s Gym when I first attended a class in 1992. In my 20’s, my body recovered quicker. Getting in shape was easier back then, taking care of myself, more of an afterthought.
Lately however, I’ve been reduced. My body breaks down without permission. I don’t have the luxury to go fast and push hard, anymore. I must be attentive and closely listen to the subtle and not so subtle cues. The twisted and sprained ankle. The swollen and stiff knee. Weight gain and hormonal imbalances from a full hysterectomy. Hot flashes. Thinning hair. Achilles tendonitis or elbow tendonitis. Wrist pain. Less flexible muscles more apt to strain, than give. And the list goes on.
You may not consider 46 years as mid-life, but let’s look at the numbers—I’m half way to 92. It’s safe to I’m a mid-lifer, even if I’m only an infant here.
“One of the many things nobody ever tells you about middle age
is that it’s such a nice change from being young.”
I’m the wet behind the ears, newborn woman looking at the world with my dewy eyes into the other half of my life. I may be a babe but my full blown menopause state accelerated my body forward in ways I had not expected.
In my constant vigil of maturing health, I now know my body better than before. And in familiarity, I’ve come to love it better too. More care may go into a my current physical activities, but self-awareness helps me appreciate the body God’s given me.
“None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.”
~~Henry David Thoreau
There’s a certain magic to the midlife, even when one is fresh into it. Our 20-something years of establishing ourselves in the world, was work. Those years were the beginning of knowing how God made us, of knowing our own minds and the way God has gifted us.
But now, we are in the middle of it or at the beginning of the middle.
We’re in the middle of knowing
who we are and Whose we are.
Midlife is transition.
It’s where we give ourselves permission to dream and learn to cherish this tent of flesh. We are kinder and more grace-filled because we have grown comfortable in our skin, within and without.
Our bodies break down. But our experience has increased. And the once iron-clad-will has become more pliable because we have a greater knowledge of weakness.
Mid-life is a chance for a second wind. There’s opportunity to begin again. Mid-life is a new start for the other half, one that’s different than our past. The possibilities are optimistically grounded in knowing our minds and the security of peace that comes with it. Physical health may be challenged, but our mental health, and our acceptance of who we are grows exponentially.
This is a season of breakthroughs even if we limp through them.
Latest posts by Tammy Hendricksmeyer (see all)
- An Open Letter from One Estranged Mother to Her Daughter (Or Any Daughter Who Wonders if She’s Loved) - January 31, 2017
- How Older Generations Have a Purpose and a Calling - September 27, 2016
- Life After Leg Warmers, Leotards, & Jane Fonda - September 1, 2015
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