I don’t know about you, but when I was a little girl I thought of the number 40 and what I visualized immediately after was the word “elderly”!!! Nowadays it makes me laugh, but I used to see it as such a huge number that I thought that having 40 years of age meant being in the elderly years. Through the years, as I grew in age, that thought began to change, but as much as I tried not to ponder these things, unconsciously I asked myself what it would be like to reach that age.
The human body has the ability to regenerate and heal itself from various physical afflictions, like for example, when we get a small scratch on the skin. If we take care of ourselves, we can see how little by little our skin begins to heal and regenerate. The same thing applies to the body and mind on a larger scale while we sleep. The process of cellular regeneration we undergo is amazing, which is why, even if we don’t realize it, we sweat while our bodies are at rest. Isn’t it marvelous how God has created us?
That's how it is. Amazing.
In my case, having reached my 40’s has been amazing. Now my idea of seeing someone of this age as elderly has taken a 180 degree turn, for the simple reason that I now am experiencing it myself. Not because of the number, but because of how we decide to carry our age and learn from it is how we grow in life. I don’t know if it’s because of my genes, but the feedback that I always get from most people is that they don’t believe that I am 41 years of age. Maybe it’s my height or body composition, I really don’t have a good reason to explain it, but in a small survey I took, I fell in the age category between 27-34 years in a 88% majority, which I must confess, made me giggle. But since I know a great amount of those who read this and follow me are women, I want to share with you all the things I understand are those that have defined me as a woman of this age that has learned to age gracefully, which is a process that is gradual and beautiful. Only to help other girls to change that wrong mindset that drives them to say they are older or younger than they actually are; to help those who think because of what they see on social media and some pretty pictures, what they show is perfection, which is also very far from the truth.
In all honesty, I can say that I am a real woman, a woman as real as you, with virtues and flaws, a women with successes and failures, a woman with securities and insecurities. My insecurities? Many; my height used to be one of them, now I’ve learned to love it. Yes, I am 4’11”, I am petite, my skin isn’t the best, I have scars in various parts of my body, and I have to take care of eating as healthy as possible since I have thyroid syndrome, although it is under control, thanks to God. And so, I can say that I am very real.
Nonetheless, I want to share with you the things that help me see age as a mere number and be grateful with all that the Lord allows me to be, do, and have today. These aren’t necessarily all pieces of advice that will work for you, because many of them are part of a personality in particular, and mine is filled with energy, which may explain my many scars. So here I list those aspects that form a part of my lifestyle and part of who I am, which in a certain way helps me to be able to carry my years with joy, things that are also applicable for those in their 30’s, 50’s, 60’s, etc.
1. Laugh more. There is time for everything, and if we can laugh, why not do it?
2. Challenge yourself to do that which you’ve always wanted to do and never did. I know there is a lot you can still contribute, what is it that you left on hold?
3. Learn to be more spontaneous. It’s good to plan things out, but I am one of those who prefers to launch into new adventures, a lot of times for the fun of it, which is why spontaneous photography is the style I enjoy the most.
4. Don’t compare yourself to others. Never-ever! Because simply put, everyone has a story to tell, personal struggles with which to fight, and many times none of these can be seen externally. Like the saying goes, never judge a book by its cover, or like my grandma says “ nobody knows what’s in the pot except for the spoon that stirs it”.
5. Forgive and ask for forgiveness. I think this is one of the most difficult, but believe me, when we learn to look at others with mercy, recognizing that we too fail daily, it will become easier. Forgiveness is freeing and cleans up space. Practice forgiveness.
6. Find a hobby that you love and practice it. Is it reading? Is it making something with your hands? Is it using your imagination to create? Is it drawing? Whatever it is, enjoy it.
7. Take care of yourself. Taking care of our bodies is good, since it maintains us balanced. Exercise and healthy eating are key to making this possible. Drinking enough water is also necessary to maintain ourselves hydrated, skin as well as the body in general, additional to keeping our metabolism energized.
8. Have contentment with what you have, be grateful. Groaning and complaining all the time brings feelings of sluggishness and depression, and blinds us from seeing all of the blessings we do have, stopping us from enjoying them.
9. Don’t live someone else’s life. NEVER! I think this is similar to not comparing ourselves to others, the difference is that we add to that the fact that we cannot walk through life desiring to have what others have or copying what others do. I think we can take the good out of what others do and practice it, but never reaching the point of copying. This is a “NEVER EVER, NO-NO”!
10. Don’t live an anxious life. Anxieties and stresses ruin our lives in ways we can’t always perceive in plain sight or on a short time period, it causes damage that slowly drives us to a loss of energy, discouragement, irritability, depression, physical weakness, heart attacks, and other ailments, which can also cause an increase in weight because of the generation of cortisol in a woman’s body, which concentrates in the central area of the body, waist and hips.
11. Take some time out of each day to pray and seek to know the Lord through His Word. As a woman redeemed by Jesus Christ and believer in His Word, I think this is the most important of all of this list. Praying and knowing the Lord through His Word will take us to accomplish all the other things listed here.
12. Rest. The human body needs some time of rest around 7-8 hours daily, because as I mentioned before, rest causes cellular regeneration.
13. Do some physical activity. Physical activity helps us with energy , since it regulates serotonin levels in the brain. At the same time it maintains a healthy heart.
14. Learn to enjoy things like a child. When was the last time you played or enjoyed something like a child?
15. Know yourself. Yes. Learn to enjoy those times alone, in which you can accomplish many of the things that are written here. In knowing you, you’ll be able to distinguish between your weaknesses and strengths, so that you can later enjoy those times you’ll have in the company of others. Take some time to pamper yourself. These little moments are healthy.
16. Love. Yes, love. This word is connected in its totality to knowing God, through His Son, Jesus Christ, for the definition of love isn’t brought up by man, it is a word created by God himself, for He is the preeminence of love in Jesus Christ. May the world not entice you with the lie of a false concept of love, “love is not love”, because love is God and God is love (1 Corinthians 13:1-13)
17. Learn to live for others and not for yourself. There is no greater blessing than giving. As we give, we are blessed. Learn to live to serve, not to be seen, but because it flows from a heart free of selfishness when we give ourselves fully.
18. Dress with grace. Let’s not dress to make others stumble, let’s dress with grace. With a unique style, without having to sell ourselves to others in a vulgar way. The way we present ourselves says a lot about who we are.
19. Be real and transparent. I love to surround myself with people who are authentic and transparent, simply because it is something that forms a part of me. What you see up front is what you would see behind closed doors. May hypocrisy have no part in us.
20. Get out of your routine and look around. Do all you can to make changes so that you can get out of your daily routine, and when you do, look around you, observe every beautiful detail that is provided to us by the grace of God everyday and enjoy it.
21. Fill your home with life. A home filled with screams and fights is no longer an oasis for anyone. May your home display that sense of joy, laughter, service, love and sweetness.
22. Accept the changes life brings you, and with them the physical changes. Changes don’t have to be bad in and of themselves, it all depends on the way which we look at them. Years go by and with them come changes, our bodies change, wrinkles begin to appear and with them gray hairs, our skin begins to show spots and droopiness, pregnancies or weight loss create stretch marks, etc, etc. The list is long. Let’s learn to love each one of our changes.
23. Explore. Having a little bit of curiosity isn’t bad. Wanting to explore drives us to learn, and learning drives us to grow.
24. Laugh at the days to come. I believe in these words from Proverbs 31, “ she laughs at the days to come”, since it portrays a woman who is confident that all that she is and has is in the hands of the One who has the power to create and destroy all things. For she realizes that the only power she possesses is the power that comes from Jesus Christ in her. This might sound easy to take to action, but to practice it is truly no easy task. We need God’s grace to accomplish this.
25. Fill yourself of faith. Faith, such a short word but so great at the same time! Are we lacking the faith to accomplish these things? Let us ask the Lord to show us His mercy so that we might be filled with this gift that comes from Him.
Never believe the lies of this world.
I believe every woman is unique and has a lot to contribute. I hope that the erroneous and wild concept the world tries to sell you doesn’t fool you. What we see on social media is often not reality, and that’s a fact. What’s the important thing to remember after learning all of this? Not to make a god out of these things. Because nothing should be more important than God to us and the time we spend with Him. Let us live in such a way that we can enjoy every stage of our lives for what they are, a display of God’s grace over us. Every one of a woman’s life stages is beautiful. What’s stopping you from enjoying it? I think you can do it.
Yes. If I could, you can too.
If you liked this post and you have something to share with me and need encouragement, I am here to support you. I send you my greatest of hugs.
“Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.”
Translation, made by collaboration, of Shelly Michelle Mercado (follow her here).