I turn 50 on January 24.
I don’t know what I thought 50 would be like. I imagine back in the day, decades ago, I thought it seemed super old. But here I am, my life GPS telling me it’s mere moments away (relatively speaking).
In my head, I’m always 20. If there’s any doubt I am indeed not 20, all I have to do is hang around my oldest son and his girlfriend, who are both 21.
I can’t help myself around them, as I drift into full blown mother mode, reminding them to not drive with a gas tank that is too close to empty and to make sure their respective smoke detectors are in good working order.
I may even throw in some cheesy motivational quote and tell them how proud I am of them. “Leaders are readers! Leaders. Are. Readers!”
My son has casually implied it’s smother mode, not mother mode, but what does he know? I’m the journalism major here. Let’s leave the semantics to the professional.
When my son was on his high school baseball team, I was still giving him the same pep talk I gave him when he was 8. “Be a good encourager, honey! If someone makes a bad play, just be a good encourager!” That’s what every 17-year-old boy wants to hear. His name is Mitchell and I once slipped and called him Mitchie from the stands. I think he just shook his head, totally not in disbelief. Not even a little.
Oh for the love. How does any child survive a mother?
My friend Amy and I were melancholy about some of our parenting woes, deciding for sure that it must be mothers who make things go completely awry. Or we are the linch pins holding everything together. Seems to be no middle ground.
On my magnetic bulletin board in my office, I have a magnet of Wonder Woman with the quote, “NO stunt doubles. This is all ME!” The illustrated Wonder Woman has perky breasts, beautifully toned legs, a flat stomach and long wavy hair. The resemblance is uncanny, which is why I have to keep this sort of thing in my office. Putting it on the fridge would just be bragging, right? (I’d insert an eyeroll emoji here, but I’m nearly 50. I am not sure how to use emojis in a Word Press post).
Anyway. I’m turning 50.
I’m actually quite excited about 50 (you know, because in my head, I’m always 20). I once said to my husband, “How many good years do we have left, anyway? We need to live life to the fullest! Maybe we only have 10 or 20 years left!” I realize now this isn’t the sort of thing to say around 60- or 70-year-olds.
My husband asked me what I want for my birthday. I want for nothing, so I have no ideas. For Christmas I wanted a zester, which is an $11 kitchen tool used for zesting citrus fruits or finely grating cheese or nutmegs. I got that, so now I’m good. Like I said, 20 in my head, but clearly NOT 20 in real life. I asked for a zester, people. And was thrilled I got it.
Interestingly, one thing that hasn’t slowed down for me is my sex drive. I think that is in part because I have an incredibly positive perspective on sex.
I also tend to live by the “use or lose it” anthem, which clearly applies to more than just keeping your core strong or learning a foreign language.
The older I get, I am increasingly aware that life flying by is more than a cliché. I personally know three people whose spouses died unexpectedly and young. I know those are extreme examples, but how often do we find ourselves thinking there will always be time later — time to nurture a marriage or go on date nights or have sex.
Later can become too late in a heartbeat.
And getting older shouldn’t be our motivation for making positive changes. No matter our age, our motivation should be because it’s the healthy thing to do.
I don’t know how old you are as you sit here and read this. Maybe like me, you are indeed middle-aged. Or maybe you truly are a 20-something. Maybe you are somewhere in between being a newlywed and celebrating your golden anniversary.
No matter where you are age wise, what does intimacy in your marriage look and feel like?
Is it sacred ground the two of you hold in high regard? Is it a place where you are struggling, yet hungering to get back on track? Is it dead in your marriage? Is it vibrant and fun?
Sure, milestone birthdays (or milestone anniversaries) can be cathartic moments where we glance back. And glance ahead. But never lose sight of intentionally taking some baby steps to build a better life now.
If you want to get me a birthday present, the best thing you could do is something to nurture your marriage and your intimacy. That would bring me great joy, because it would bring you and your spouse great joy!
I sounded a little mother-y there, didn’t I? Well. I am nearly 50, you know. But I’m 20 in my head! Always 20 in my head!
Go get ’em tiger!
And I have a 5 video series available on building better sex in your marriage. Great way to invest in your marriage! You can find out all about it at this link: Better Sex in Your Christian Marriage.
Copyright 2020, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.