Have you ever passed by the mirror, and a quick side glance makes you stop and ask, “When did my mom get here?”

With a shock, you turn face forward and realize you’re not looking at your mother, it’s you in the mirror. Especially now, as I’ve decided to let my hair grow in naturally – without color.

I find myself leaning forward and wondering when those lines appeared in my neck. What happened to my youth? I still think of myself as a vibrant young woman of forty-something. How could I possibly have a daughter who is over forty? I’m in my forties! But the tell-tale signs that I’m getting older can’t be denied. I can no longer work out at the gym five days in a row. Eight-thirty seems like a perfectly acceptable time to go to bed. When I hear of a famous person dying at the age of sixty-four, I think, ‘He was so young.’

Like you, I feel my advancing years in many ways. Muscle aches, weight gain, irritability, and impatience when life is inconvenient. What’s a person to do? How does God want me to flourish in my final chapter?
According to the CDC, the average life span in the United States is 78.8 years, which breaks down to 76.4 years for males, and 81.2 years for females. (1)

Physical changes, emotional losses, spiritual discovery. I want to make my next twenty or so years to have an impact in my family, my community, and my world. I don’t want to be the stereotypical crotchety old woman, always harping about ‘kids these days.’

(1) National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States 2015: with Special Features on Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. Hyattsville, MD, 2016, Page 4

I have to look at my life with a dash of humor. And grace. Lots of grace. Toward others and myself.

How about you? How do you process the increasing number of candles on the cake? The advancing years? Let me know!

Jane S. Daly is the author of two nonfiction books and seven novels.

Jane is addicted to coffee, purple pens, and her husband, not necessarily in that order. A self-proclaimed introvert, she enjoys the solitude of riding shotgun in Rigsby, her 37-foot motor home. But when they pull into a new campground, her favorite thing is to make new friends and find hangouts featuring local musicians. Her fantasy involves writing lyrics for country music songs and hearing them played on the radio. In the meantime, she’ll stick to writing novels. And seeing as much of the country as possible.