Getting older…

…is not for the faint of heart!

I turn 54 years old in just a couple of hours, and this week has been full of reminders of aging.

I went for an audiology test on Monday, because I couldn’t hear at my daughter’s show a couple of weeks ago. We were sitting four rows from the stage, and I had to cup my ear and lean forward to hear the actors. Earlier this week, I sat directly across the room from my friend, and had to sit on the edge of the couch and try to read her lips as she was speaking; I still missed at least 1/4 of what she said. And at Connection Group, when another friend bowed her head, I just “agreed in the Spirit,” since I couldn’t hear a word that was prayed!

The audiologist told me that there might be some physical reasons for my hearing loss, and recommended I see an ENT before continuing with her. Yet still, the graph she documented showed a distinct hearing loss from my last test, about four years ago. And there must be a genetic component, as I think both my dad and grandpa started wearing hearing aids about this time in their lives. Oh, goodie!

In the meantime, my husband just hands me the volume controls each night as we watch Netflix.

Additionally, my back has been hurting for months. It begins as a severe pain every morning when I first get out of bed. Then a month ago, it moved lower in my spine and started causing the sciatic nerve to flare up. Four weeks of increasing chiropractic and massage care hasn’t helped, and today I told my doctor that I couldn’t take the pain anymore. She thinks I should see an orthopedist, to check for a herniated disc. I walk hunched over and leaning to my right side as pain shoots down my left leg and I grasp for the counter so I don’t fall. Should I lean on a cane?

I watch YouTube videos on how to apply makeup tricks to aging skin. But I can’t seem to cover both my dark eye circles and my wrinkles.

I think I need new cheater glasses – my old ones don’t seem to be strong enough, and I can’t read a thing without them. Mostly, I wear them on the top of my head, since I refuse to wear them around my neck. At least I can usually find them, until I’ve laid them down who knows where – I can’t remember where I put them! I keep an extra pair in my purse, on my nightstand, and by my iPad. Still, I find myself looking all over for them when I need to read the instructions for cooking the take-and-bake bread.

I take 6 medications/vitamins in the morning, and 3 more at night. I’ve got my own little pharmacy by my toothbrush.

At least my body is in shape –  after all, round is a shape. right?!

I got my first gray hair when I was 19 years old, but now my whole head is gray.  Good thing it looks like highlights in the short haircut I wear. Just think current Jamie Lee Curtis.

Seriously, aging is not for cowards!

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What do I want to be when I grow up?

As I’ve said before, I’m in a holding pattern right now.

We just moved here 9 months ago, and I’m still getting established in life, routine, church, work, etc. I still feel “new” here. Relationships are slow to come by, and feeling at home takes time, at least a year, based on my earlier relocation experiences. Finding a church base takes time too, and we’re in that process right now. But finding ministry where I can serve takes even longer, as I’m discovering every week.

So as I wait, I wonder. What do I want to do with my life? Or rather, what does God want me to do with my life?

I’m in the second half. I’m a relatively new empty-ester, and now is the time, if ever, to reinvent myself. Or at a minimum, to discover something to do with my life that gives it meaning over these next 20+ years.

Yikes, that’s a long time!

So many folks I know go to work in a new environment once their children have left the nest.  So, since this is where I find myself: where do I want to work? What kind of impact do I hope to have on coworkers, clients, the folks who God places in my life?

Am I doing what He wants me to do right now? I’m praying that I am able to minister to folks/families in my current job as a brain trainer  (like a tutor, but for cognitive skills, not school subjects). I pray every day for my students, for our sessions, that God will use me in my current job and situation, and that I will be open to where He wants me to be eventually – here, or in another job.

What would I like that to be? What skills has He given me to use? How might it be different from ministry? Is there a difference between work and ministry for me? If so, what does that look like? What job? What ministry?

How do I not look too far ahead and simply trust Him for the outcome?