There was something about my 55th birthday that brought on a lot of reflection about midlife.
Some days I thought, “Wow, 55 sounds pretty old. Am I at midlife or am I really on the downhill slide to retirement and old age?” Some young people reinforce that questioning voice in my head when they treat me as insignificant, set aside, and out of sync with popular culture.1Questions echo inside my head.
- What have I accomplished compared to what I dreamed about when I was in college?
- Where’s the guide book for an empty nest, boomerang kids, moving away from the home where we raised those darlings, and all the other endless changes?
- What would I want other people to know about this stage of life?
- How can I encourage others, knowing that God has been faithful to me through the years and he has not set me aside but rather set me apart — prepared me — for his purposes during my second half of life?
During the next several weeks, I plan to read a few books about this life stage. Then I’ll write about what I’m learning and how it matches up with my own experiences. These are the books that I’ve set apart for this time:
- Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life by Richard Rohr
- Giddy Up, Eunice: Because Women Need Each Other by Sophie Hudson
- Halftime: Moving from Success to Significance by Bob Buford
- Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by Lysa TerKeurst
I invite you to share in my odyssey through midlife by posting comments during the series. If it’s easier, you can sign up for email delivery or add Riceford Streams to your Feedly or BlogLovin list. Let’s have fun and learn a few things together!
Now cruising at 55,
Midlife with Purpose Series
- Wisdom and Humility With Age
- I’m Available
- Reaching Across Generations
- Sacred Space
- Elizabeth and Mary: Unexpected Callings
- Mentoring: My Experiences
- Stay in the Game
- My Hope Rests in God
- Ruth and Naomi
- With Me
- Seemingly Unimportant and Insignificant
- A Life Well Lived
- Thy Will Be Done
- A Second Bloom
- A Secure Future
- I Am an Older Woman
- No Greater Joy
- A Sincere Faith
- This Season
- A Blessing
- A Midlife Crisis
- A Necessary Suffering
- Can I Skip the Crisis?
- The Examined Life
- Change: Time for More, Time for Less, Time for Rest
Acknowledgement: Author Lysa TerKeurst inspired me to consider the concept of Set Apart, Not Set Aside as I read Uninvited, “Chapter 9: Why Does Rejection Hurt So Much.” Thank you, Lysa, for shedding light on even the subtle feelings of rejection I have experienced and pointing to my identity in Christ and God’s purposes for my life as the way to living loved.
1TerKeurst, Lysa. Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely Nashville: Nelson Books, 2016.