I’ve always had a pretty healthy outlook on aging. Growing up, I had an amazing role model in my Mom who insisted that for her, growing older was not a bad thing. She was a no-nonsense woman, and I can still hear her saying “for the most part, I’ve been healthy. I have all my senses, I don’t get headaches, I’m quite agile, and I’ve lived a good life.”
Even after everything life threw at her, she was quietly defiant, completely unapologetic, and fiercely independent right to the end, and I loved her.
For years I was greatly influenced by my Mom’s positive outlook, and other than a few minor glitches I felt quite well-adjusted.
Turning 50? no problem … what’s the fuss about?
55? … still OK …60? … hmmm, now you’re getting my attention! I’m not sure I like the way my body is behaving. It used to let me garden from sunup to sundown (not just from 10:00 am to noon.) My knees and hips didn’t hurt when I got out of a chair.
It used to let me eat whatever I wanted without causing some kind of discomfort, and when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t used to cringe a bit. Mom didn’t talk about this.
As a blogger, I’m often reluctant to reveal my age. I don’t know why. If people like what I post, age shouldn’t matter. Just don’t expect any goofy selfies here … oh wait … maybe one!
I’ve come to learn that life is about letting go. As a mom I’ve had to let my children go as they started kindergarten, went through school, university, and eventually made their own lives and built their own families. I’ve had to let go of my position as the centre of their universe.
Now I’m having to let go of my youth and all the beauty, power, and dreams that that magical era brought with it (avoiding a mirror helps.)
I often feel as if I’m drifting down a river, knowing I’ll never see the same scenery again. But that’s what makes life more beautiful and precious than I could ever have imagined when I was in my 20’s, 30’s, or even 40’s.
And something in me has shifted. I’m able to sift and sort through life’s curveballs, figuring out what I have control over and letting the rest go.
It comes from years of experience and a “been there done that” sort of attitude. I don’t mean to sound uncaring, I’m not. But instead of trying to control every situation (like I used to) I watch and wait and let it unfold. I’ll say what I think (or not) and let whatever is happening take its course, remembering I’m not responsible for every single thing that swirls around me on a daily basis. However, if it’s something that hurts me and is about me, I’m not going to sit there and say it’s OK. Nope. You’re going to get a blast.
It truly is rather freeing.
“It’s this freedom that’s the key to becoming visible again.
Not caring what others think is freeing.
Expressing yourself any way you want is freeing.
Having opinions, emotional wisdom, spiritual understanding…these things free you.
And in freedom, we find power.”
Jane Tara, The Happy Endings Book Club
This post is part of the Grace Notes blog hop. Grace Notes is the new blog companion to the stunning and inspirational Bella Grace magazine. Much like the magazine, Grace Notes is devoted to discovering life’s ordinary magic.
I adore this magazine and am thrilled to be able to host a complimentary give-away of Bella Grace magazine Issue 7!
Simply leave a comment saying you’d like to win this copy, and perhaps share a personal story of how you deal with change.
Here on my blog the competition is open world-wide—yay!
Contest closed Thursday, March 31st.
Linda Hoye says
Love how you’ve captured these flowers from their prime through their waning, Barb. There’s a unique beauty in every stage. A couple of years ago my age surpassed what my mom’s was when she died suddenly and now I feel like I’m charting a path through unexplored waters. There are surprises around every corner.
I’d love to win a copy of the beautiful Bella Grace magazine!
Thank you so much Linda! Truly … surprises everywhere!
Ann Davis says
I would love to win an issue so that I may share it with a friend. Your story and pictures mirror who I am in many ways except I have no children. My best friend of almost 50 years and I spoke of this same subject on one of our monthly walks recently. We agreed that getting old had many positive and exciting points. We both were sad at the loss of years left. But that we did not stop us to continue to walk, photograph, travel, garden and do the things we love.
As always thanks for sharing your photos and wisdom
Thank you Ann … talking about aging is a bit daunting – but I know I’m not alone and that gives me courage!
I’d love to win a copy of Bella Grace!
I’m a lot mellower now than I used to be and things don’t bother me as much as they once did. There’s too much to enjoy about life to worry about petty annoyances. But, that said I still think I’m 20–which is a problem when I think I can kneel and then get up gracefully! It doesn’t happen–and is often accompanied by a most unladylike “oompf.” That bothers me!
Just a tiny giggle from me Roxanne! I hear myself saying “oompf” a bit too often as well :) thank you for stopping by today and entering the draw!
Barb, what a wonderful post. The images you used are beautiful. I find that coming to peace with getting older is freeing. Things that were “so important” now take a backseat to being in the now. Like sorry, dinner will be a little late because I am making a photo and the light is just right. We don’t age we get better!
Thank you Anita! I so agree with the perfect light and being in the now! Thank you for dropping by!
Barb. You words describe it perfectly. I can relate to the many things you describe. And I’m thinking that your Mom was related to mine. ? Thanks for this post and your many others, I’d love a copy of Bella Grace. (Oh, and keep the selfies coming ?)
Thank you Celine – I’m happy you dropped by and for the “selfie” encouragement ;)
That was a lovely article, and I hope I can adopt that same philosophy as I age. Fabulous stills, love them. Would love to win a copy of Bella Grace ?
Thank you Lee!
Bev Rigan says
Oh Barb how absolutely beautiful!
Right from your openess and vulnerability about facing this daunting number of 6-0 and all it brings with it (I’m right there with you!) to the lovely sentiments that tugged at my heartstrings and brought tears with them as they were like a page straight out of the book of my Mom’s life. And as always, your amazing and beautiful images.
Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Bella Grace but most importantly for the beauty, wisdom and grace you share. ?
Oh Bev! you are such a sweet person and I am so happy I got to meet you at Gather … hoping that someday we will meet again xo
Bev Rogan says
I would love it Barb! Think we can convince Kim and Xanthe? ;-)
Karen Olson says
I totally loved your post Barb, the wonderful progression of images and words. Of course, being of the same age, I can connect and am definitely in the same place. Your quote says it all. I just express myself as I see fit. This expression helps me deal with changes and struggles and sorrows, but it also helps me celebrate joys!
Karen, you are the master of expressing yourself! Love your blog and often feel like I have met you in real life!
I would love to win a copy of the magazin!
Your post is wonderful as are the photo’s. Getting older is a subject thats also on my mind these days. (and I am only approxing 40 :) ) Your post is inspiring.
Thank you Miranda! revel in being only approximately 40! lucky you!
I would love to win the new issue! I have always walked my own path. I love the way I am today and will embrace tomorrow with the same love. Do I have time to waste on the self doubts that creep in now and then? No I don’t. I am to busy serving others, quilting, reading, writing…bottom line is get out and look beyond yourself and the world blossoms around you! Try it! You will love it.
Thank you Claudia – you seem like a no-nonsense kind of person and someone to admire. I vow to be too busy from now on!!
Barb, I began following you on IG
just a short while back and am a
great fan, so it was a delight to find
that you are a fellow blogger on the
BG Blog Hop, as well!
I say “Amen” to your wise words.
Especially the part about letting
go of control and being okay with
that. When my eldest left for
college, my new mantra became,
“Let go and let God.” It’s served
me well and will help next year
when my son graduates from HS
and moves on, as well.
Thank you for the beauty that
you provide each day on IG with
your photos, and for sharing your
equally lovely heart here on your
xo Suzanne (Blog Hopper on 4/22/16!)
Hello Suzanne! I’m thrilled you found me first on IG! It’s a wonderful place to make connections. I’ve since visited your lovely blog and am now following (wouldn’t want to miss a thing!) I’m also following your Pinterest boards ;) Thank you for stopping by and now I can’t wait to read your post in April!
Diana Foster says
Stunning post Barb. The images are fabulous and your words are certainly compelling. What a thrill to meet you in person last fall and continue our friendship online. Have a wonderful day.
I enjoyed your post. I’m in my mid-thirties and switching careers. I’m entering the new career field with people much younger than me, and sometimes I feel like I’m starting all over again. That’s not easy! Yet, I know that the change will ultimately be good. Your post encouraged me because it made me think about how I will probably need to continue embracing change throughout my lifetime.
Kimberly Shaw says
Loved reading your post! I just turned 50. so much to look forward to! :-)
Linda Sattgast says
I’ve never heard of this magazine! Sounds interesting. It would be fun to get a copy and check it out.
Thanks for your post. Being similar in age to you I understand exactly what you’re saying…especially the looking in the mirror part. I feel lots of shifts happening in my body, mind, and spirit. It’s the next great adventure.
Hi Linda! so nice to hear from you! and I’m thrilled you stopped by my blog!
This was a hard post to write – I didn’t want to sound gloomy and I kind of hated to reveal how old I am :) but I hit Publish anyway.
Bella Grace is an amazing publication from Stampington & Company. It’s a reader-driven magazine where they accept submissions for stories and photos for a chance to be published. It’s beautiful to look and and beautiful to hold since the paper is so thick and sturdy.
Hope all is well with you and your family!
Your words are resonating with me today Barb…a afternoon of gardening that suddenly choose to show me my age this morning. Yes I’m older, but with that comes more freedom, and choice…you’ve written a beautiful and uplifting post that will be replaying in our minds for a while.
I’d love a chance to win a issue of Bella Grace…
Hi Barb. Fab post … I’m just delving into handmade art (at 65), after a couple of decades in the digital art world. Very different working with serendipity and no “undo” button … just like life :)
Would love to win the new issue of Bella Grace.
Have a lovely weekend.
Libby Wilkie says
Hi Barb: I’m looking through all the comments above and it’s so nice to see so many familiar names. With IG and then you and then Kim, it’s a small community here!
Aging. Well, there’s a subject. I am, I’m guessing, older than you by a few years. But in a way, it’s just a number, right? My mind doesn’t feel any older, really, except that wonderful wisdom that comes with the years. It’s the ability to speak out and up and be more yourself that is so wonderful.
And, no, don’t enter me in the drawing as I won the other one a few months ago: wouldn’t quite be fair!
I’ve been boycotting IG for the last 24+ hours, but can’t wait to get back to it and see everyone, including you!
Tina Wilson says
Yes, I’d love to win the Bella Grace!
I’m pushing 60 and finally came to the conclusion that eating a super healthy diet would help me hold onto my energy and health through the years. Like you, I use to be able to head out the door to garden in the morning and quit just before returning indoors to make dinner. Now three hours is plenty. But I do love my garden and get outside as much as possible.
I love the faded flowers photos the best as they are a bit more dramatic. A wonderful series of photos and a great idea I may have to borrow :-) If that’s OK.
Lisa Gordon says
Great post, Barb!
As for me, I wouldn’t trade it (getting older) for anything.
As you have so beautifully stated, it is so freeing.
Have a great weekend!
OH wow this post is so lovely…I have so many things I want to say about it, but I’ll save them for when we’re together. xoxo
Barb you are so beautiful and this post was beautifully written. I am currently struggling with my body image and all that comes with getting older (56 in April) just like you wrote. I have got to get a handle on this because I know I am fearfully and wonderfully made and God has a purpose and a plan for me every day and I just cannot let this get me down. I know the things that need to change but struggle with the discipline needed. But I think first I need to settle this within myself and then let that flow to the outside. Thank you so much for making me think and for inspiring me with your words. And of course your photos are amazing!! The Bella Grace magazine is so beautiful. I was given one as a gift one time and loved it. Thanks for everything.
First of all I loved the selfie !!! Secondly, you spoke the words of my heart. It seems a lot of us are of the same generation, and coming into this decade is a lot daunting, energywise then we ever realized. I’ve just got back from a two day trip and I’m exhausted ! A few years ago, I would never have suffered like this ….BUT I have my health after two big scares and I’m grateful for every day :)
Love your beautiful tulips aging gracefully, as I hope I am :)
odile lm says
I’m amazed, dazzled, impressed by the beauty of your series of pictures offering us such gorgeous kind of tulips in their evolving sweetness along the days… I’ve never seen that sort of tulips… they are so delicate and fancy… you’ve rendered so perfectly their transparency and lightness, their fluidity and their grace… what a gift to see these lovely flowers turning more and more pretty day after day… love the use of the presets, they add such smartness and deepness to the fading tulips… and if I dare a comparison, women are like your tulips… they gain beauty and wisdom when aging…love your graceful portrait behind the paper flower…
And as the competition is open world wide, yes indeed, I’d like to win what seems to be a lovely magazine…
Janice Meyers says
Hi Barb let me start my letting you know that I love your flower images, you use of kk-presets ate lovely. I am a big fan of Kim Klassen.
I am learning to avoid mirrors to deal with aging, and yoga for the stiffness that seems to see settling in the bones.
I would love to win the lovely magazine. Following your instagram posts is always inspirational, such lovely images, I really should comment more often
i’ll be 53 this summer. :)
A beautiful post Barb, I agree with you about the aging. Life doesn’t get in the way so much anymore. Your words are always a joy to read. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.
Debby Hudson says
Just beautiful, Barb. Your words and, of course, your photography. I have an aunt who sees age in much the same as your mom did. She wears it as an honor. My mom told me she never gave it a thought until she reached 60 and, sadly, just a few years later dementia began to steal her from herself and her family. This unexpected change in our mom has been challenging to deal with. Much of it involves letting go….of who she was because she is but the physical shell. Not what we would have chosen, but the only choice we have is to bitterness or let it go to the mystery of God. We work through the grief, all the while celebrating her life. Even in this, her life is teaching us.
Donna Wagner says
Beautiful photos of the tulips, I always enjoy reading your blog, so many inspirational thoughts and ideas. I love your selfie.
I’d love to win an issue of Bella Grace.
Marilyn Gallas says
Hi Barb, as usual your post is so full of wisdom. Like you, I have come to accept that I am not in control of the universe. I used to try to be in control. LOL I always ask myself “Is this a minus 1 or a minus 10. Unless it’s a minus 9 or 10, I just move on. I’ve had some major changes in my life and one of the ways I have dealt with change is my art. Photography is also an important creative outlet for me although I must admit I’ve fallen behind with it. I’m inspired by IG, and various people’s blogs and I love all of Stampingfon’s publications. I would be delighted with an issue of Bella Grace. Thanks for sharing your talents with us.
Paula Bogdan says
Delightful! I am enjoying my 60s so much; it’s really a great deal of fun, this aging bit. Looking forward to reading more from you.
susan hemann says
Your post is rather timely for me. You see I turn 60 this year. I’m struggling with feeling relevant. Is my art saying what I want to share? I have so many questions and no answers.
Karen Mary says
Thanks for the opportunity to win an issue of this wonderful magazine! And thanks for your lovely photos and inspiring words, too. I thrive on change when it increases the beauty in my life!
What an amazing entry! Now in my 60’s(there! I said it!) , I readily identified with your observations. I’ve lived long enough to know that whatever happens is not the end of the world. I am able to sit back and observe. I am also able to be of support to my younger friends, which is the icing on the cake.
Photography is something grabbing my attention, perhaps as I become that person in her mature years it helps to hold the precious moment longer .
Thank you for your art reflected in your unique photographs . I’ve So much to learn . Thank you for the opportunity to Win a copy of Bella Grace . Should love to read it .
Jo-Ann Blondin says
Oh I would love to win a copy. Great post Barb. We all age and like your tulips, we get more beautiful as we aged. The complexity of colour and form were more interesting as time left it’s touch on your tulips. Changing always seems easiest when we are in control of it and more difficult when it is decided for us. I personally love change. It is what keeps me youthful and agile. It forces us to adapt and see things in a new perspective. May Spring lift you up and give you a skip to your step.
Kathryn Hemstead says
I love your honest candor and the beauty of your post. Finding a blog for women of a certain age is thrilling – thank you. I would truly love to win a of the magazine.
Leisa Hammett says
56 in June , single mom transitioning with my 22 in June only child who has moderately severe autism. She leaves school for good. We start a new life together. Learning to be in what is real: only this one Now moment. Surrender to the Now.
Hi Barb. Dear Friend every word you speak or write here is truth. So much truth. It hit me to my soul and thank you for sharing form your heart. I dont often see this in you or I have missed it and its a grand thing to see you open up and not care , no bars to hold you back from the beauty you share inside and just look outside. Wow.
Loved m visit. I adore Bella Grace and will be aprart of the summer issue in someway. . You make me want to write and write. Thank you for that as well.
Many Hugs . Stay warm it cool outside but not enough to stay inside. Nice to feel that air and hear all the birds back.
Kim Klassen says
oh my gosh!!! we need to talk about this post… AMAZING…
and so beautiful… completely inspired.
You are my inspiration!!
Such a great post, so funny/true and something we learn to embrace as we age, although I’m still fighting that embracing part…part of blog hop, but will return for more inspiration and laughter!
Hello there! I would absolutely love to win a copy of this magazine. :)
Change… If you had asked me five years ago how I deal with change, I would probably say I hadn’t dealt with any major change yet. Now, so much has changed in my life that one might think I’m an expert at handling the unexpected. (Truthfully, I’m not.) However, there is a lot of positivity that comes from change and I’ve only learned that through time and experience.
I suppose that I deal with change by trusting that it is necessary for me to have the future designed for me before time itself began. I trust that I will be stronger and braver in the long run. It doesn’t hurt to accept the support and love of friends and family either.
Mary MacIlvain says
Really enjoyed your blog post Barb. So many truths, so much candor and grace. Life is a journey and wisdom grows along the path. Beauty comes from within and shines through in all of us.
I already have a copy of this issue and just stopped by to thank you for sharing.
Barb, so much freedom expressed in your words~ Your mom gave you a gift-being real is all that matters! It is a hard lesson to learn as we age, but the most important~ I love this post-thank you!
Kelly Kardos says
I think you speak what we all think and feel! Truth, acceptance, letting go, living…LOTS of living! What a beautiful group of women collected here. xo
Oh, I appreciated your wise words and your beautiful images. I am 45 and surrounded by 20 somethings at work. Sometimes it is hard when I realize that we aren’t actually peers. My mind feels as though we are, but theirs don’t. I loved the reminder that we all feel this way and that every age brings it’s own gifts. Thank you.
Your selfie is stellar and I adore it! Your photos are stunning and your writing is brave and brilliant. I will be sticking around for more wisdom, Barb!