A few days after the nation elected a president, I also crossed a milestone. My heart had pumped about 1.5 billion times, while my lungs had filled and emptied 500 million times! I had lived 18,262 days, which would come to 438,288 hours! I think I can say with feeling, "Wow!" The thought of that alone leaves me exhausted!
So what do all these figures mean? The big 50! I turned half a century, something I have dreaded for the last five years!
I think what bothers me the most is that there's less time left than has gone before. I have reflected a lot lately about how many good years I have left. You might say, I am mourning the lost of youth. And yes, AARP even sent me a friendly reminder. They will not let my 50th go unnoticed!
When I was in my teens, I could never, ever imagine myself being this old. Fifty was too close to death. Remember how we thought that anyone 30 or above was old!
As comedian Bill Cosby once said, "Fifty is a nice number for the states in the Union or for a national speed limit, but it is not a number that I was prepared to have hung on me. Fifty is supposed to be my father's age." But "the Cos" did turn 50 in 1987, and he is living proof of what you can do even at the age of 67!
Does life have to go downhill at 50? Well, here are some examples of people who still excelled after the 50 mark. Remember Winston Churchill? He became prime minister at 64! In 1940, Grandma Moses, who started serious painting in her 70s, staged her first solo show at age 80. She worked for another 20 years. At 83, Ben Franklin added to his list of inventions bifocal glasses. What would we midlifers do without the bifocals?
In March 1971, Alice Pollock of Haslemere, England, published her first book, Portrait of My Victorian Youth at the young age of 102! Let's not forget Herbert W. Armstrong, who was working into his 90s.
So is my life over now that I've turned the big 50? No! So what conclusions have I come to while reflecting on this painful topic?
1. Live each day as if it were your last! None of us know how many days we have left. In Psalm 90:12, Moses asked God, "Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." We must redeem the time that we have left.
2. Live each day to serve and make others' lives special. Love much!
3. Make it your goal to continue to overcome and grow! The expression, "you're never too old to learn," surely fits with some of the examples above. Take classes. Learn a new hobby. Travel. Don't forget the most important growth of all—ask God for help in your spiritual growth.
4. And just have fun! Lighten up on yourself and others and simply laugh and enjoy life.
So here's to all of those whom I am joining who are 50 and above! Let's all go out there and make a difference in the lives of others and ourselves! It's just another exciting chapter in our lives.