60, Thick and Grateful

60, Thick and Grateful
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Exactly when did I become thick in the middle? I wasn’t thick six months ago; I was mushy in the middle but not thick. Mushy I understand; I’ll be 60 this month and for 22 of those years I’ve taken Prednisone for Lupus. And although I launched a hostile take-over to get my body back five months ago, I am a senior citizen, according to AARP at least. So, I have earned the mushy. I don’t necessarily think thick comes with age, but I have seen some changes in my friends the past few years. Come to think of it, most of them are thick! Up to now I have avoided thick, it is clearly not working for me. I suppose thick is just one more in that multitude of things I will add to the joys of turning 60.

In truth, there is much to be grateful for at this “senior” threshold. Most of my parts still function really well, I pass most folks walking the trail at the park. This is in part because I inherited my Dad’s long stilt-like legs which look fine on him but ill-proportioned on me. They do however enable me to make great time on the walking trail. And, in spite of living with Lupus, Fibromyalgia and a few more autoimmune conditions-I am out there. This is not a “walk in the park” for me. Well literally it is, but not so much figuratively. Walking is always painful, sometimes very painful. Just pick a joint, go ahead any of them, yep it hurts. Or pick a muscle, yep that hurts too. I don’t saunter along either; I walk as hard and as quickly as I can for the aerobic value. I am emmensly grateful that I can walk.

I am grateful for the years I had before I turned 38, before the pain started. So many people are diagnosed with painful conditions much earlier, many in childhood. They will never know what it is like to walk 20 miles a week with no pain, or ride horseback 16 miles and feel great when you stop. I also have work that provides a livelihood which is something at this age, discrimination is alive and well and I don’t take it for granted. I am in a loving marriage with someone I look forward to seeing and who still makes me laugh each day. And I do have world class friends; I’ve never seen a more engaged, intelligent, caring, resourceful and creative group. (most of them are thick)

A huge blessing in my life at 60 is that my parents are still on this earth. I am able to see them fairly often and hope I make a difference in their lives as they go through these last difficult years. I am also grateful that inspite of all the pain and difficulties that have come my way God is still constant, my desire to know God is still constant and the renewal that affords me is priceless. I can live with the thick.

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