“But I trust you, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hands.”

It loomed over me for months before the inevitable occurred. I tried not to dwell on it, but when my husband and two kids told me that they were about to throw me a huge party to celebrate my 65th birthday, I crashed. The reality that I would soon wear the moniker of “senior” took hold.

“I’m a marked woman.” I murmured to myself.

Might as well be thankful for small mercies, I thought. I’m healthy. I’m happy with my life, my family…my everything. So, what, is the big deal!? Shame washed over me as I looked at their smiling faces. I tried to return a sincere look of appreciation. I failed. Family and friends who know me well have often said that my facial expressions reveal every emotion I’m feeling. Pity. The upside is—that it keeps me truthful.

The day following the party, I was glad I had waited to open the gifts I received. As I unwrapped one of my presents, my brow crumpled as I read the title of the book a friend had given to me. How to Make the Rest of Your Life be the Best of Your Life. The flap on the inside clearly indicated that this was a book for seniors

I felt I was living my life in the best way possible…with much contentment. I had six grandchildren who lived nearby with a connecting roadway to my house. As a Christian Grandma, I wanted to be the best influence I could be. There was no need to change a thing. I had plenty on my plate to keep me busy. Subsequently, I ended up being in denial for another year.

My sixty-sixth was coming up fast when guilt took hold of me for not taking the time to read or appreciate the gift my friend had given to me.  I’d been stalled by pride. It was then I decided to honor this good intention by reading the book

I sauntered down the stairs and into my office. There it sat atop of a pile of books I’d always intended to read when I had the time. In this case, it was a matter of being ready to accept my status as a senior and perhaps, allow myself to be enlightened by what the authors had to say about the rest of my life.

It was foolish that I’d wasted an entire year on being prideful. The book, as it turned out, was what gave me the impetus to write my life’s story. The suggestion by one of the co-authors spurred me on. I was encouraged to think about something I had wanted to do but never had the opportunity because of time constraints. What with having a husband and a family that had been the focus of my life for many years, I didn’t navigate all of the possibilities of what I could achieve apart from that.

I was so wrong. The book had been helpful as I realized I now had the time to write the story about my life. I was excited! I signed up for an online memoir writing course and have never looked back. It took 2 1/2 years to write my memoir. After sending out proposals, I was picked up by a publisher and my book was released in 2015.

Those foolish thoughts reflecting my pride over turning sixty-five were replaced with a deep pleasure of knowing I had accomplished something  I may not have pursued if I hadn’t read the book my friend had given to me for my 65th birthday.