FOUR SCORE YEARS AND TEN - THE 5 STAGES OF LIFE

Life can be divided into five stages and each stage holds challenges and growth if we choose to approach them with positivity.

THE 5 STAGES OF LIFE

There is a bible verse in Psalm 90 that refers to the average lifespan back in the days of olde: 

The days of our years are threescore years and ten...

Things have changed a little since then and we probably average four score years and ten these days. What I noticed is that this can be divided into five life stages based on each of the four scores and the ten, and today's post is all about the five "F"s of life - and I thought I'd include a few throwback photos along the way for fun.

STAGE 1 - FORMATION (Birth to 20) 

The first 20 years of life are the decades that lay down the foundations of who we'll be for the rest of our time here on earth. It's where our personalities form and our values start to take shape. There are so many instances in my current phase of life when I instinctively make a decision or choice that is grounded in what I learned back then. Self-esteem is established in those childhood years and then re-inforced in our teens (and wouldn't a lot of us like to have a bit of a do-over in that area?!) 

So much of who we are is formed before we're even aware of it, and it can take a lifetime to undo some of the negatives that we absorbed during those years. Sometimes I look back at how simple life was then, how black and white everything seemed and I smile a knowing smile - that young girl had so much to learn and so many challenges to face. Perhaps it's a good thing that we only see the moment we're living in - it would be too daunting to try to be a teenager and realize that every decision would have repercussions for decades to come!

Life can be divided into five stages and each stage holds challenges and growth if we choose to approach them with positivity.

 STAGE 2 - FAMILY (20 - 40)

This stage might be different for a lot of people - some would say it was the time when they were still finding themselves (another "F" word) - where they were studying, travelling, partying, establishing themselves, and possibly meeting or losing the love of their life. But for a lot of us, it was when we met our partner and where we established our family. It was the period of time where we took on the responsibility of raising children of our own and trying to build into them the foundations we may have missed out on ourselves.

It's a phase of life where our own needs are often put on the backburner as we invest into creating a stable life for our family unit. We're working, paying a mortgage, having children, educating them, working on keeping our marriage stable, and generally moving from the idea of being a single person into being part of a family unit. So many changes, so many opportunities to invest into the life of a new generation - and we all hope we're doing it well.

Life can be divided into five stages and each stage holds challenges and growth if we choose to approach them with positivity.

STAGE 3 - FLOURISHING (40 - 60)

For a lot of people, this is the beginning of the empty nest years. It can also mark the onset of a midlife crisis or feeling like the invisible woman. This is the time when we start to get a sense of ourselves back again, the kids are less dependent on us, we have more time to think about what we want....and we start to make choices that bring about change. Those changes are as individual as the people making them, but ultimately they lead to re-inventing ourselves and discovering what we want on our own terms.

Flourishing takes on a lot of different faces, for some it can mean a change in career, a change in partner, a change in location, or a change in mindset. Regardless, it can be an unsettling time.....but a phase we need to grow through to become our best selves. Watching our children launch off into the world and create lives for themselves often wakes us up to the need for our own re-launch and an opportunity to create a life that is built on all the years of hard work we've put in during the previous life stage. All that hard work is beginning to pay off.

Life can be divided into five stages and each stage holds challenges and growth if we choose to approach them with positivity.

STAGE 4 - FULL-BLOOM (60 - 80)

Some might think that this stage of life should be when we retire, sit in our rocking chairs and wait for the grandchildren to visit. But for those of us living in this stage, it's a completely different scenario - this is the time in life when we're in full bloom. There's so much work we've done on ourselves in the years leading up to Stage 4 and we're reaping the rewards. This is the time when we're living life on our own terms - we've found our groove and we're loving the independence and self-sufficiency that is the payoff for all our previous hard grind.

Look around and you'll see so many different incarnations of this age and stage. There are definitely those who've chosen the rocking chair and settled home life, but there are also many more who are travelling the world (or they were until the pandemic slowed them down), who are working as much or as little as they feel like in jobs they enjoy and thrive in. There are many who are channelling their energy into hobbies and activities that enrich their lives, they spend time with family, they spend time on their own, they have time to exercise, time to prepare meals that are healthy, they laugh, and they're living life to the full. This stage is such a rewarding time of life if you choose to embrace it and invest into what inspires you and keeps you vibrant and alive.

Life can be divided into five stages and each stage holds challenges and growth if we choose to approach them with positivity.

STAGE 5 - FADING (90+)

I'm sure there'd be some 90 year olds who resent the title I've given to this stage of life, but "fading" can be beautiful in its own right. I love seeing roses that are past their full bloom, but are still lovely - their pale shades aren't as full of life as they once were, but they still have a beauty and life of their own. I think this stage of life (not that I'm there yet) will be a time where we reflect on all that has gone before, where we allow ourselves to slow down and to be cared for a little more than we've been used to.

This is a stage of life for sharing our wisdom, for being the interesting story teller, for having the life history that others want to know about. I hope it'll be a time of inter-generations - where the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren flow in and out of our lives and we get to soak in the bounty of a life well lived - one that has been invested in others, and one where we can see that we've left a lasting legacy of goodness and grace.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Do you see life as four score years and ten? Do you resonate with any of these stages of life? Can you see the positive aspects of each and do you look forward to the ones ahead of you? I love looking back at what's been, but I'm also very happy to look at what still lies ahead while I enjoy the phase I'm currently in. It's all about making the most of every moment isn't it?

RELATED POSTS


Life can be divided into five stages and each stage holds challenges and growth if we choose to approach them with positivity.

To keep up to date with my posts, feel free to add your email into the spot especially for it on my sidebar and I'd love you to share this post by clicking on a share button before you go xx
This post was shared at some of these great link parties
Life can be divided into five stages and each stage holds challenges and growth if we choose to approach them with positivity.

55 comments

  1. It absolutely is about making the best of right now. I reckon teh hardest 10 years was the years between 40 and 50...wow that was tough. Yet it set up the "now".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right about those years Jo - so many adjustments and re-sets for me too. I look back now and I'm glad to have lived through them because they certainly made a huge contribution to the stage of life I'm living now. And I think the stage ahead looks pretty cruisy!

      Delete
  2. I like your breakdown. My mom is 97 and I don't know if I'd consider her fading but my mother-in-law is 95 and I definitely think fading describes her. I'm in the beginning of the full bloom stage and I am looking forward to exploring all that means. Happy Sunday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Janet - I'm heading towards full bloom and I love that it's the beginning of another couple of decades of living life well. I remember when 60+ used to be considered "old" - now it's just the beginning of the next great phase of life. I wonder how we'll be when we hit the 90 year mark?

      Delete
  3. I'd love four score years and ten, as long as I was in good health (and I do plan to be!). I'm happily in the Flourishing stage, but sometimes feel like I'm in the Fading one! This is a lovely summary of our lives, thanks for sharing it! :-) x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cheryl - I'm Flourishing too - but heading fast towards Full Bloom - which I'm actually quite looking forward to. Blogging has introduced me to so many women in their 60's who are living wonderfully fulfilling lives and I'm planning on being one of them. I'll wait til I get closer to 90 before I decide if I'm going to Fade or Fight!

      Delete
  4. Hi, Leanne - I loved viewing all of your different photos throughout. You are absolutely gorgeous in every single one of them. I agree that our life takes on multiple phases -- some of them overlapping. I also strongly agree with your closing thought. Life IS about making the best of every moment that we are given. That choice is in our hands!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Donna - thanks for the lovely compliment - I actually did up a pic of me aged to 90 and it wasn't a pretty sight! I'm hoping if I keep my face out of the sun for the next 30 years I might be able to look a bit better than the app thought I would! And yes, if this pandemic has taught me one thing, it's to make the most of the days we're given and to accept them in all their different iterations x

      Delete
    2. Hi, Leanne - That's cool that you could make an app that shows you what you could look like at age 90. What app was that? I've been going with how my mom now looks. If I can look like she does now when I am her age (90), I will be very pleased with that! #MLSTL

      Delete
    3. I can't remember what it was Donna - but I can tell you now that it wasn't a pretty sight! I might use my mum as my future role model too - she seems to be aging very well!

      Delete
  5. Fading rose blossoms are beautiful. I often take my rare bouquets and hang them upside down to dry them. Roses just become more lovely and interesting as they age.

    And you...YOU are the same as you were in the first stage of life. You look truly no different, perhaps just a bit lovelier. I do think my current stage - full-bloom - is a great gig most days. But I do find balancing being a mother to my mom while mothering my adult daughters is time consuming. There are some days where I have little energy left for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Leslie - you certainly pack a lot of caring into your life atm - I'm not sure how you manage to find any time for yourself! Thank you for your kind words - I can see the wrinkles creeping in as time goes by, but they're from loving and laughing and living life well - so I've earnt them and I'm pretty okay with them these days. x

      Delete
  6. What a lovely and heartwarming post and I enjoyed your take on the stages of life . Definitely believe in four score years and ten with the trick (or luck) being to have the health and energy to participate fully in the fading stage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jo - I think it's pretty great that we now score an extra 20 years compared to the good old days - but it really puts the emphasis on making the most of those years - I certainly intend to. x

      Delete
  7. Such a beautiful way of describing life! Im in the full bloom of life where I think I can actually enjoy what life brings...#MLSTL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm fast heading towards full bloom Bree - in fact most days I feel like I'm already there - and it's pretty darn fabulous - so much time to build on all the previous decades' hard work!

      Delete
  8. Lovely post. I am struggling a bit with this age because no one ever wants to do any thing. I've made some friends a decade younger and they seem to be the ones that say yes. The most of friends my age just want to go to restaurants or occasionally concerts if a sitting down venue. I find that a little depressing, to be honest. So I am half bloom. I'm persisting in what I want to do, but sometimes I just do it by myself (getting weird looks from the 20 year olds there - HA!) #MLSTL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lydia - it's definitely a case of different strokes for different folks at times isn't it? I guess it comes down to our definition of "flourishing" and "full bloom" and how that plays out for each of us. I know I'm certainly impressed with your vitality and with your social life - I feel like an old woman in comparison! But on the other hand, I have friends who are doing absolutely nothing with this stage of life (other than complaining!) and I feel young in comparison - so it's an interesting conundrum - keep rocking it with the young ones and inspiring us x

      Delete
  9. Leanne, You look lovely in all the photos, same beautiful smile. I agree that it's all about making the most of every moment. #MLSTL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the lovely compliment Natalie - I can see the aging process at work, but I think if we're enjoying every stage of life then it shows - and that happiness helps keep us young (and smiling!)

      Delete
  10. Hi Leanne, I loved that you called the 40-60 years "flourishing." I think that is certainly true of me- this is when I have come into my own. I have done my best work and been most fulfilled. I also see good things ahead for the next phase, which I enter a month from now! I hope I will be a flourishing traveler, as soon as we can travel again!

    Also, a warm and heartfelt thank you for your years of hosting MLSTL. I have loved this community!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Michele - I've loved this "flourishing" stage too - it feels like I've finally come into my own "self" and I'm blooming after being tight in the bud for all the previous decades. I'm looking forward to full bloom - I think it's that next stage of letting go of the worry of what others think and just being completely true to ourselves - and that will be beautiful indeed.

      Delete
  11. Hi Leanne, although I'm 63 this Sunday, I'm still flourishing and hope I don't come to full bloom until I'm 80+. I enjoyed reading about each stage of life and agree we have to make the most of each day and life. It is really all about attitude - my MIL is 94 and still blooming thank goodness. Thanks for being my co-host for #MLSTL as we host the last few weeks of what has been a great collaboration. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sue - I think it's like what Lydia was saying - where we each reflect our stage slightly differently. I see you in full bloom but with even more to come - like those flowers that deepen in colour and intensity as they reach their best stage. I think your blooming will definitely continue well on into old age. It's exciting to think we'll be blooming and growing and not sitting in an apron waiting to die like our great grandmothers were doing after 70.

      Delete
  12. Hi Leanne - I love seeing the photos of you spanning the years! Your lovely smile shines bright from childhood on! I don't think about life based on our years anymore. I think instead about experiences and what we are looking to give our lives to. I so appreciate having been able to join you for this #MLSTL journey. I was late to the party but appreciate meeting women who are part of my 'tribe'! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Helen - This #MLSTL group has been such a delight for Sue and myself. The "tribe" we've formed over the years will carry on long into the future. I intend following as many of you as possible so that I stay in touch.
      And, you're right about llife being about experience rather than years - that's why I loved the idea of chunks of life in stages because it allows me to encompass so much and see myself progressing through and growing into myself more and more.

      Delete
  13. Hi Leanne, your photos are lovely! My first wedding in '90 must have been in a similar era as yours because we wore very similar clothes. I agree with your stages in life. I think our aging can be a great time as life depending on how well we look after ourselves when we are younger. I used to tell my father to look after himself but he didn't so in his last 10 years or so he had limited mobility and suffered from the affects of years of abusing his body. Hopefully I'll age a bit better than him! Regards, Christina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Christina - my dad certainly reaped the consequences of a life drowing in nicotine and alcohol - he died from early onset dementia in his mid 70's and it was such a waste. I hope that healthy living and a healthy embracing of all life brings with it, will mean that my future looks a lot brighter - I still have a lot to do and a lot further to grow before I'm ready to fade gently away.

      Delete
  14. Lovely post ... so positive and optimistic, and I love the 60+ as Full Bloom!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Enda - I think over 60 used to be old and pensionable - now it's just the beginning of living life completely on our own terms - and I love that!

      Delete
  15. Hi Leanne,
    As always, I loved reading this. And flourishing is exactly right! I've been through so many changes recently but it definitely all feels like it's starting to pay off. Hopefully I'll get to my 90s one day and be able to share some of that wisdom ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anne - I think you've done amazingly well at re-creating yourself and the years ahead will just enhance your journey into wisewoman-dom x

      Delete
  16. Love this post and all the pictures that went with it. But my mother would have disagreed with 90 being the age of fading. She entered her 90s with as much zest and zeal for living that she had in her 80s. She still had weekly card parties with her friends and enjoyed laughing and telling funny stories. And she still tried to run her children's lives, even though I, as the youngest, was almost 50!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jennifer - I'm thinking my Mum might be the same when she finally gets to 90. It's definitely changing and I've probably made assumptions that will be turned on their head as we all get closer to 90 and still feel and act like we're 50! Maybe our second childhoods will begin then and we can give that era a different title. I'll come back and edit the post when I get there :)

      Delete
  17. Hi Leanne, I'm on the edge of flourishing and full bloom and like the sound of that! I also loved your description of stage 5 fading - it doesn't have to be a depressing time at all. Thanks so much for your wisdom and sharing your sweet photos along the way. Shared for #mlstl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Deb - I'm with you on the brink of full bloom - and I love the picture of it in my head. It's so rich and rewarding and I'm hoping I'll make the most of the years that lie ahead - I feel so sorry for those people who waste them due to a poor attitude or poor choices. And I'm glad you liked the idea of "fading" when we finally hit 90 - I thought it was a lovely picture of finally allowing ourselves to quietly sit and reflect and enjoy the fruit of our labour.

      Delete
  18. I love the photographs you've shared, Leanne. I'm at the flourishing stage. Longevity is in my genes. My father lived past 91 and my Mom was 89 when she passed. Both of them were fiercely independent and it was only in the last months of their life that they were ill. I hope I can make my life meaningful for as long as I live.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Corinne - I'm still flourishing too, but full bloom isn't all that far in my future and I'm quite looking forward to it. I feel like the last 8 years or so have been such a wake up call to living my life well and with authenticity and vulnerability. I've made lots of mistakes along the way and hopefully I've learned from them all - and I get to take that into the next stage - who knows where that will lead? It's exciting to think about isn't it?

      Delete
  19. I’m pretty sure I’m still flourishing Leanne. Our generation has definitely changed the ageing goal posts. I love the way you’ve likened the 90s decade to the fading roses. It’s beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jen - yes a lot of my blogging friends who are in their 60's are living much more active and adventurous lives than I am - they've made turning 60 something to look forward to, rather than dreading it. I wish I'd found blogging when I was a lot younger - then turning 50 might not have been so daunting!

      Delete
  20. Such a lovely post. The F words all worked well. There are others, for me like 'floundering' which I was within the early parts of my 60s. My Dad, would like to fade right away, at a time and place of his choosing - he is 97 in January 2021 and does not want to move into a Nursing Home (given the recent history with COVID) at all. Denyse #mlstl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Denyse - I know what floundering feels like too - I think it's something a lot of us need to go through at times before we find our feet (more F words!) and launch into the next stage of life. And I know exactly how your dad feels - I think most of us would like to go to sleep when we've had enough - and not be dragged through an extra couple of tiresome years at the very end of life.

      Delete
  21. Hi Leanne, I think we are all hoping for happy and healthy scores of years. Unfortunately, you are right how it can “...take a lifetime to undo some of the negatives...”. You make a good point on how changes are as individual as the people making them.

    Despite some of life’s challenges, I do feel “...we’re reaping the rewards.” I find I have more tools in my arsenal to manage the challenges.

    You made me think and rethink Stage 5 “Fading.” I love seeing an older person with many lines on their face. I know they have an abundance of stories and wisdom to share. “A lasting legacy.” I still feel strongly that I want to set a good example to my children. Growing older does not necessarily mean scary and decline. Many good years and rewards ahead. You say it all very well, Leanne. An excellent post!

    I especially like all of the photos. The family values and love leap from the page.xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Erica - I think getting "old" always frightened me a bit - until I found blogging and this wonderful tribe of women who are a few years older than me and doing so much more than I would ever have thought possible. They live such full and abundant lives, and I feel like it shows that there are infinite possibilities if we're open to taking a leap of faith. All the wisdom we've been gathering comes into play and we get to use it to become "more".

      I have high hopes for my full bloom years ahead and I think that's what's causing this unsettled feeling lately - I want to facilitate the blooming - and maybe I just need to sit back a little and let nature take it's course. I've often been guilty of rushing into something - now I'm trying to wait and see what lies in store.......

      Delete
    2. Leanne, I love how well you share feelings we all experience at some point. Perspective always plays a part for me. And time often gives me the answers. The pervasive “itchiness” is when a change happens in my life. I am thankful how most of these changes have gone in a good direction. I am meant to grow and learn through the challenges. I think most of our tribe of women have a similar philosophy. xx

      Delete
    3. You are such a wise woman Erica and I think you're definitely right about the itchiness - I guess we forget that itchiness can be associated with healing wounds and new growth - it's just that I forget that part while I'm scratching!

      Delete
  22. I have always rejected the 'life stages' that I have seen set forth. They seem to be made by younger folk where life looks different from their stand, their view is progressively negative. I do like your five stages, the last one, like the others is up to the individual. I don't like to be put into a 'definition box' and I know that is not your purpose here. What you have presented is a positive view so we will feature your post on the next Blogger's Pit Stop. Keep up the good work
    Kathleen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PS I love your photos. Photos remind us about the good times to be thankful for.

      Delete
    2. Hi Kathleen - I like the idea that every stage has something to offer. We can't deny that there are stages to life (the timeframe may vary a little depending on our choices) and each has its ups and downs. I'd like to think that we build on each stage that's gone before - so they just keep getting better! The photos were a fun addition. And thanks so much for the feature xx

      Delete
  23. I loved all the photos! Nothing beats a walk down memory lane. At 37, I'm looking forward to the flourish to come in my forties. Let's go. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Melissa - I honestly believe that life keeps getting better if we choose our attitude. It's easy to think the best has gone - but really what came before just enhanced what is still to come - flourishing is wonderful!

      Delete
  24. Today I actually said to my husband, I think being 70 has been horrible. I was positive about turning 70 and then...boom, suddenly all these health things started needing to be fixed for me AND the govt. told people 'over 70' to stay home as COVID was an extra risk. Still getting my head around the age thing. Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek and next week the optional prompt is 35/51 Share Your Snaps #7 31.8.2020 and I hope to see you there too. Denyse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Denyse - I think age is a state of mind, but when we hit a few hurdles at a particular time, it's hard not to associate it with a particular stage of life change. I look at my mum who is 78 and she's rocking it - she has health issues at times, but looks at her friends who have much more serious issues and counts her blessings - I'm hoping to have her attitude and zest for life when I arrive in my 70's. Your zing will come back I'm sure xx

      Delete
  25. I think you described each phase of life beautifully. I am in the Full Bloom stage and I do feel like I am reaping the rewards of working hard. We are really enjoying our best lives right now and I can tell that this is your plan for Full Bloom when you get there. Enjoy!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that women in their 60's are shining to brightly these days - other bloggers who are a few years older than me make me excited to think that 60 is just the beginning of another interesting stage of life. I am so pleased that I found blogging and the inspirational women I've met, it's made Midlife so special and full bloom will be amazing. x

      Delete

Thanks so much for your comment - it's where the connection begins.
If you don't have a Google account please choose "Name/URL" from the drop down arrow and type in your first name (you don't need a URL) and hit "Continue" to leave your comment.