About 15 years ago, I was coming out of a concert with a friend of mine and we were noticing that we were probably the oldest people in the whole arena. She turned to me and said, "Don't you wish we could be that young again?" and I immediately (and truthfully) replied, "No." My friend gave me a funny look, so I told her that my teens and twenties were full of rough times that I don't ever want to relive, but, more importantly, I now have wisdom that I could not possibly have had at that age.
Today I'm celebrating my 50th birthday (which is why age has been on my mind!), and I have to tell you that while it feels a little odd to have the word "fifty" attached to the words "I am", I'm truly happy to be exactly where I am now.
Our culture is so focused on youth and the external veneer of looking young, from cosmetics to plastic surgery and everything in between. But a veneer is just that - it's not solid and real, it's a deception, a denial of real life. Personally, I prefer to focus on the internal...to feel strong and energetic, happy and carefree, grateful and hopeful. I live by the theory that how I am feeling and living on the inside will just naturally be revealed on the outside. I also look for and embrace Life Lessons, which bring learning and growing, knowledge, and wisdom.
I cherish wisdom for the many gifts that it brings:
- deep, deep gratitude for where I am, physically and spiritually
- deep gratitude for the people who share my daily journey...my husband and children
- deep gratitude for my extended family and my dearest friends
- an understanding that not every battle needs to be fought
- true patience with life's annoyances because, as my Mom used to say, "This, too, shall pass"
- the understanding that I am not obliged to agree with others' opinions of me or my work
- a deep trust in my intuition, my gut feel, my hunches, and my connection to the Divine
- the knowledge that kindness and pure intentions win out over belligerence and deception every time
- the ability to shift my point of view, to look at a situation from a different angle, to see choices where others might say there are none
- the understanding that, while I may not be able to change a situation, I can always change my reaction to it
- the ability to live, act, speak, and walk with grace
Yup, today I turn 50 and I do not accept the notion that age necessitates decrepitude. Rather, I embrace the wisdom of the elders and I look forward to many more years of experience and learning, and many more birthdays to celebrate.
When your next birthday rolls around, may you have the wisdom to do the same.