On Sunday, I turned thirty-seven years old.
Ten years ago I thought I’d be on the brink of a total holy-crap-I-am-almost-forty-what-am-I-doing-with-my-life? crisis. Heck, five years ago I had much the same thought. I dreaded getting old because I thought, with age came limitations.
I am not freaking out. In fact I am the exact opposite of freaking out.
With age comes perspective, and I realize now my train of thought a decade ago with regards to aging was stupid and limiting. Age truly is only a number and it’s the limitations our society places on us – especially women as we age; which causes this irrational fear of getting older. It doesn’t help that our society seems to value the naivete of youth more than the wisdom of age, but perhaps that-like everything else in the world will change one day too. I think it will, especially since our society is living longer than it ever has before – if that’s not worth something, then I don’t know what is.
I’m actually totally digging my life right now. I feel like I’m on a forward trajectory. I’m steadily working towards checking off some goals I set for myself early this Spring. I am-I hope giving the twenty-seven year old me a run for her money.
Somewhere along the line I realized aging is a blessing. Old age is gift denied to many and each and every single day I get to spend with the people I love is a gift. The rest is just icing on the cake or toilet paper on my shoes, temporary and superfluous.
I am blessed, and my regular acknowledgement and gratitude for all the blessings in my life, I think really helps me keep things in perspective. I also began to focus on me and make myself a priority.
Gratitude is more than simply making a list of things you’re thankful for -though it certainly can begin that way. For me, the wonderful thing that is gratitude is feeling. When one truly feels gratitude your spirit is lifted.
Yesterday I took a few moments to write down what I am grateful for and some goals for the upcoming year.
My heart is full of many blessings: I have an amazing husband for whom I’ve never questioned his love for me. My boys are healthy, smart, loving, beautiful human beings, being their mother is the best thing ever. I live in a place where everything is new to me, though I am surrounded by history like delightful crumbly buildings left to their own devices, while corn pops up in neat rows around it…
…This year I will finish this manuscript, I’m outlining. I will then actually share it with people. Real live humans who read stuff. I will edit and edit, and edit it some more until I feel it’s good enough to send it out on submission.
I will commit to exercise. Like actual regular exercise where I go to the gym more than once or twice a month. I will consume less sugar which is my kryptonite.
I will help my boys to accomplish some of their creative goals.
I will continue to volunteer – but ONLY when it doesn’t interfere with my own life. What this means is no more putting off my own life to bake cookies or spend the day cleaning out a shed when I could be writing. I have learned to say no and I will say no a lot. It is not mean. It is not selfish. (Keep telling yourself these things when you feel guilty.)
I will given in more to my wanderlust.
When the urge to yell and get impatient with my boys I will imagine them as the tiny creatures they once were, or as my friend Jen recommends as the elderly.
I will read books from genres I wouldn’t normally choose. Science fiction, or those Harlequin type of romance books might be a good start.