Yesterday was my birthday, and once again I was astonished at how fast this past year went. Zip! It flew by! Again I’ve had the dreaded thought that my remaining birthdays may be limited, as I’m now officially tripping off the top of the”middle age” peak. Ugh! Not a good way to think about the passage of time. So, I’m on a mission to reframe aging, so I don’t spend the rest of my days playing “Beat the Clock.” (If you are gloriously young, you probably have no clue about that reference, as you wouldn’t have been born when that show was on TV. Well, hooray for you).
So far, I’ve decided that one clear antidote to aging with dread is to stop focusing on the outside of things and more on the inside – to not be seduced by appearances, but more cognizant of substance. That way, wrinkles and gravity’s effect on bodies, including my own, will be less central, (and horrifying!). So, who cares if your butt is two inches lower now than when you were 25? It’s the quality of your mind and heart that protrudes with significance!
One other antidote seems to be less focus on the endlessly undone things in life – the “bucket list” of amazing, challenging, creative, fun or obligatory things remaining untapped or unfinished, and more focus on one’s achievements. What accomplishments do you feel proud of? What will you be remembered for? What relationships and experiences have you had that you cherish right now? It’s a “glass half full” frame, much less melancholy, more grateful!
While I’m working on my list of antidotes to aging with dread, I did see one affirmation on a birthday card which says it all perfectly: “At this moment in time you are the youngest you will ever be for the rest of your life.” Ah, youth……
Believe it or not, another year has passed, and today was my birthday (along with all the other “June 4th Gemini”s out there). Surreal how time inexorably marches on. Had a good day, as we all should on our birthdays. Engaged in some significant self-honoring activities, as we all should. Felt honored and loved by the key people in my life. Reminded, once again, how insignificant each of us is in the grand scheme of things, yet how significant an impact we can make, in spite of our smallness. I also think: this is the youngest you will ever be for the rest of your life – enjoy it! Happy Birthday to me.
Twenty-four years ago, right about now, I was in labor with our son Alec. I was clueless about how I’d live through the pain, and even more clueless about the grand adventure my husband and I were about to embark upon. I had never felt parenthood was part of my destiny, so making the decision to have a child was more like tossing a coin – “heads”: lets have a kid – maybe it will be fun, with no later-in-life wistfulness, “tails”: no kid – less noise and expense, more travel and sleep. So it turned out to be heads, and what an amazing journey it has been! The experience of love so visceral, the joys so intense, the vulnerability so raw, the pride so vast, the sense of discovery so unending, the learning so constant, the mistakes so stupid, the fatigue so frequent, the disappointments so heartbreaking, the laughter and fun so deep, (on and on and on….)
So for anyone out there contemplating taking on the most important job in life with love in your heart, emotional consciousness, courage, diligence, and “ready enoughness”, I hope it will be “heads” for you too!
Happy birthday Alec, you are the most precious gift ever……….
I had (another!) birthday yesterday. I won’t post the actual number because it still feels surreal, but I will say that once I got over the narcissistic injury of being so old, I had a terrific day! I decided to take my own advice, and accept the new challenge of appearing on someone else’s radio show in an actual radio station studio. It was the Seacoast Promo Radio 1540 WXEX AM. We did a piece about couples managing in the new economy, and how to stay afloat financially, emotionally and maritally. ← (a word?). It turned out to be lots of fun, and as I say, nobody got killed. So, even on your birthday it’s a good idea to try new things, especially if your birthday number makes you feel ancient! There’s always room to grow and change.
The rest of the day was marked by self-honoring, (doing things I love to do, getting myself a few small gifts, following my own impulses, releasing myself from the usual disciplined drill of rigorous exercise and healthy eating), and being gifted and treated like a queen by the people I love. All in all it was a very sweet day. Then I arrived at the same conclusion I do every single year: Why do we reserve days like this for only birthdays, and maybe Mother’s or Father’s Day?!!!! My thought – do it once a month! Or maybe once a week! But certainly treat yourself as special, and the people around you as special regularly!
Good Morning Reader,
Yesterday was my birthday, and it was lovely. My family had a little breakfast party for me with an elegant table of delicious food and wonderful presents–(among which was a Nook E-reader which I’ll use alot if I can give myself permission to sit still long enough to read downloaded books). I was later taken out to lunch by two friends and colleagues, during which we had a heated debate about porn in marriage, an issue which shows up more frequently in my work with couples. Then I tooled around Portsmouth with one of the friends, visiting local shops and shooting the breeze with the owners, some of whom used to work for my husband. We then strolled around the waterfront at Prescott Park, and enjoyed the gardens and the river scene. Later, I spoke to one of my sisters, who had sent me a beautiful card and a gift, then my husband and I went to dinner at Mombo, a new, casually elegant restaurant in the historic Strawberry Banke section of town. The whole day made me feel special and loved, something which should happen on birthdays, and hopefully often throughout the year. So, Happy Birthday to Me!
Older and happier,