Loading Quotes...

Bring on the BIRTHDAY!

What is it about growing older, having yet another birthday, reaching ‘a certain age’ that many in our society do not want to acknowledge, welcome, celebrate, honour or remember?  We don’t want people to ask us our age, or which birthday we are celebrating, or what number we are on.  We live in an age where youth is where it’s at; looking forward with everything ahead of you, the possibilities abound, and you can do anything, be anything and all of it with vitality, energy and wellness.  We teach them they have a life ahead of them, to dream, to plan, that anything is possible, that being young is where you want to be, that there are more advantages than disadvantages.

For those of us on the other hand, for whom our time on the planet is edging closer to sunset than sunrise, few seem to want to acknowledge that time is running out. Well I am there, at a place where I am older now than the years I have left, comfortable in my own skin, accepting of the wrinkles and a few age spots, with a little extra weight and a little less energy, feeling grounded and grateful, experienced, a little wiser than before, and a lot more ‘awake’, aligned, alive, and tuned in.  More than ever before in my life, I am “wired for wonderful”.

Here’s what I know; that we are so much more fortunate than those who have already left this earth, we have more moments; this one, right now, for sure.  We have more time to be and to do, more opportunities to ‘get it right’ to say what needs to be said, to walk the paths that are yet untraveled, to love and learn and to let go of what doesn’t matter or hold meaning any longer.  We get to celebrate being; being, alone or with people we care about, with the sun on our face and sand under our feet, listening to birds, feeling, tasting, touching.  We are lucky to have another chance, another sunrise, another sunset, perhaps another year, among friends, in the land of the living, buoyed by the memories of those who are no longer sharing our light. We can still make a difference, make a memory, be of service, forgive, find peace.

I recognize that not all the change is welcome and that for many, the struggle is difficult to manage, that suffering and sorrow joins the journey and that the process of moving forward is often tethered to the past. We know our bodies may fail us, our minds may dull, and that we may never be quite as good again as we are right now, in this exact moment. When does it change from being young enough to look forward to being old and only able to look back?

What if we were to lean into a different definition of ageing and start feeling more at home with growing old, attach more goodness to it? My  85 year old mother walks and talks more slowly, takes longer to make decisions, can do fewer things faster, and needs more rest in between.  But how lucky are we that she is still here to make us laugh, to tell the stories of a time we cannot know and will soon be forgotten, to add a richness that comes with living long and a wisdom that sheds light in a different direction and causes us to pause.  She adds another layer to our lives, a different dimension than the young ones bring.  She knows more, understands more, and with the weight of a ticking clock, wastes less time or energy on what’s not important.  She says yes more than no, understands death is closer than birth and remains grateful for the quality of her time here.

My father used to say ‘you can sleep when you’re dead”, and that he was going to use up every moment; working full time until almost 81, driving his car, enjoying his family.  He wasn’t bothered about growing old, age was just a number, and in fact, until the leukemia diagnosis, he had his sights set on turning 100. Granted, ageing for men, is a much different experience than it is for women, both inwardly and outwardly in a world dominated by ‘youth’ and outer beauty, but he was right – we have an opportunity to be present while we are still present here on earth.

So while my body and the photographs show a timeline, I continue to grow grateful for every day that I can walk on a planet where so many footsteps have previously made their way, where so many wonderful humans have shared this space. And while I am clearly closer to my end than my beginning, being here is better than not being here, and living and loving will always beat leaving, and while I remain at peace with the idea that my time will come, I am having a blast while I am still upright and looking forward to blowing out the next round of candles!

*This blog post is dedicated to the past and to the present; to the memory of my Dad who died ten years ago tomorrow and to the moments I gratefully share with my wonderful friend Carolyne Taylor who was born 50 years ago today. 



Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *