A beautiful friend is turning 60 today. On her Facebook page she posed the question: “How should one feel?”
For me, the answer to that is simple…however you CHOOSE to feel! You can feel OLD, instead of celebrating one more turn around the sun. You can feel like the best is in the PAST, or, like your life just keeps getting better! You can be GRATEFUL for all the people that you get to LOVE, or focus on what you missed out on. And you can choose to feel EXCITED because your ADVENTURE can either continue, or BEGIN unfolding today!
Speaking of unfolding, I have a new FB friend who created a total make-over for herself – check out her FB page: Fabulous Fifties – A New Beginning: Fitness, Health & Beauty. Every day she posts a great reminder, or a photo of herself, that inspires the hell out of me! She’s 51 years old, and a stunning example of the truth that, “We create our reality with our thoughts.”
Back to my birthday friend…at the end of her post she said, “I feel like I am breaking the rules of old age, so don’t tell anybody!” I wondered, are there “rules of old age” that nobody ever talks about, but we subconsciously buy into?
- Are they rules such as, “you need to cut your hair short after you turn forty.”
- Rules like, “we all gain weight as we get older.”
- Rules like, “it’s hard to lose weight after fifty” and “it’s hard to get fit after you turn fifty.”
- Rules like, “It’s impossible to start over at sixty.” In a career. In a relationship. In a new location.
Last year, when I turned 60, was the first time I ever gave a (negative) thought to my age…and then, I almost freaked out! I was shocked by the flood of emotions I found myself carried downstream by! I must have, unconsciously, bought into those unwritten rules myself! I needed a lifeline, and searched for inspiration among women who were making a difference in the world by inspiring, leading, teaching, and sharing. I had heard about her, and finally met Susan Tolles at a luncheon. Do read her FB posts at: Flourish Over 50 or on her website: http://www.flourishoverfifty.com.
I realized that if I was going to “brainwashed,” then it should be in a way that served me, rather than held me back. Time to take responsibility!
- I realized that the things I couldn’t do physically were not related to my age, but because I had stopped working out 3-4x a week, the way I always had. I can remedy that!
- For a moment, I bought into my boss’s extreme fear of aging, and his view that I was too old, and consequently, of no use to him. There was a fix for that, too…I quit! I now work where my boss is my age, my experience and uniqueness are valued, and the talented team are open, fun, and respectful. (see birthday cake, above!)
- I had been afraid to show my vulnerability in certain situations…and learned that it is okay to ask for help and support! When I asked, I received – even more than I could have imagined!
- I acknowledged that I do have good ideas, and I needed to trust myself and follow-up on them!
- This was a big one for me personally – I worry much less about what people think of me.
- And this is a big one for women – comparing ourselves to others. We always compare ourselves to women younger than us, and find ourselves lacking. One of my best teachers always said, “Compare it only to itself!” Which means to me, don’t compare. If I see someone, and my first thought is, “I’ll have what she’s having!” I know what to focus on.
You can take it as an inspiration. Take it as an inner desire. Take it as a personal challenge. Take it to heart. Allow it to become a goal, then do the work to achieve that goal. What do you desire? To improve your figure, eat healthier, have fun working out? To change your hair to reflect the inner you? To learn to dress differently, a little sexier? To find a new relationship? A sexy vacation? To speak a romantic language, or two? To become a great cook? To learn to ride a Harley, have a sports car, run a 5K, do bikram yoga?
The good news in all of this, is that at our age we have the wisdom, discipline, experience and maybe even the free time to accomplish our goals! We know the satisfaction of reaching our goals. Sometimes they make take a little longer… this blog was supposed to be posted on Tuesday, but it was my 61st birthday! I have been celebrating for days, and I am awash with gratitude for all of the wonderful friends who continue to support, encourage and inspire me daily. Whatever it was that swamped me last birthday, it’s long gone. I am looking forward to this next year, and everything it will bring me!
So…is age just a number? Yes! While we can’t help getting older, we don’t ever have to get old! And in the words of my favorite author, Tom Robbins, “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.”
(P.S. – My beautiful, delicious, lemon birthday cake was from Walton’s Fancy and Staple on 6th Street in Austin.)