As of this weekend, I have now lived five years longer than my father.
There is an odd feeling when you begin to live longer than one of your parents. As a child, I never saw my father as young. As I age past his death age, I continue to realize how young he was.
As a woman, I acknowledge that I worry about aging. I look in the mirror and see wrinkles that weren’t there five years ago. As a result, I’ve often fallen prey to the whims of the cosmetic industry and purchased way too much in regards to skincare and make-up. The weight that used to easily come off with a few more workouts and monitoring my food, stays much longer and takes much more effort. Suddenly, like with my father’s age, the ages that used to appear so old do not seem so as I approach them.
I do not envy the young girls in their 20’s, I’ve been there and I’ve learned my lessons. However, sometimes I wish I had learned them earlier. What I do find is I now seek out the women in my life who are older than me. They provide me with hope and the realization that growing older can be beautiful. My hope is to have a life where I have no regrets and through observing these women I now try to direct my own decisions.
As with every birthday, I always question if I have done enough with my life. It’s hard to not compare myself with others and have questions. Have I made the right decisions? Am I living rather than existing?
Western culture is not kind to aging and growing older. As with most women, I’ve critiqued my looks and my body for most of my life. The week of my birthday I had to attend my first physical therapy session after years of running, tumbling and pushing my body in ways I never thought would catch up with me. (The good news it can be taken care of in a few sessions.) When we are young, we don’t think about the long term effects. When we are young, we do think we are invincible.
As I approach the next year of my life, I am thankful for the opportunity of new mornings, new journeys and the chance to continue trying to make the best life that I can. I am reminded that there are many in my life who have not been given the gift of another year. My father did not live to see his 40’s. My high school friend Sheila did not get to be a part of our graduation ceremony. My mother died two years before she planned to retire. Each of these individuals planned for later.
As I pass another birthday, it is even more evident that I want to make sure I am not waiting until tomorrow or next year for something that is achievable at this time. I plan to continuously be aware of how I making my life and check my alignment with my dreams and goals.
My goal is to always appreciate each day and I hope that you can do the same. I hope you will continue to allow me to help you make your own life and encourage you to follow me on twitter, instagram, pinterest or have my posts delivered to your email.
What are your thoughts about getting older? How do you handle the passing of each year?