Remember when 30 sounded old? Wait, maybe it still does to you!
The year I was turning 30, there was a popular TV show, Friends, in which one of the main characters (Rachel) was turning 30. She refused to come out of her room and was utterly depressed at the thought of being that old.
I have to admit, that was me…when I turned 30. I felt like I had reached the age that I always thought of as OLD!
Wasn’t I cute!
Whether or not we want it to happen, it does…time passes. We embrace it, fight it, or try not to acknowledge it.
And then we start noticing it around us. Our favorite actors start looking older, friends, former classmates or family members start having health concerns. Recently, there have been the deaths of three great artists; David Bowie, Glenn Frey and Alan Rickman. Losing those three has magnified the quick journey of life. Also…not to be ignored…our kids remind us of the quick passing of the days, weeks, months and years as they grow up before our eyes.
For me, I’ve had a few distinct moments in which I felt the passing of time all too clearly.
The first, when I was 25. My 25th birthday as a matter of fact. I was driving and it was sunny out. At a stop light I checked my make up in the mirror and smiled. Quickly followed by a gasp. When I had smiled, I had seen wrinkles!!!!
WHAT??? I was only 25!!!
I had wrinkles around the outside of my eyes when I smiled. Horrifying!
The next time was when, while in job and house selling transition, we were living with my parents. My husband, my eleven month old daughter and me.
As I walked downstairs with my baby on my hip, I remarked that I still felt like I was only babysitting…that I felt as if I wasn’t old enough, to have my own child. My mom, with no malicious intention, assured me that I was plenty old to have
my own child (I was 30 yrs old when Gabrielle was born).
Truly, I was definitely old enough to be a mom.
The third, was when roles switched between parent and child with my dad. See, he had a massive heart attack just over two years ago. His body and mind have struggled to recover from the medically induced coma that followed. He is now a resident at a local nursing home. I visit often, encouraging him to do physical therapy, play UNO with me, care to some of his self care needs or just hold his hand while we watch a tv show together. This one, was truly the hardest.
In my head, you see, I am still his little girl.
In reality, it is his well being and his needs and his care that I protect. Not the other way around.
Throughout all of these milestones, I am learning acceptance of the aging happening to me while I’m not looking. With this passing of time comes things I cherish.
- Self confidence: I am so much more secure in the adult I’ve become and am finally ok with letting my goofy side show, following my dreams and standing up for what I believe in.
- Self Acceptance: If you have read my other blog about why I do what I do, you will know that I have struggled with body image issues for years. With age, I am learning to accept my body, my intense loyalty, and other things while realizing that I still have things to learn and work on.
- Friendships: I have realized that not only does it take a village to raise a child, it takes a village to do life. Being a caring and loyal friend has become a priority. Seeking out friendships and learning to lean on those in my village when feeling weak has been invaluable.
- Passion: This. Life goes by too quickly to not be doing things you love. In work, in play, with friends, with family as well as by yourself.
- Experiences: I wouldn’t change any of my experiences. They are my story. What makes me unique, what makes me love, laugh and cry. This is what gives me wisdom and empathy.
Looking back, I appreciate my youth. My easy movement in my body, my naivety, my innocence. I also appreciate my three moments where the passing of time took me by surprise.
I love the wrinkles I have from smiling and laughing. It means I lived life with great joy.
Becoming a mother…that was one of the most wonderful and hardest things ever. A good friend of mine says that with children, your heart now walks outside of your body. Truth.
Watching my dad age and need help and be vulnerable, makes me feel blessed that I am able to provide that support, care and love he needs with no judgment…because he did it for me.
All and all, this is life. You can live it fighting and complaining or embracing and accepting. I choose the latter! Every day, I choose the latter. I choose to live each day to its fullest, try new adventures, say yes when I would say no. I choose to get out of my comfort zone and work on embracing change. I choose to be present with my kids and husband, to love deeply and to keep learning and growing.
In the words of Master Oogway from the movie Kung Fu Panda: ‘Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the Present’
I have decided that I do want to grow up. I love this life. I plan to live each of my ‘gifts’ to the fullest.