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Welcome to day one of Write 31 Days! Simply 50- refining life for the next decade. This year, I’ve chosen to explore words that hold special meaning for me...where I am today. Since I am, quite simply, fifty...it seemed only fitting that I start with the word ‘aging”. Our society has made this a scary word. Yet, the reality is this...from the moment we take our very first breath, we are aging.
We hardly notice the early phases as ‘aging”. In fact, roughly the first half of our lives is spent growing up.
It’s somewhere around thirty-five or forty where the tide shifts and the mood darkens and we begin the dreaded process of ‘aging’.
This is such a strange, complex time. Mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally...we are in new territory. The concepts of growing old and dying begin to seep into our minds At the same time, we struggle with the somewhat shocking changes to our physical selves.
I've learned this, AGE IS JUST A NUMBER.
If we let our limiting beliefs about that number shape our lives, then we become stuck...unable to grow and change.
It took me about 6 months to really embrace being 50. The lead up to the big birthday was tough. I spent lots of time weighing and evaluating who I am versus who I thought I’d be 20 or 30 years ago when I’d dare to look way ahead to 50.
There is pressure to have performed well by the time one turns 50. Sometimes I feel that I’ve accomplished much in my first 50 years. Many days, my journey seems to pale in comparison to others.
I finally settled in around February and decided it was time to make the most of it.
Regardless of how I feel about it. I am fifty.
And the harsh reality is... in a few months...I’ll be 51!
I’ve decided to embrace this age. Welcome the wisdom and mystery that come from having lived half of a century. While I don’t feel that time is short, I do feel that it’s time to stop waiting to do things that matter.
At fifty, I feel I can finally speak about aging having had some experience with the subject.
Here’s what I wish someone had shared with me during the decades leading to fifty…
1. Embrace where you are today. Don’t try to speed things up or slow them down. Stay present and curious about your current age and stage in life.
2. Enjoy this age and all that comes with it. I remember reading some advice many years ago about enjoying your current age...because in 12 short months, your age changes...again. This has been especially helpful to me as I find faults with my physical self...I keep in mind that the body I have now will be the very same body I'll miss in 5-10 years. Looking back at photos of my 40 year old self...I realize I was way too hard on her. I don’t want my 60 year old self to be able to say the same.
3. Surround yourself with young people. It’s incredibly true that young people keep you young. Whether it’s your own children and their friends, your grandchildren, co-workers or neighbors...the energy and enthusiasm of youth is contagious, if you let it in. Soak it up and feel the rejuvenation and at the same time share some of your wisdom. Win, win.
4. Aging beats the alternative. You’re alive. Keep calm and age on:-)
5. Don’t ever stop growing up or learning new things. Teach yourself a new skill or take a class. Keep your mind engaged in learning. When I created my website, my friends thought I was nuts to try and do it all myself. I was determined to figure it out. And while I certainly can’t write code or do anything fancy...I’m pretty tickled with the fact that I truly did every step by myself.
6. Age is a number...the same as dress size. This number has very little to do with who you are...unless you let it. Don’t give it any power.
7. Stop saying you’re old. I know I’ve been guilty of using ‘I’m old’ as an excuse or reason for some things...say, my fitness level, my dry hair, my need for reading glasses. I realize that my words and thoughts shape my future. Once I noticed this habit, I quickly decided to stop referring to myself as ‘old’. Honestly, it was a relatively easy shift and it feels really good to not be reinforcing that limiting idea any longer.
I'd love to know your thoughts on the word 'aging'.
Please share your comments below.
Thank you for being with me on this journey.
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