Today I celebrate having lived 18 263 days. Half a century. 50 years. That’s a lot of sunsets and sunrises, meals, toothbrushing, yogaclasses, waking ups, going to bed, toiletvisits, walks, lessons learned, meetings, encounters, tears, stages of life, hope and despair, failed loves and joyous friendships, successes and failures, life and deaths, careers and life changes.
Growing older. It’s not about “staying young” I think. Can’t hold on to anything, especially not something as flimsy as time and age. It’s about embracing who and where you are in life with grace. Maybe.
I alway felt that being young – being a teenager, being 20 and “having-life-ahead-of-you”, being “youngandpromising” – too much pressure, too confusing and I was just always too old for my age somehow. I loved knitting, going for walks in nature and drinking tea with my friends! I and could never live up to the idea of young.
Turning 40 was great, I felt “This is who I am, no matter how hard I try I will never become somebody else, for better or worse. Like me or leave me” and I stopped trying to please everybody and be who I thought others wanted me to be” GREAT relief. Since then I have impatiently waited to turn 50. Finally I feel I have something to give, something to share. I needn’t worry about being “young and promising”, I can just be the odd one that I am and appreciate that. Youth is so overrated!
Since I have now lived so many days I feel I have learned a thing or two that make my life and that of others more warm, light, simple, less lonely and more meaningful.Some lessons were earned the hard way so if you read this – just take the advice to heart and perhaps maybe they might, if not save you problems at least give you a few smiles on the way. You’re not alone.
So, for whatever it’s worth, take it or leave it, here we go:
– Stay warm.
– Make good sleep and good digestion a priority.
– Wear comfortable shoes.
– Eat well.
– You are important.
– Talk to strangers.
– Lose your way once in a while.
– Never hold back your tears. Let it rip.
– Life is more than just work.
– Don’t believe everything you read on line.
– Eat wild plants.
– Smile at a stranger.
– Nature is the worlds best medicin, therapy, friend, source of energy, life and food, entertainment and classroom. Enjoy it every day.
– Laugh. Especially at yourself.
– If you don’t find a life partner, don’t sulk! Maximize freedom and live your life the way you want it.
– Your body and only YOUR body will let you know what it the right food, lifestyle and exercise for you. Listen carefully.
– Perfect is boring.
– Unexpected change is to be expected. That is the only thing we can expect.
– Say Thank you. Rather say it once too many. To show appreciation for other people and making them feel special opens unexpected opportunities. If nothing else, you make their day.
– Say Hello to people you meet – not just your friends: but to the person at the cash register in the super market, the bus driver, the cleaner in your building, your neighbor or the person who serves you coffee at the coffee shop.
– Give and take compliments with the same joy.
– This is it.
– Eat organic, local foods in season.
– Hold up the door to the person behind you. To get a door slammed in the face just isn’t very uplifting. Hold it up, give a smile and make that persons day.
– Warmth, rest, restoring and good friends make wonders for your health.
– Be grateful for what you’ve got. I don’t know how many of my 18263 days of my life I have spent focusing on what I don’t have or who I am not. Let me tell you – bad idea, didn’t make me the least happy. And I didn’t get all those things either.
– Invite Gratitude and Inspiration: yes – “invite”. In times when I have felt dissatisfied, fatigued, frustrated, inadequate, lonely I tend to force myself to work, force ideas to work and life to change. But without fail I just banged my head against the wall believing I’m done as an artist and creative being. Now I know the trick is to Let Go. Stop running. Stop trying. I step to the side and out of my comfort zone. I go to nature. To the ocean, mountains and where I can hear the silence. And I wait. Till suddenly, there it is, Joy, Inspiration, Gratitude. It is a beautiful thing and i get a new lease of life.
– Invite your old and new friends to you a meal at your table.
– When life is tough, know that “This too shall pass”.
– Life is generous, it always gives you a new chance.
– Now leave the screen and go live your life.