Turning 48- An Ordinary Day Sprinkled with Stardust
I recently turned 48. Did I just admit that? I demand a recount!
Yes, I’m truly grateful to add one more summer to the total summers of my life…blah, blah, blah!!
I’ve got to tell you, this annual open tab on the years of our lives just shockingly lurks on us, strikes us with a bullwhip into a double whammy and we are jolted into a rude awakening with a whisper that says “hey you… the busy years just passed you and you didn’t even realize it”.
“Excuse me for being bold, but if you don’t mind my asking, how old are you?” asked a lady at a seminar I was attending last week. She was trying, desperately, to place the decade I was born. After stumbling for what seemed forever, I finally succumbed, “I will be 48 in a few days”.
Why, oh why was it so difficult for me to admit it? Was it possibly because on the inside I felt closer to 25ish and reality dictated otherwise?
I look in the bathroom mirror above the sink, I see my sudden aging. I see it on my facial features one by one. I specially notice the creases in my forehead and around my eyes. And yet to my full shock and horror, I’m not dismayed, saddened or resigned. No, instead I feel a certain sort of interest. No beauty on earth lasts forever except the beauty that comes from the inner journey of love.
Cheesy right? And yet what can I tell you about this newfound profoundness! I swear it’s this aging thing!
Last night, at a dinner party, my closest friends and I along with our husbands ruminated on this aging phenomena. As the women were nostalgic about our lost youth, the men were exceedingly, and it seemed rather pleasantly, entertained by our agitation.
They were quite candid that wrinkles bother women more than they do men. (Hmmmm…Interesting I thought…Do continue….) In fact, more guys find a few lines on a woman’s face extremely attractive. (Deliciously compelling….)
I happily succumbed to their alluring notion. Those meticulous wrinkles are the etchings of our experience, maturity and the wisdom we’ve sporadically acquired throughout the years to help us become the women we are today!
It certainly hasn’t been easy but as I’ve had to accept the things that are changing and unpredictable, I’ve learned that every journey is a journey within. And to me, that surpasses all the physical beauty and fallacy of youth.
But then, on the one hand, I’m getting older (a forbidden word here in Los Angeles- where plastic surgery, Hollywood and a youth-envy are intermutual and equally cherished). On the other hand, my journey within starts.
On the one hand, I can still party as though I were still in my 20’s. On the other hand, my joys with solitude have begun (very non-LA!).
I can honestly say I appreciate the benefits of occasionally being alone. It increases my creativity, productivity and leads me to a better mental health. I just need to keep that incessant chatter in my head at bay!!!!
I realize I’ve survived so much and thank God, have always been able to blend right back in (extensively an LA-thing!).
Do I sound Confused? Ok, maybe just a little. But let me clarify it by quoting Voltaire. He put it well when he wrote, “God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living it well.”
So far so good Monsieur Voltaire… I’m feeling witty and enlightened I deduct, as I shove the last piece of chocolate into my mouth before my conscious has time to catch up with my greed!!
Isn’t it true, after all, how we play our role is the great test of our character? And that, I believe, is how we defeat aging….(and by eating chocolote!)
I love that I’m getting older. I’m not going to battle against it. I mean, let’s be honest, what’s the alternative?
So instead of infinite agony shivering down my spine and washing over me like a sudden wave of sadness and anxiety, I rather enjoy the beauty of a few distinguished lines towards knowledge, virtue, kindness and divine intuition. I’ve earned my stripes!
There’s an entire landscape of the other side of youth that has more depth and meaning. It has to do with our attitude. It has to do with being conscious and authentic, listening to others with a caring heart, having persona, presence and confidence. It’s about accepting who we are and celebrating it.
Age is only a number and part of life’s little ironies! I will not stop feeling young at heart and I will continue to live life with the idealism of youth and the experience and clarity of age. And time will continue to feel limitless and making sense of the world will continue to be effortless.
More than ever, now, I continue to marvel at God’s love and have faith in the universe. I find myself rethinking family, life, spirituality, and Love.
“Love is the water of life and A life without love is of no account” (Rumi). Love has no definitions and no labels. It is pure and simple. It is that whispering voice that has helped me to climb to the summit of the proverbial mountain and count my blessings with every challenge and blister of life.
So for my 48th birthday, I’ve decided to get myself a gift. The gift of feeling every age as I live it and finding beauty as it is now in my present age.
And so I’ve decided from this day forth that I DON’T have birthdays… I LEVEL UP!… In matters of the mind, the heart and the soul! ( and ok the years as well!!!!!)
But I’ve promised myself this one thing (ok 3 things!)
I will LIVE life fiercely, LOVE passionately and LAUGH profusely!
I will continue to find joy and a life of meaning and satisfaction even in the midst of suffering.
I don’t know from day to day whether I’ll be alive or not but I know that I’m alive today and made stronger than yesterday. As long as I’m breathing and above ground, I will continue to grow, learn, improve and LOVE.
And I know that wherever I go in life, I’ll go with dignity. It’ll be apparent through the way I talk, the way I walk, the way I treat others, and yes, the way I dress and display myself.
And I realize, everything is a life lesson. Everyone we meet, everything we encounter. They’re all part of the learning experience we call ‘life.’ Let’s remember to never forget to acknowledge the lesson, especially when things don’t go our way. And the lesson just learned is the first step towards mindfully living life.
So as I embrace 48, it’s clear to me that those who improve with age embrace personal growth and replace the vanity of youth with wisdom, and innocence with understanding, all the while maintaining creativity and talent without losing an ounce of hope and enthusiasm they bring to their life and the life of those they love.
And I will celebrate life, family and friends as though there’s no tomorrow….all those who want to be a part of my life are welcomed… And those who don’t… Well, that’s fine as well. Because no matter how I look at it, some things just won’t ever make sense!
So my dear friends, I now declare birthdays as Level Up Days….
All those in favor say “I”…..
Honey, that’s just life!
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