Happy New Year everyone! I have been absent from here and have set my New Year Intention to spend my time with more purpose; less Face Time, more face-to-face time. Basically, be mindful and be present. We’ll see how that goes.
Last month, I was fortunate enough to celebrate my 50th birthday, which is by far my most highly anticipated birthday ever. Turning 50 was basically a miracle for me; I never thought I would live much past 21. I’ve spoken before about how becoming pregnant with my son saved my life, by taking me off a path that was heading straight for heartache, misery and ultimately, death. That was a huge shift in my thinking, my priorities and the beginning of the end to my selfish, all-about-me attitude. It was time to grow up and cast aside the foolish, dangerous ways I’d lived for years, step out of the darkness and into the light. Even after I had Devon, there were many dark nights of the soul, so to speak and I was never sure if my will to live and love for my son would be strong enough to ride out the overwhelming desire to sleep without waking. So – that is one reason I celebrate this birthday, the grey hairs and the frequent midnight bathroom trips all with equal vigor. It is a gift, all of it.
I hear other women refusing to tell their age, cease celebrating birthdays, lie about their age, become seriously depressed at the prospect of another birthday. I know a great deal of this is the obsession of society with eternal youth; Frankenstein would have a never-ending supply of willing subjects if he advertised for a “volunteer subject” for a product testing that promised eternal youth. We see it already in the multitude of products, procedures and poisons available at any beauty counter, drug store, gym, department store and possibly even Dollar Tree stores. I have also set an intention to judge not, whether aloud or to myself, so I am not going to disparage these women. I don’t know them, but I feel for them. Aging is a privilege, it is not guaranteed nor is it a right that we all have. It is largely a series of choices, attitudes, environment and that “other” something that cannot be explained, which I mark up to faith.
I don’t know how many years I have left to live but I do know that I will celebrate each and every birthday until there are no more. Every year, I receive gifts of new friends, reuniting with old friends, creating wonderful memories and learning lessons, usually the hard way. Each day I find beauty in everyday places, I see hope burning brightly under a mountain of darkness; I see kindness in strangers and heroes in everyday people. I see angels among us, fighting for our very souls. I see children educating parents and educators teaching compassion and social conscience; I see the never-ending battle of good vs. evil, in all forms and fashions.
This gives me hope, helps me to realize that I am not an observer or passive participant in this life, unless I choose to be. I have power, I have compassion and I have a voice. This isn’t to say there are not still dark nights/days of the soul and mood swings that make me question everything, rude neighbors, ignorant individuals and racist jerks who flip a switch in me that is red hot and would definitely earn me a spot on Santa’s Naughty List, if the thoughts were made into actions. I have moments of absolute, pure rage in traffic and I’m certain that wouldn’t enrich the lives of those around me if I were to voice my thoughts and frustrations. I just know now that I can choose to jump into those moments of madness, a willing participant in an exercise that ends with me feeding myself tons of poison and expecting the other person to die or I can choose to breathe and let it go. The moments of unpleasantness, pain and depression do not negate the positive, which includes hope for the future. I can’t control the world, but I can control how I choose to live; my intention is to do just that. No longer a leaf at the mercy of the wind, I will set my course and with determination and intention, arrive at my destination, wherever that may be.
Thank you all for following me on this grand adventure, for your generous praise and for all that you do.
But you already knew that.