It’s my party because today is my birthday. I am 6-6-6-6-6-9-9-9. Am I experiencing diminishing returns with each passing year or am I finding adequate supplies of joy, contentment, enthusiasm and gratitude to meet my demands? I think it’s the later. My body announces, sometimes loudly, that I am aging, but I feel ageless in many ways. Of course, on a micro level, each day presents a wide range of experiences which affect me physically and emotionally. My emotional well-being can be tied to my physical well-being. It’s hard for me to be joyful when I don’t feel well. I just went thru a brutal prep for a colonoscopy and the best I could do was hang on and keep reminding myself that I would be better soon. And I am better and actually feeling some pride in not falling apart. My body and soul felt great after my morning jog today so sometimes the physical and emotional paths are the same.
A couple of friends have asked me if I am having a hard time with turning 69 and if I am reflecting on getting older. Yes and no. I am 69 and I am getting older and that’s a fact. My husband and sister died years before they reached 69, so I am grateful to just be here and I hope I have made good use of the additional years I have been given. I feel some responsibility to learn and grow because I loved them, and they are part of who I am because they loved me. So it’s not so much that I am 69, but what I’ve done with those years. Actually I’d like to think more about who I want to BE, rather than solely about what I have done. I can do the life checklist and check off my accomplishments, or I can stop measuring and keeping track. If I believe that I am enough just as I am, I can take the energy that I would expend on proving myself and use that energy to be of service.
It’s not all about me anymore, my self-help library is looking pretty sparse. It sounds pretty lofty of me to think I have contributions to make that could help others, but I find I’m directing more of my energy towards that goal. I’m studying and writing about climate change, racism, and social issues. My world is not just my house or back yard, or my next door neighbors, my attention is broader. I just recently retired from leading caregiver support groups and I am looking at some new ways I might contribute. I’m joining the League of Women Voters and offering my research and writing skills. For many years I have had a little sign by my front door or by my desk that reads “I make a difference in this world.” That is my goal: to make a positive difference in this world.