Today is my birthday.
I’m 51. 51 is the new 31. Look who else is 51: Will Smith, Hugh Jackman, Julia Roberts, Jimmy Kimmel, David Guetta, Kylie Minogue, and Vanilla Ice, people! I’m in good company. Jennifer Aniston is almost there and so is J. Lo.
I’ve decided to be proud of my age. It is what it is. How are we to be a society that embraces the elderly if we have shame just for living a long time? I’ve made it. I’ve had a couple close calls: a scooter accident in San Francisco….a blood clot post-labor 17 years ago…breast cancer…yet here I am. I’ve lost some loved ones this year (and in past years) and you know what? Life goes by fast. Live in a way so you won’t regret anything.
And I’m fit. I’m the strongest I’ve ever been mentally and physically. In my twenties, I thought it was most important to be thin. Now I see it’s most important to be strong.
I’m glad I’ve learned the lessons I’ve learned: Be present. Be open. Allow your children to be who they are. Love your job. Live well each day. Don’t take yourself – or anything -seriously.
Old bean pod, you dried up thing
no longer vibrant in our eyes
who’d want your monochrome self
bent, cracking and dull
beans spill out and
get buried in the earth
the sky cries
and a new life begins
“To “retire” means to me to begin to die. The man who works and is never bored is never old. Work and interest in worthwhile things are the best remedy for age.”
“…Casals argues, we renew ourselves through purposeful work. (He) lived and worked for another four years, dying eight weeks before his ninety-seventh birthday.”
How happy are you? Your age might be correlated to the level of your happiness. And acceptance might be the key to joy.
According to a study by Nielsen, people ages 18-21 are pretty happy, but the level of self-reported well-being goes on a decline until it hits rock bottom at age 50-53. This is due, in part, because people in this age bracket are preoccupied with money concerns: kids’ college tuition and their own retirement funds. But then, the level of contentment goes up on a steady trajectory for a high into the eighties. The reason?
As people age, they accept their aging. THIS is the key to contentment.
Perhaps we should all accept our present condition, no matter the age? Wouldn’t this naturally lead to more joy?