I may be in a minority, but I have loved getting older. Each decade is a milestone. Each year has been an incredible learning experience. I can honestly say that the only age I ever gave a second thought to was 25 and only because it was brought to my attention as being a quarter of a century old.
I have to admit that I didn’t really realize how much I have enjoyed it until I got older. When I was younger, my four girls were pulling me in a hundred different directions. There was school and sports and piano lessons and play dates and scouts and diapers and doctor visits. There were so many things going on. I started working full time when the youngest went to kindergarten. I don’t remember thinking “Boy, I love this!” very often. Back then, there were a husband and wife, four beautiful children and a golden retriever who all needed attention from me. I did my best. I must have done okay because they are all still around and appear to still love me. We all miss the golden retriever. He’s been gone for quite a few years now.
Looking back now, I can see that we really did have a great time. We were a family that was close and did lots of things together. We all went together to watch whoever had a sporting event on any given day. We always went on no less than one family vacation a year. Many years, we were lucky enough to go on more. We could even make grocery shopping an adventure. We played baseball in the backyard and the kids loved when we got a pool in the backyard. The grandkids enjoy that same pool today.
One of the most liberating days of my life came when I gave up coulda woulda shoulda. What possible purpose does that serve? Whoever invented that phrase was trying to drive us all crazy. I found the picture below and loved it. It is actually what inspired this post.
I am guessing that we all do our best or at least we try to. Nothing is ever going to be perfect all the time. It’s just not going to happen. It is ludicrous to think that is possible. But, that is no reason to beat ourselves up over it. Do your best and move on.
I am rapidly approaching 60. I don’t mind one little bit. I actually am looking forward to it. If I have learned nothing else in the last 18 months, it’s that nobody is promised 60 or 50 or even 40. I have let go of a lot of things that I thought were so very important. What’s important is taking care of ourselves so we can be around for our families for a long time to come. What’s important is telling the people you love that you love them. Don’t assume they just know it. Even if they do, they really like to hear it. What’s important is spending time with your family and friends. Take a walk on the beach and look for beach glass. Have a camp fire and roast marshmallows. Play some wiffle ball. Snuggle up on the couch and read books or watch a good movie. Go out to dinner with your significant other and leave the cell phones off the table. DO NOT CHECK THEM!! Focus on each other.
There are so many things that we are capable of if we just put our minds to them. Give up trying to be perfect. It’s never going to happen anyway. Why waste the effort? Use the time to be good to yourself and your family and friends. Go to the gym. Go for a bike ride. Make good healthy food. Take time for yourself. Renew your spirit. Think of how much more you will have to give to others when you feel wonderful.
It doesn’t matter how old you are. Age is just a number. My mom is going to be 89 soon and nobody would ever know it. She looks amazing and her attitude is 20 years younger than 89. Don’t let the numbers hold you down. Go out and do all the things you’ve wanted to try. What have you got to lose?
What’s important is letting go of coulda woulda shoulda. It’s time for can, will, did.