Thursday, November 22, 2007

Another Year, Another Gray Hair

I woke up this morning and rolled over in bed to snuggle with my hubby. It’s one of my favorite things to do. I love waking up in the morning. Everything is still so new, the day has yet to take shape, and anything is possible.

Today is even more special. I’m forty-three today and plan to celebrate each and every single year I’ve lived. I’ve never been one of those women who worry about the turn of the calendar. Instead, I take each and every year as the precious gift it is.

When you reach a certain age—which is different for each person—you realize that you’re no longer concerned with what other people think. Not that you’re inconsiderate, you’re just secure in who you are as a person. I no longer worry so much about appearing foolish. I’m forty-three years old, I’ve already appeared foolish more times than I can count. What’s one more time?

The added bonus of getting older is being able to put the past years into perspective. When you reach your forties, you realize just how much darn energy you had when you were twenty. LOL But, you also have the wisdom to know that you’ve got a lot more energy now than you will when you hit your sixties. It’s all in how you look at things.

Most of us by the time we hit forty have had several careers. That’s a plus. You know that you can start over again if you have too. After all, you’ve done it before and survived. There is freedom in that. I spent almost twenty years in retail management before embarking on my writing career. It’s fun and exciting and some days downright scary. But if it all ended tomorrow, I’d at least be able to say I did it. And as you get older that becomes much more important.

So, what do I want for my birthday? Hmmm, here is what I’d like the next year to bring.

I’d like to get healthier this year. I’ve slacked off on the exercise and put on a few pounds the past few years. I’d like to take better care of me. Think of it as maintenance, after all, I want to be around to celebrate quite a few more birthdays.

I’d like to take a few more risks, not play it safe. After all, I’ve been through some of the toughest things a person can ever go through and I’ve survived. So what else is there to be afraid of? I’d like to do a few more things on my “life list of things to do.”

I’d also like to find more balance in my life. Work has taken over my life in the past few years, so it’s time to even things out and have more fun.

I treat every day as if it’s special, because it is. You never know when this amazing ride called life will come to an end. I think about my father, who was terminally ill when he turned forty-three and dead by the time he was forty-five. He died young, but he lived well, in many ways better than I am living.

This year I want to have as much fun as possible and not sweat the small stuff. ‘Cause in the end, most of it doesn’t really matter. It is people and relationships that matter—the connection you have with yourself and with others.

I plan to eat dessert first, do more things that bring me joy, and love myself for exactly the person I am. Not much when you think about it, but when you really stop and think about it, it’s everything.

8 comments:

Heidi said...

Happy Birthday NJ!
Sounds like you've already made a good start to having a great day :D

Mechele Armstrong said...

Happy birthday! And yes, looks like you are on a great start to a new prosperous year.

Ironeyes said...

I wish you a very Happy Birthday and many many more to come. You have a very positive attitude and that is highly commendable. Stay with life, it's fantastic and has more to offer the more you live it. Just think insurance rates go down the older you get. Ha Ha Life gets better because you learn not to sweat the small upsets. Enjoy the desert first, who's going to tell you not to.

Dave

charleneteglia said...

Happy birthday, NJ! What a wonderful perspective. I agree, work can't take over life and adding to the life list of things to do is always worthwhile. Here's to your next year!

N.J.Walters said...

Thank you all so much for the wonderful birthday wishes.

I'm having a wonderful day today. Just got home from the movies with my hubby. :-)

Ann Bruce said...

Happy birthday!

I’ve slacked off on the exercise and put on a few pounds the past few years.

Would you hurt me if I mention I'm on a six-month sabbatical from exercising--and lost 20 pounds in the first two months? hehe

But I'm told that's muscle mass. :(

N.J.Walters said...

LOL Whatever works, Ann. *g*

Deb said...

Happy belated sweets, I wished you a birthday that was on time at the playground..lol