Getting older was something that I always heard the women in my family talk about. They discussed how awful the “change” was and said that life would never be the same again. It was always a very sad and disappointing topic.
As I got older, I began to dread what would occur when I reached that stage in my life. I wondered how I would even know when it happened to me.
Through the years, I have always looked forward to getting older because it meant that I would no longer be the youngest woman in my family. I might even be taken more seriously!
As I watched my friends and family struggle with turning 30, 40, 50 and 60, I realized that I wasn’t feeling any of the angst that they were experiencing.
I was grateful to be healthy and alive. I appreciated reaching all those milestones that many in my family had not. As each decade passed, I found myself happier and more in tune with myself than I had ever been.
I was beginning to discover things about myself that I had never known – things that were a part of me but had never been allowed to develop.
Slowly, I was beginning to understand that it was important for me to accept and appreciate my own true nature. I began to realize that it was more important to be true to myself than to try to please others.
The years pass so quickly. When you are working and raising a family, you hardly know where the time goes.
I barely remember turning 30 or 40. Turning 50 was different, but, not for the reasons that you might expect. I had a serious medical condition that forced me to stop and reassess my direction.
It was about that time that I began to remember all of the stories about how the change would be the beginning of the end. Somehow, this concept just didn’t feel right and I wasn’t going to give up that easily.
I was fortunate to have a very insightful doctor at this time in my life. She said she would not let me return to work until I had taken a proper vacation – out of the country. She knew that, if I were anywhere near my place of business, I would keep working. She was right.
I didn’t even realize how bad things had become until I had to pull off of a country road in Europe because I was crying so hard.
That trip changed my life forever. I suddenly realized that I was now the oldest woman still alive in my family. I also realized that if I kept going the way that I was, I wouldn’t be the oldest for much longer.
It was time to finally put myself first and, once I began to treat myself with love and kindness, I very quickly became spoiled.
All of a sudden, I had no tolerance for being unhappy or unfulfilled. I sought out every possible resource to learn how to navigate this new path.
I took strength and encouragement from other women. It didn’t seem like a lot to ask. I just wanted to be happy.
During my 50s, something profound shifted inside of me. I was suddenly so grateful for all that I had in my life and truly appreciated everything. I finally realized how wonderful my life was.
Ironically, it was at this point of acceptance that my life started to change in ways that I could not possibly have imagined.
It seemed like the more grateful I was, the more I had to be grateful for. My life just got better and better.
Along the way, I discovered other women who were experiencing this same metamorphosis. It was fantastic to realize that this was not just a random event – this was my new life!
Now, just after turning 60, I am excited to see what this new change will bring. No matter what, I know that the best years are yet to come!
What messages did you receive from your family members about getting older? Did you have an experience that changed your perspective on the aging process? Please join the conversation and share your story.
Tags Getting Older