People are often surprised when I tell them how old I am, usually thinking I’m much younger, to which I am flattered and grateful for good genes and a healthy lifestyle for the majority of my adult life. Today, as this is posted, I turn 44. It seems funny to me looking at that number. It is a reminder of how quickly time flies, in particular because I don’t feel anything like what I thought being in my mid-forties would mean. Although in all honesty I don’t really know what I thought. I suppose the usual things people think of when they are in their teens, the automatic assumption I’d have a similar life to my parents. Doing the daily grind of work, raising kids, TV dramas in the evening before bed. It seemed pretty good to me, maybe a touch boring but alright. I will admit to the TV shows but somehow, and for whatever reason here I am. Two sweet fur babies and a job that is certainly not 9-5 and heaps more rewarding.
In my early thirties, when I was deathly afraid of growing older (I can’t help the ridiculousness of those words) convinced I was a screw up, that I would never have both a job I loved and one that paid well at the same time or any seriousness of a romantic partner. I almost drove myself insane, and very close to depression worried about what people thought of me stumbling through life not “achieving” anything while all my friends around me were buying houses and getting married, pregnant, promotions or at least that’s all I could see.
And then something terrible and magical happened at the same time. My dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer and life smacked me hard in the face. In a single moment I learned that life is a precious. Age and growing older is a gift not offered to everyone. Who cares if you’ve ticked off all the boxes on the things you were supposed to accomplish by the time you were 30 or 40 – be grateful that you had boxes to tick. Life is an adventure, life is unpredictable, and life is too short to waste worrying, especially if you are worrying about what others think. Be proud of your grey hair and wrinkles. Be proud of how many candles you get to blow out on your cake. There is only one alternative to growing older.
So here I am 44. Half way through leading a yoga retreat in Costa Rica with my sister/best friend and at my very dear friends retreat centre. Married to a loving, supportive and funny man, the bestests friends a girl could ask for. Feeling like I just got home from Bali and already planning my next retreat journey to India. A niece and nephew to watch grow up, two sweet cats to cuddle and my mom who is getting ready to move in so we can have more hang out time. I am so grateful. Sometimes I wish I could go back to my younger adult self watching the clock tick by and just say, it’s going to work out better than you can imagine.
In love and light