Thirty years ago today I became a mother when our beautiful baby girl Kristen was born. She has been the joy of my life and my best friend. Today, she is 30. THIRTY! I still can’t believe it. Especially because I feel 40-ish so how can that be? It be. And it be-ed yesterday, as it was my birthday. Yep, Mother’s Day, my birthday, and our daughter’s birthday all in a row. Kristen was almost the best birthday present ever but opted to wait until the middle of the night to be born and have her own birth date. She’s been pretty decisive ever since.
But let’s get back to me; something I’m not crazy about as I hate attention and prefer being in the background. The worker bee. The details person. The observer not the observed. But yesterday it was my day and I woke up feeling very peaceful and very grateful. Truth be told I turned 63. It’s weird to even write or say out loud as like I said, I feel more like 43 than 63. How can it be that I’m actually closer to 80 than I am to 40?! I joke that my age group is now the crazy aunts and uncles at weddings and the age we once thought was so old. It’s also the age I forever thought my grandma was even up until the day she passed…waaaay past 63! It’s all relative though, right?
I’ve learned a lot in those 60+ years and I’m reminded of that annually as I reflect on being a mom, my own mother, another birthday, and the birth of my pride a joy a day later. It’s a lot to take in in three short days but it’s also cathartic.
One thing I know for sure is that prayer matters and prayer works. Maybe not all the time…and trust me I have a list…but we just never know. I know my mom’s undying prayers to this day have saved me many times and I’m forever grateful for them. I pay them forward by praying for my own daughter and many, many others. As actor Mark Walburg says, I stay “prayed up.”
I’ve also learned the art of simplicity. Life can be so hectic and we yet add to the craziness and chaos by adding more. And more. And even more. And yet, the wisest of wise have always valued simplicity, including Albert Einstein as noted above and Socrates who was quoted as saying “the richest man is not he who has the most but he who needs the least.” Salud Socrates and Amen Albert. As I’ve gotten older, I’m learning to adopt this mantra and strip away everything (and everyone!) who is not essential and/or meaningless.
I’ve also learned to say no. No to things and people I don’t want, need, or vice-versa. No to commitments and possessions that are unwanted or unnecessary. The more you say no, the more you have time and space for the things you truly long to say yes to. Just because someone else is doing something, going somewhere, or buying something doesn’t mean you need to. Yeah, you might could but pause on if you should. Savor what and who you really enjoy and you’ll find life a bit more fulfilling.
Speaking of filling; I seem to be filling out. Not in a bad way and not in an unhealthy way, but just what I’m guessing is normal for a woman of my age. I’m not stressed or obsessed about it though. I will continue with my exercise routine that fulfills me and try to eat healthy but don’t deprive myself of foods I love if even just occasionally. I’ll also continue my skincare routine that includes several but not a bucket-full of products and an amazing aesthetician who I swear has hands of an angel. What I don’t plan to do is get any kind of “enhancements” to my face other than my regular facials. I know there’s so much out there and I know many of you get them; they are just not for me and I beg you to stop when others see you and think “boy, she’s had a lot of work done” rather than “she is so pretty and natural.” Age gracefully my friends and embrace it.
As of today, one thing I won’t “let go” is my hair. I’m not sure if I’d be totally gray if I stopped coloring it, but I have a lot of roots that seem to be getting more and more pronounced. Someday yes, I’ll go gray and probably very short and sassy but for now my “natural” hair color will remain brown. Shhhhh!
That’s really what counts, right? I also think Diane von Furstenberg’s quote of “aging is an acquisition not a loss” is brilliant and I will strive to accept and appreciate my new acquisition and consider it a win.