Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Happy Birthday to me

Tomorrow I turn 54.

Man that sounds old. But I don't really think of myself as old - more middle-aged. That's probably a misnomer, because that means I expect to live to 108 - which might be possible...but I don't think so.

I think that age is really not important (well, except for legal things like drinking and driving). I have always thought that. But if I had thought about it in my twenties, I would have probably thought that 54 was REALLY OLD and at that age, I would be wrinkled and grey (which I am) and really past my prime (which I am not). (Didn't think about it - too busy carrying on and having what passes for a good time in my twenties - which I shudder about now, but it's ancient history.)

Instead, I think now that this is a really great stage in my life - one child raised and almost out the door. Two more not quite there, but close. Still married and quite happy (still one of the best things I have done - along with having my babies, of course). Taking the opportunity to do things for me that I have always wanted to do (like run a marathon). Giving back to the community when and where I can. Good friends (and not just on Facebook), lots of interests - all the things that help compose a life of satisfaction.

But along the way, I have amassed a few - call them rules if you like, although that is a little strong - for successful survival into your mid-fifties.
They are:
Try and find the humour in every day living - because most of it is quite funny.

Take yourself seriously - that is, develop your skills, work hard at what you choose to do with your life, don't belittle yourself to others - but not so seriously that you suck the life out of a good time.

Find yourself a hair dresser you trust - you will always like what you see in the mirror in the morning - which is truely the harshest time of day.

Aim for balance in your day - work vs.life, fun vs.serious, 4 food groups vs.chocolate/wine. Everything in moderation as they say.

Tell your significants (kids, husband, family) you love them. Alot. Every day, if you can.

Stay gender-neutral in your teachings. Boys need to cook and do laundry. Girls need to mow the lawn and hang pictures. Everybody needs to do everything. There's less fighting. Which causes you less stress - and therefore (theoretically) helps reduce grey hair and wrinkles. (All that being said, I never signed up for ridding the house of mice.)

Enjoy your passions - they may be fleeting (Good-bye spinning, wind surfing, hot air ballooning and quilting) or constant(hello, knitting, running and books) - but they help define you as a person and structure your life in a reasonable way. (Although sometimes passions boil over into obsessions - careful on that one....)

All I am really saying, I think, is that my life is made up of my choices - and I am rather liking where I am now. So hello 54 - thank you for letting me get here (because the alternative seems not great an option) - and with any luck, in a year, I will be saying goodbye.