There comes a time in everyone’s life when mortality makes us sit up and take notice. Turning sixty can do that. So did twenty-five, and forty, and the entire year of being fifty. I thought I was ready. Thought it would be profound and sobering. How very wrong I was.
Not only did I survive it. I flourished in it. I celebrated with people I love and who love me.
Hell, there was a time I thought I’d never make it to thirty. But I did…and every year after. Were they all easy, carefree, and nothing but fun? Of course not. That’ s life.
My birthday was a reminder to open my eyes. To stop long enough to see how far I’ve come and to mark the passage of time in gratitude. Yes, I’ve dealt with some hard days, weeks, and years. I’m the same as everyone else. I cry, I bleed, and I worry. Breathing is key to getting past the stuff I thought would do me in. Despair isn’t new to me, but how I handle it has been a journey into enlightenment. I realized there is much in the world I have no control over except how I handle it.
I don’t have a crystal ball. (Well, actually I do. But I digress.) I can’t see into the future. But if the last decade is any indication of what lies ahead, it’s going to be one hell of a ride, and I’m locked and loaded for the journey. Bring it on. I still dance like I’m twenty. Think like I’m thirty. Work like I’m forty. (That one’s a little depressing, but I’ll take it.) Age really is a state of mind, and I’ll never grow old. Even when my body can’t keep up, I’ll remain young at heart.
I see more than I ever have. Hear more than I’ve ever heard. Listen more than I talk. There’s lessons I’m learning now that I never would have been able to handle last week, last year…the last decade. I’m ready for them now. The biggest lesson of all…Life is short. It’s the blink of an eye. I refuse to let one minute pass me by without noting its importance. Each second is of consequence…means something real and distinct.
So, in celebration of this milestone. Of starting my seventh decade in this world, I’ll be getting my eleventh tattoo. Each one is important to me. Each one symbolizes something personal and meaningful. So will this one. It’s the Sanskrit symbol for breathe. How fitting. Because as long as I still can breathe, I’m doing fine. And that sums up my outlook. Every day I wake, is a day to celebrate.