This has been a very busy weekend for me. Yesterday my husband and I went on our last sail of the season and then headed over to my sister-in-law's house to celebrate her husband's 50th and her oldest son's 18th birthday! On Saturday my sweet family threw a semi-surprise 60th birthday party for me!
I say semi-surprise because while my husband wanted to surprise me, he told me Saturday morning he just couldn't pull it off. There was too much to do and he didn't know how to get me out of the picture so he could orchestrate all the arrangements. The control freak inside of me was very happy .
I have been grappling with the idea of turning 60 ever since I turned 59 (you can see on the cake above I switched the numbers to read 6 instead of 60). It's been a process to embrace my natural evolution. I certainly don't feel like what I thought 60 was going to feel like when I was a kid or even a young woman.
When I was young I LOVED getting older. I looked forward to my birthdays. Getting older meant more freedom, more adventure, more fun.
I'm not sure where the tipping point was for me; when getting older was no longer something I looked forward to. And I can tell you, I never imagined looking forward to turning 60 (no disrespect to all my fellow sexagenarians - [you've got to love this label] ).
Many years ago, when my husband wasn't my husband, he wrote this lovely sonnet to convince me we should date (Yup, he did that ️). [Back story, I'm older than my husband]
"I've never trusted numbers, so why should I start
To value them in matters of the heart?
What is felt can best serve to measure
My compass to you, my heart's treasure
Finite figures of black and white
Can never yield an answer that's right
Subtraction of ages will always ignore
The infinite value numbers can't account for"
As I am days away from officially turning 60 the power and beauty of Danny's words ring true today as they did 19 years ago. Age is just a number and doesn't tell the story of the heart, or the soul for that matter.
Age is just a number on both sides of the equation. Whether your pre- or post- 40, I invite you not to fall into the trap of labeling folks simply based on age - babies, parents, colleagues. Like Danny's sonnet 'age will always ignore the infinite value numbers can't account for!'
But in order to expand our perceptions we must shift our mindsets and this is a journey in and of itself. Letting go of old stories that don't serve us, disavowing old belief systems that hold us back from seeing the full potential of other while becoming our best self.
"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right." - Henry Ford
In 1959 (my birth year) the first all-color picture book was published. It was by Dr. Seuss entitled Happy Birthday to You! It's a fantastical story told in the second person about the reader's birthday celebration. The focus is on the reader's self-actualization and includes the famous quote by Dr. Seuss: "Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you."
Instead of marking time with our birthday celebrations, let's celebrate how we have impacted histories (and herstories), how we have touched the lives of babies, families, colleagues, friends and others.
Just like the play-doh exercise, once you touch it, you change it forever. You leave an impression that you can never take back. Leave the best impression possible, at the end of the day, isn't that what matters most?
I've shifted my birthday mindset and instead of fretting about getting older I look forward to discovering what the future holds. I look forward to the next 60 years of co-creating a future with YOU that celebrates and honors the you-ness of everyone, young and old, including the tiniest and most vulnerable among us.
Take care and care well,
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P.P.P.S. Here is your quote for the week!