“Autumn is really the best of the seasons; and I’m not sure that old age isn’t the best part of life.”
– C.S. Lewis
Another year brings another opportunity to become a better version of myself. As I have reached middle age, one would think that I would not want to celebrate the passing of the years. Oh contraire! I love reaching a new year and a new age. It serves as a benchmark of how far I have come. Demonstrating the blessing of time, that so many others are denied as they leave this world far too young. I am a lucky one that has had the joyous experience of growing old. With each passing year, I learn something else about myself, in a constant state of discovery. Along with the spiritual discoveries, I am amazed at how the biological body adapts to the constant changes in life. First it is the growth spurts of youth, then the decades of bearing and raising child. What a miracle life is. Shortly thereafter is the rediscovery of what the body is capable of. Many people approaching their forties are drawn to extreme sports, marathons and the like. It is a final test of the physical limits before the decline becomes more challenging.
“If wrinkles must be written on our brows, let them not be written upon the heart. The spirit should never grow old.”
– J. Garfield
Then arrives the late 40’s -50’s of which I am familiar with. The body begins to let one know that to be gentle is the best approach. It requires a new level of attention and respect for the aging process. For me, I know that I am tired, have a leg that will not cooperate and bouts of dizziness. I associate these symptoms with my illness and never once think my aching could be from twenty years of daily ballet training. You see, illness has been a gift for me. It has reminded me that we are all terminal and are only given so much time. Regardless of each of our challenges, we may not be here tomorrow. Nothing is guaranteed. This realization is one of the reasons that I love to welcome a new year. I am forever thankful for the opportunity to live again, more fully and to experience new things. I have had so many chapters in life and appreciate the ability to adapt. Rather than constantly ponder what the future holds, I choose to enjoy this moment, my birthday. I will only turn 47 once and that is today, and what a beautiful thing it is!
“Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt