Another birthday is on the horizon and I’m reflecting on the past year and making promises to myself for the next. Balking at another year older is not my style because what’s the point? Everyone and everything on the planet is aging. I intend to celebrate and sparkle more as I get older. So there.
Since my last birthday I’ve fallen in love, changed my professional focus, moved in with my guy who is a man who strengthens, encourages and challenges me. I’ve made new friends and moved on from other friendships and watched both my daughter’s embark on enormous life events. I’ve endured some dark days and floundered for longer than I liked and then picked myself up stronger and wiser. I’ve learned to let others in when such struggles occur instead of running away and hiding.I’ve been skiing in Chile, learned about the power of villages in Ghana, found new friends in Texas, mountain biked in Maine and I’ve encountered humpback whales from a kayak in Kauai. How the hell could I have anything to complain about?
My life is just that; mine. Mine to revel in, mine to shape, mine to give meaning to. And, I still have a lot left to do.
I’m not inclined to late nights in noisy bars or crowds of people. It’s the simple things with family and others most loved that lifts my heart and makes my soul sparkle. My time is precious and I don’t want to squander it.
Personal endeavors, the ones where I fill my internal cup with just the right amount of adrenalin, are what make me feel ageless. It might be on a mountain bike in Moab leaping up slick rock, pushing my descents on my road bike beyond 36.4 miles per hour or writing and publishing my first book. It might be guiding others to their own inner light and giving them permission to leap towards it and trust in the free fall. Nothing fuels me more than witnessing others reaching for and embracing their dream.
I like best the quiet evenings with my other half, walking a few blocks to get ice cream in a waffle cone, sitting in the dark watching a thunder storm approach, long drives in the car where we share memories and talk about our dreams, or margaritas on Saturday and sitting on the same side in a booth.
I like walking Tigger on our tree-lined street and saying hi to neighbors and grabbing a blueberry scone at Vic’s.
I’m moved by simple things and less excited by man-made extravagance. Things like a spontaneous late spring motorcycle ride up Flagstaff Mountain make me fizzy with joy like uncorked champagne. That ride was magical because when I climbed on the back and wrapped my arms around Rob and he asked, where do you want to go?, I responded, wherever you want to take me, and somehow he knew what I needed. Or perhaps he needed it too. I cried as we flew through the scent of pine trees and watched as the sun, exhausted and expended from heating up this day, dipped low behind the Indian Peaks for rest and spring released it’s hold on the afternoon. I cried because I was transported to the time of my Artist in Residency in Rocky Mountain National Park and remembered the rich simplicity of days spent in the woods and how that time nourished and strengthened me in ways that had nothing to do with my writing. I cried because I have not had enough of this lately and I vowed to return to my familiar.
I have no room for bullshit or less than sincere souls in my life nor those that bring me down, but instead seek out the uplifters, the truth tellers, the ones who believe in me when I don’t or have faith in my spirit when I am overcome with doubt or who know how to light the pilot light of my spark when I misplace it.
I like my today. Love surrounds me at this mid-point, and it arrived when I was fairly certain that my path was to walk alone. I was okay with that solo place, shit, I just felt happy to be alive and grateful for all my blessings because I suddenly appreciated and saw how rich my life was and how the time I had spent wishing I had this or that had ill-affected and shadowed my moments in the present.
I suspect I’ll always work at this.
I’m embracing the fact that my voice is my voice and it is my responsibility to let it sparkle in all it’s imperfect honesty and this will not please everyone. I’ve got shit to say and I’m going to say it.
It is true what they say, you know. When you stop looking for it or needing it, love knocks on your door and YOU are finally ready to let it in because you have learned that real is far better than fantasy.
I enjoy getting silly and absurd with friends and seeking out new adventures and experiences and long for faraway places from time to time and when I encounter a kindred spirit, I tend to go a bit gaga. I recognize those like-minded humans more easily now and I reach for their hands. I hold on tight.
I laugh until my side aches at things my love says and giggle like a child when excited to see my daughters and I am cultivating an inner airiness and lightness of being that complements the weight of shedding those things that no longer suit me. Freedom. I’ve discovered that freedom is letting joy win and this is how I want to live my life. I feel free to wrap my arms around me and just shine. In all my aging glory, I intend to sparkle my brightest.
With love to you and happy birthday to me!