Rites of passage.  Whether it’s turning 50, 60, 70, 80, or beyond, we feel them.  They get our attention.  They get the attention of everyone in our family and circle of friends, because they can’t believe we are whatever age we are.

Big birthdays sober us. They remind us of our immortality.

But they also can be quite emancipating.  They tap us on the shoulder and urge us to look ahead down that trail, and wonder where it will take us.  Where do we want to go?  What do we want to achieve?   Are we done chasing goals of the past?  Are we ready to take a breath, or is it time to gear up for new challenges?

There’s a sadness to passing from one decade to another.   Who doesn’t pause a bit when they realize they can’t quite move as fast as they once did.  Can’t get on the floor to play with the dog and get up quickly (or at least, without some assistance).  Can’t eat all that spicy food without raiding the medicine cabinet at 2 a.m. for the antacid.  Can’t even stay up late…and late has gone from 11 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

Still, there’s a giddiness to growing older.  You just have to look for it.

You have permission to give up some things.  Stop worrying about so much.  Know that you have gained wisdom the younger set doesn’t yet have, (even though they’re convinced you don’t know what you’re talking about).

Smile a bit more.  Nap a bit more.  Take it all in.  Or not.

If you’re coming up on a big birthday, turn it on its head and think about what gifts it can bring.   More time to travel.  Walk on the beach.  Wear a floppy hat.  Stop dying your hair.

Or start dying it purple.

.When she turned 70 last year, actress Sally Field said, “I’ve gathered strength behind my years, I owned them, I’ve earned them, I’ve deserved them, I have a right to have them. Behind my years I have value that doesn’t come when you’re 50 or 40 or 30 or 20, it doesn’t come until you’ve been in that saddle for a number of years.”

Amen!  Here’s to rocking the wrinkle however you can.

Here’s some other thoughts on jumping into that next decade:

“The aging process has you firmly in its grasp if you never get the urge to throw a snowball.”~Doug Larson

You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair”.~Douglas MacArthur

“In a man’s middle years there is scarcely a part of the body he would hesitate to turn over to the proper authorities”. ~E.B. White

“The first sign of maturity is the discovery that the volume knob also turns to the left.”.~Jerry M. Wright

“I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that”. ~Lauren Bacall

You have come a long way. You’ve endured a lot of struggles and pain.  You’ve touched more people’s lives than you will ever know.

And you are still here!





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