When I was a little girl I would look at grown-ups and just couldn’t imagine myself being one. I distinctly remember thinking I would just not grow up because there weren’t any grown-ups named Heidi so I just couldn’t get older than … 12 or so. THAT was REALLY old!
And here I am today.
Today is my 50th birthday.
I don’t feel old. How CAN I be “old”? Well, I’m NOT old. I refuse to accept it.
In some ways I still feel like that little girl that can’t imagine being “old”. It’s funny how every year everyone gets younger as you get older. Forty looks so young from the vantage point of fifty!
But… back to my birthday. As you can tell, it wasn’t a number I wanted to celebrate. I could feel myself being pulled into a dark hole that I didn’t want to go into. So I decided to change my paradigm – change my view of myself and the world around me.
First, I decided to change how I was starting to think about age and aging. I was getting upset when AARP was sending me enrollment paperwork. If I had some ache or pain the thought would come to me that it was because I was getting close to 50. Certain foods weren’t agreeing with me and I was starting to blame that on my age.
Well, I stopped.
Age is all mental. I choose to acknowledge my 50 years on this earth as “soul-filled” years. They have been filled with beauty and love. That beauty and love isn’t something that ends or can diminish. It is eternal and can’t truly have the limitation of time attached to it. And that understanding and realization helped me figure out what I wanted to do with my day.
First, I made 5 dozen banana chocolate chip muffins and gave them away to family and friends. It was more than 50 but I figure I’ll get a head start on next time…
Second, I found 50 things to donate to a thrift store.
Third, I then decided to doubly bless the thrift store of my choice by shopping there! Definitely a win-win there!
Fourth, I went through my cupboards and filled 5 bags with food to donate to The Community Pantry. They are a wonderful organization that my son volunteered for and I love giving them food that they can give to those who truly need it.
And Fifth, I decided to find someone to give $5 to. Giving away $50 isn’t in the budget right now but I can swing $5.
By turning the focus away from myself, I was able to turn a day that I was kind of dreading, to a day that was wonderful! I even had time to go out to lunch and get a pedicure with my sister and my mom. When I look out at the time ahead of me, I’m going to remember what I learned this year. I’m going to have “soul-filled” days and decades! It is just so much nicer that way…