Yes, it’s my BIRTHDAY! I’m 49 today, which means I’m entering my 50th year!
(Egad, how did that happen???)
I’m not depressed about getting older, as I know many people are. Sure, it’s sobering to realize that I’ve been on the planet so many years and haven’t accomplished as much as my younger self might have dreamed…(though in other ways I’ve accomplished much more).
And it’s annoying that my knees are creakier than they used to be.
And it’s really annoying to live in an ageist culture, where I watch women become more and more invisible as we get older.
And of course, it’s also sobering to come one year closer to my mortality.
Mostly, though, I feel grateful that I’ve gotten to ride the merry-go-round for this long! And that with my years on the planet come greater wisdom, less giving a **** about what other people think, greater self-compassion.
I’m still working on all of these, but I’m wiser, less concerned about what other people think, and more self-compassionate than I’ve ever been before, and that’s definitely something to celebrate!
Actually, I think I had a lot more anxiety about aging in my 20s and 30s than I do now.
Confessions of a 49er
A few years ago I never told anyone my age. People often think I’m ten or fifteen years younger than I am, so it was easy to “pass” as younger. And ageism does its best to make us feel ashamed for aging, ashamed that we’re not 23 forever.
But bleah! Hiding never feels good.
I’ve read enough of Brené Brown‘s work on shame to know that the best way to fade it is to “speak shame” — to stop hiding and come out already!
So I started proudly claiming my age, rather than always hoping people would think I was younger. I mean, who wants to base their self worth on a lie that they’ll never be able to live up to?
Honestly, I think owning my true age was a pivotal step in accepting me for who I am. It was around that same time that I finally realized that my greatest value is not in what I produce, but in simply bringing my full, authentic self to the table.
What a relief!
Without realizing it, I’d always believed that my value lay in what I did, what I produced. No wonder I was such a diehard “overachiever”!
There’s something incredibly relaxing about letting go of trying to prove myself by doing, doing, doing.
Don’t get me wrong — I still work hard. I still get caught up in taking on too much. I still fall in the trap of not feeling enough, and thinking if I do more I’ll be more worthy.
But I tell you, it’s a helluva lot better now than it ever was. And I’m quite sure that just getting older has a lot to do with that.
So although I may get emotional today (that tends to happen on birthdays), it won’t be because I feel badly about my age.
Honestly, I have no idea how the live stream will work… The internet connection at the venue is pretty slow, so I’m crossing my fingers.
BUT, MM and I will be setting up TWO extra video recorders to capture the whole thing, and if you register in advance — even if you can’t log in at showtime — I’ll send a link to the recording afterwards, even if the live stream conks out.
Having you at the concert would make my birthday the BEST! I hope you can join me.
Thanks for being part of my journey so far. Here’s to a great 50th year!
PS — Pssst! Know someone who might benefit from seeing this today? Pass it on!