Nancy The Guit (as I like to call her) had a birthday this past weekend. According to Nancy she is now “old.” It was hard for Nancy to turn “old,” just as it was for me last year. When we’re kids we learn that birthdays are something to be celebrated, that they’re “our special day.” We get attention and gifts, and we eat cake, yippee, a day to look forward to.
But then, we get older and we become sensitive to the number attached to that special day. We get stuck on those double digits representing the years of our life; numbers that are reminders of the approaching deadlines for the goals that we had hoped to achieve and may have missed. At which point, celebrating is the last thing you want to do (although cake is still welcome).
In spite of our best, educated intentions, The Birthday Dreads take hold. You can’t stop them and nothing can be said to make the transition from young to (your perception of) old any easier.
All you can do is let the dread/sadness run its course. It’s okay to be emotional but there’s no point in making a big deal of it and fretting. Like everything in life, you gotta let it flow.
With that I would like to remind you of a few good things that come with being “old:”
- A good thing about getting older is that you’ve seen a lot of things — You’ve felt things, seen things and lived through them. With that, you come to know who you are, you become more confident, have greater perspective and make wiser decisions.
- When we’re old, we have a better understanding of others — We allow people to be as they are, we’ve come to realize that there’s no need to change anyone, it wouldn’t do much good to try anyway. We appreciate those who have been kind to us and let go of those who have not.
- In case you’re concerned — People don’t get grumpy when they get old. It’s grumpy young people that become grumpy old people. As you age you’re more emotionally (except for the days when your hormones go through the roof) stable making you happier/less grumpy.
- And — When you get super old, they let you to into the movie for really cheap and public transportation is practically free!
In the end, let the good times roll and stop thinking about where you haven’t been and start thinking about where you want to go next…