“I don’t acknowledge age. I’m not afraid of what’s called age. The only thing that would ever frighten me would be losing my vitality or energy or the stars in my eyes or love for life. And I don’t believe that’s connected with numbers.”
– Dyan Cannon
With my 33rd Birthday quickly approaching, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how birthdays tend to bring up a lot of negative feelings for people. I understand that certain aspects of aging aren’t fun or they might be frustrating or uncomfortable, however – if you really think about what getting older actually means….how, in any way, can we actually be upset about it?
Think about it.
We have one life. ONE. That’s it. This life is not a dress rehearsal. Life is a gift and so is the ability to grow and age.
If you don’t get the opportunity to grow older, it means that you died. How is that a better alternative?
Why do we waste ANY time worrying or complaining about getting older? Why aren’t we happy? Why aren’t we celebrating?
People do celebrate their birthdays, but it often comes with being ashamed of our actual age or complaining how old we are or wishing we were ‘young’ again. We, as a culture, fight getting older basically every step of the way. Not just on our birthdays. Why do we create this idea around aging like it’s a bad thing? Something to avoid (even though that is impossible) or something to be ashamed of? It makes me so sad.
I don’t know why, but I have never felt stressed about getting older. Sure, I sometimes wonder how on earth I’m going to be 33 already (Seriously, where does the time go?!) but I’m not at all upset about it. I think it’s awesome. In fact, I LOVE it! Getting older is amazing. I learn more about life and about myself every single day that I’m alive. Each passing year just gives me more opportunities to love, to grow, to learn, to make mistakes, to explore, to breathe, to feel, and to experience this amazing thing we call life.
With everything going on in the world right now and recently hearing of several people I know passing much too soon, my mortality has never felt more fragile. Life is so short. None of us know how long we’ll be here or when our time will be up.
Feeling my mortality only re-enforces why I choose to view life (and aging) the way that I do. As a gift, a blessing…something that I honor and cherish every day. It also makes me realize how important it is be kind to everyone, always (including myself), to honor my heart and soul, to let my loved ones know how much they mean to me as often as I can, and to live every single day like it’s my last.
Life isn’t always easy. Sometimes it just plain sucks. If you’re struggling, if you’re feeling old, if your heart is broken, if you’re sick… it also means that you are still ALIVE! It’s all about perspective. Life is what we make it. Honestly, if you let it, even with all the struggles, life just keeps getting better with every passing year.
We only get one life. It is entirely up to us to make the most of it!
I challenge you to embrace your birthday. Embrace aging and getting older. BE GRATEFUL that you get to spend another day here on this beautiful earth.
Not everyone is so lucky.