Reflections On A Birthday, Aging, Life

by Judith Rich on February 18, 2011

I used to “buy in” to the con­ven­tional wis­dom that grow­ing older meant becom­ing dimin­ished. I’ve watched so many gen­er­a­tions before mine reach “old age” and “retire” from liv­ing. Let me say, unequiv­o­cally, this is not me! This is not my pic­ture of what it means to get old.

Yes, today the cal­en­dar marks off another year. Today I reach that point in time when accord­ing to tra­di­tion, the youth of my old age is over and “true win­ter” sets in. Or as my older brother said to me, “Next birth­day, you become a win­ter chicken”. And I have to say, that up until today, that “win­ter chicken” image has been the one my uncon­scious self has held as being who I would become as I cel­e­brate my 69th birth­day and enter my 70th year.

But some­thing “clicked” in me today. Some switch in me has flipped and today, on my 69th birth­day, I say, “Hell, no! No way, no how am I ready to be a “win­ter chicken”! Instead, I am cel­e­brat­ing my “arrival” at a place of joy, peace, inspi­ra­tion and con­tin­ued aston­ish­ment at life itself. There is so much yet to be dis­cov­ered! I have only just begin.

I am not kick­ing and scream­ing and drag­ging my heels into my 70th year. Heck no! I am danc­ing into it! I am eager and curi­ous to see what lies ahead, embrac­ing this part of my jour­ney as the “icing on the cake”.

And so today, I say to myself and to any­one who may read this, “Cel­e­brate this moment, the ones that have come before and the ones that are yet to come. Cel­e­brate the good times and the times that appeared to be not so good, for they all have become part of this glo­ri­ous “stew” that is who you are.

Expect Good­ness, for life has much of it in store. Open even fur­ther to receive life’s bounty, for abun­dance is end­less and it’s right here, right now, wait­ing to be accepted.

Today, I rejoice and give thanks for the incred­i­ble bless­ings of my life. I give thanks for my pre­cious daugh­ters, my sons-in-law, my dear­est and clos­est friends and the ever-expanding cir­cle of peo­ple whose lives inter­sect with mine.

Life is good. Life is rich. Life is full. And so am I. I am blessed and beyond blessed. And so it is!

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