Today is my birthday.
To celebrate I’ve made time to post on my blog. I love writing. On this special day, this is my treat. Write on!
I started the day with another favourite thing – boot camp (thanks for the Happy Birthday sing-a-long girls for myself and Kym, as we share the same date). Then I made Mahli’s day by going for a quick run with her before breaky and opening my laptop.
I have a wonderful boss who gave me today off to go out to lunch with my Mum and sister. I appreciate that, particularly since most birthdays I do work. A relaxing lunch later and a spot of writing right now – bliss.
Another year, another bit older but I’m feeling okay about that. It’s funny how the angst of our teens, twenties and thirties begins to disappear sometime between a fortieth and fiftieth birthday. I remember being not as in control. I worried about my body shape, what I ate, what I wore, how I exercised, whether people liked me, if I would succeed at anything and other stuff that I sweated.
I’ve been talking to other girlfriends and we all seem more content after our fiftieth. Even if our world isn’t perfect the imperfections just don’t seem to bother us as much. Perhaps we grow from them. My examples are:
I used to analyse unkind things people say in a negative way and want revenge
Now I don’t take it personally, because everyone has their own story and their own reasons for acting the way they do. If someone is mean I just wonder what sad thing happened to make them be like that.
I thought it was important to have a big circle of friends.
Now I’m happy to have a smaller circle of compassionate, caring, encouraging, thoughtful, kind-hearted, funny, articulate, clever, awesome, like-minded friends, both old and new. I’ve re-established old relationships from my childhood and I didn’t think I needed to go back in time but I’m glad I did. I never thought I’d say it, but I love reminiscing. Maybe I am getting old.
I used to be to self-contained and I didn’t listen enough
Now I pay attention and care about sharing ideas, plans, thoughts and supporting others who need it. It’s much more fulfilling than being selfish.
I used treat myself unkindly by overeating and berating myself
Now I enjoy being both fit and health by using moderation as a motto. The less I diet (I don’t now) and stress about my body shape, the more comfortable I become in my own skin. I think we all need to be kinder to ourselves. We’re all built and wired differently. Embrace our differences. It would be absolutely boring if we were all the same.
I used to think I was better at having male friends
The older I get, the more I’m enjoying my female friendships and the great support they can be. I love women who encourage each other instead of competing with each other. There’s no greater shoulder to cry on or laugh with.
I used to think women with muscles didn’t look feminine
My perception has definitely changed. Real muscles from exercising and lifting weights (not synthetic) are beautiful. Strong women have empowerment. Experience our CrossFit Regionals one year and you’ll see women with muscle who are fabulously feminine. Just like my Hammer Fit class at Wise Force Gym where we range from 20 year olds to 60 year olds and have all sorts of body shapes and sizes. With kicking, boxing and boot camp training we are all feeling firmer and fitter and having fun. We’ve dubbed it the 3 Fs.
I used to think superannuation wasn’t important
Now it needs to grow to sustain a long life. Now I actively keep track of it and you should too.
I used to think time went so slow and that I was invincible
Now time moves quickly and my mortality and those I love is inevitable eventually. I’ve lost some beautiful souls over the years. You never forget them or that we’ll all one day join them. (Enough of that, it’s my birthday).
I used to panic about some things I thought I couldn’t do
I proved myself wrong by driving from Newcastle to Sydney Airport alone in a manual car (I hadn’t driven one for years) with only Siri for company. I negotiated the crawling traffic of the tunnels and persistent phone calls from my son who was waiting at the airport. Go me!
I used to wonder what the fuss about menopause was
I say this whilst having a hot flush. I’m hoping it’s over soon, but I know I’m not getting it as bad as other women and have to be grateful for that.
I used to be called ‘Smiley’
I didn’t understand then what a great compliment that name was, especially when that smile sometimes hid stuff I was going through. You know what? Now I love that I can smile a lot. Plenty of people can’t (due to hardship, depression, grief and bad health) so I’ve got to count myself as very lucky indeed. If you’re not smiling today let me share my smile with you. (I used to not like my smile due to protruding teeth and I hated the night brace I used to have to wear. So thanks Mum for insisting I persevere with that).
I used to think I would one day be a writer
Now I know – I always was and always am.