Dear amazing woman,
So what is the the PERECT age? If you’re 10, you have unlimited possibilities ahead of you. If you’re 90, you have no worries. At 20, living on your own is adventure packed, yet at 70, a host of life-long friends support you. Maybe it all depends upon the individual woman and how she views herself.
The other day I had a conversation with my son about the difference between the age one is and the age one feels. Perhaps we are more than our body. Maybe part of us is otherworldly, and this eternal soul picks a favorite age to feel and stays there. Maybe that’s why it doesn’t recognize the elderly person staring back in the mirror. Yes, the body and the spirit coexist in different worlds…but I digress.
Before we leave this series on age, let’s take a moment to reflect upon age in general. While this series is certainly not a scientific study, the comments made by each woman, blended with our life experiences give us plenty to think about. I’ll share my thoughts, and my hope is that you’ve developed your own ideas and will share your wisdom with others.
Ten notes-to-self on lessons learned from the decade changers:
1. A healthy family builds self-worth. The function and purpose we place on family changes throughout our lifetime and seems to be somewhat circular in nature. At 10, 90 and 100 parents and children take a more active role in one’s life. The life goes from dependence, to independence, to inter-dependence and sometimes back to dependence. In the healthiest situations, respect is given to you by your family. If not family, then those who step in to be “just like family.” Today’s healthy family reminds us: Girls can do almost anything boys do!
2. The trajectory of our life is set before 30, yet in transitions (losses,moves, and job changes) we revert back to our 20s, asking the same vital questions: Who am I? What is my purpose for being here? What career is best for me? And where-in-the-heck is my soulmate?
3. A juicy life is filled with risk and expansion. At 30, 40 and 50, we’ve gained enough confidence in ourselves to try something new to challenge our limits. Much to our surprise, we are braver, stronger and more successful than we suspect. The circular beauty in this process: Confidence + Risk + Accomplishment = Rock Solid Confidence.
4. At 40, 50 and beyond we don’t want to look act our age—at least according to how we used to view that age. And now we ARE that age and guess what? Chronological age is only a number. Our lifestyle choices influence us and affect our hope, health and happiness.
5. It’s best to see our bad days, challenges and struggles as a puzzle to solve, an obstacle to overcome, or a lesson to learn. No one asks for these challenges, yet they are a universal reality. Around 50 we quit whining (well, maybe not cold turkey, but we avoid some of it). We build resolve, resilience and resourcefulness through these lessons; they make us stronger with the side effect of confidence.
6. At some point, one begins to need less material “stuff,” and winning the approval of others isn’t as important. Death visits, and then visits again, and we realize we all have a shelf-life. This can happen when we are 50, 60 or 70. But it brings us to the core of what is important in our lives, what we still want to accomplish and whose opinions count. Old ideas of what we need diminish. Happiness, love and following our passions become daily goals.
7. We are surprised by life on many levels. At 20, we can not imagine what lies ahead, both good and bad, blessings and challenges. It’s like driving on Interstate 10 in Texas thinking we should be able to see the sky in Arizona—it’s not physically possible or even desirable. By 70, or before, we take a good look at the hurts and old wounds we drag around with us and ask: After all these years, why does this still bother me? How can I free myself of these burdens and look forward to the rewards of my life?
8. Part of staying young and vibrant involves serving others. Since we receive ten-fold by giving, it’s a wonder we don’t do it more often. There are so many ways to contribute our skills in the community. Be a servant-leader! Ages 60, 70 and 80 have many life experiences to pass along. This is also the time get serious about writing the stories of your life, your legacy. If you do, the lessons from your stories will mentor others.
9. A positive attitude and daily affirmations bring light into any dark area of your life—even at 90. Through enough years of worry and desperate prayers like: “If I can just make it to Friday, I’ll be okay…,” we give up on worry. The influence of family becomes a comfort and if not family, we know that others will be there for us.
10. At 10 or 100, life becomes easier when we have a spiritual anchor—a Being who is greater than ourselves. Call it God, Goddess, the Divine, an ancestor or angel, we are never really alone when we take the time to ask (pray) for the help we need and listen to the answers (meditation). No tree withstands a storm without a strong roots system and no woman needs to be alone when there are all-powerful allies waiting to direct, comfort and protect us.
- Not all life paths will fit the description of these notes, yet this in an ideal to cherish for the journey we each experience.
In the end, I believe that the perfect age is the age we are right now, and that’s my new story! It’s a relief to know that we don’t have to wait for perfect to arrive, or lament that it has past us by. Now is where we are, and it’s all good.
I’m interested in your take on age. Leave a comment after this post. And stay tuned for the book: You Are the Perfect Age—based on this series!
My you celebrate your perfect age,
PS. In case you missed any of the blogs mentioned, here they are:
10-Bailey: “I used to play on an all boys soccer team and I was the only girl. I had to play a little more physical than how I play on the girls’ team now but I’m really glad I did it. I think it made me a better player.”
20-Kat: “I am trying to do things that make me happy and I’m trying to stay off of Netflix. No good story started out with, ‘This one time, I was watching Netflix and….’”
30-Niamh: “I’m scared and excited to find out what this next decade has in store for me, but I’m strapped in and ready to take the next ride.” http://whalenvoices.com/2016/07/15/celebrate-turning-30-with-niamh/
40-Tinisha: “My greatest successes are those that I did not think that I could achieve. There is something extra rewarding in turning your ‘I cant’s’ into ‘I cans.’”
50-Dawn: “Life is about celebrating the little things, special moments, important people, and making memories.” http://whalenvoices.com/2016/07/29/celebrate-turning-50-with-dawn/)
60-Linda “Taking a holistic approach to life has made this transition into a new decade much easier. It has been a time of reflection. It has been a journey of self-actualization.” http://whalenvoices.com/2016/08/04/celebrate-turning-60-with-linda/)
70-Lee: “I have continued to be surprised and grateful that the core of my being has proven resilient; able to withstand adversity, sadness, grief, guilt, failure and setbacks.”
80-Marilyn: “I will never think ‘old,’ continue experimenting in life, and have my many memories to make me smile.”
90-Linda: “It’s your ideas and outlook on life that keep you young. Be positive to stay positive and never change this positive outlook.”http://whalenvoices.com/2016/08/26/celebrate-turning-90-with-linda/)
100-Iva: “So when I went to college I realized I just respected the human body. I just thought, Why destroy it with a lot of artificial attachment of this or that, or wrong diet or drinking or anything like that. Here’s a beautiful structure, why not respect it?”