“As we get older, we define happiness less in terms of excitement and more in terms of peacefulness.” Reverend Veronica Goines sums this up as, “Peace is joy at rest, and joy is peace on its feet.” ~ Sheryl Sandberg, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy
I thought it would be remiss to not reflect on what it means to me to be 45…as today marks my official birthday. My first reaction is somewhat of indifference. From your perspective, the attainment of this age may sound young or old, or somewhere in between, which is where I guess it rests for me. I have never been too ruffled about getting older and hope I never do.
I recently listened to the Supersoul conversation with Oprah and Sheryl Sandberg, where Sheryl talked openly about the sudden death of her husband, Dave, when they were on vacation. She said now when people bemoan getting older, she is quick to reframe it with the reality of what the alternative is. We all get older. Period. Now in her late 40’s, she is older than Dave was when he died. Her approach is one of gratitude, one I think most resonates with me as I turn 45 today.
Gratitude is sprinkled throughout much of what I write about, and in part, it keeps me on track in life by practicing this life-changing affirmation. I have more in my life to be grateful for at the mid-forty mark than I am sure I ever thought possible. It can be easy to think of what is missing, or what we don’t have, or what has gone wrong, but gratitude really does turn what we have into ‘enough’.
Aging is paving the way
If you are on Twitter, you may have seen the ‘controversial’ statement that Allure magazine is banning the term “anti-aging.” As they say, “With that in mind, and starting with this issue, we are making a resolution to stop using the term “anti-aging.” Whether we know it or not, we’re subtly reinforcing the message that aging is a condition we need to battle – think antianxiety meds, antivirus software, or antifungal spray…”
From my perspective – bravo. Yes, I realize that they may have air-brushed photos and advertised said anti-aging products, but they are calling out an industry, that even encompasses some of the medical community, for labeling getting older in a negative way. I would also add that it is mainly targeted at women, where in contrast men are more likely to be applauded for their sophisticated look as they age.
We can help pave the way to more acceptance of aging by abolishing the notion that somehow we are supposed to look the same as we did 10 years ago. Wisdom cannot be measured by our exterior but it is certainly a gift that comes with aging. Another thing I am certainly grateful for at 45 is to have gained more insight into myself, and life in general, than I had at 35.
In the spirit of reflection on turning 45, I have gained insight into the power of gratitude and truly embracing the present. So today, in this moment, I am grateful to be here with my amazing family (furry family included), to have my health, and for a wonderful friend who created space in her busy life to fly to our new home in Victoria on my birthday.
Resilience After Unimaginable Loss – On Being with Sheryl Sandberg & Adam Grant