Remember when being a kid meant longing for Christmas, learning to ride a bike and always looking forward to our next birthday? Turning a year older was such a big deal – and we could hardly wait. If only I had a nickel for each time I said, “I can’t wait, I can’t wait, I can’t wait until…
We were happy to be turning the magical age of 13; becoming a teenager. And then came the desire to drive a car, graduate from school, consume alcohol (at least legally), chase the career, get married, have children, buy the house, and the list goes on and on: and not necessarily in that order. We seemed to always be looking forward to what’s next and quickly dismissing the magic of where we just arrived.
And then … suddenly without warning, comes the pivotal point in our life where we “can wait”. We go from “I can’t wait” to “I remember”. I remember when I had no wrinkles on my face and my laughs were not accompanied with those marvelous little crows-feet. I remember when my breasts didn’t try peeking at my feet every time I took my bra off. I remember life before cellulite and back fat. I remember when my babies were small. I remember jumping out of bed in the morning and not hearing my joints sound like a bowl of Rice Krispies – snap, crackle, pop.
Reminiscing is not wrong; in fact many times it’s pleasant – so much so, it might make you smile or giggle. Yet, it’s not the “I remember” that hinders us, only the wish to go back to our youth. Women can spend too much time looking either to the future, or to the past. We cannot change from whence we came, but we can change where we’re going, which begins with the present.
Living in the present requires you to stop apologizing for being old or getting older – it’s not a crime. Become joyous when turning another year older- your only other option is death. I cannot tell you how many times I have had someone say to me, “You are so lucky to be young”. Really I think, were you not my age once? It has gone on my entire life. Through the years the equation has not changed at all: Older women > me. The only change, as I have aged so has the women telling me this. Stop. Have you ever paused to think I might not have the opportunity to make it to your age?
There are no more minutes. We all get the same amount of seconds, minutes, hours, and days in a year – at any given age. No matter how naughty or nice you are, not even Santa can help you out on this one. For God sakes, make the most of all your minutes. Find your poetry, find your passion, rediscover love and rediscover you – do it now.
You do not want to wake up one day and be one of these women that look at a younger woman with longing in her eyes – wondering what she missed. Instead hope she’s going to make the most of her life – just as you have. Let that put the smile on your face.
“Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift.
That’s why it’s called the present.” ~Bill Keane