August 18, 2013 was a beginning for me.
It was my 60th birthday. One of the Big Ones. And with that birthday came a major dose of reality.
I started thinking my peak most likely came and went any number of years ago and I didn’t even realize it. My athletic ability stalled somewhere between cheerleading and step class. I looked around and all of a sudden noticed that my friends and I had lined faces, gray hair, and liver spots on our hands and legs.
A girlfriend said, “We used to go out for lunch and toss back a couple of margaritas. Now we go out for lunch and toss back a couple of Gas-X.”
I had the feeling a lot of time slipped away somewhere, somehow while I wasn’t paying attention and I wasn’t sure how it happened, but turning 60 made me realize it DID happen.
And I decided I wasn’t going to turn 70 and feel the same way again.
So turning 60 was the beginning of a new, liberating decade. Sure, I probably peaked at some things some time ago. But I’m nowhere near my peak in others.
I’m doing things I’ve put off because I was too busy with other things. I’m relaxing my expectations. I’m giving up on perfection. I’m stepping off the gerbil wheel of endless activities and taking time for myself. I’m on my own schedule. Not someone else’s.
And I’m writing. And speaking. And exploring. And connecting with other women. And do you know what I’ve discovered? You don’t have to be 60 to do a restart. And it doesn’t have to happen on a milestone birthday or any certain day of the week or month on the calendar.
It’s simply a matter of looking at who you are and what you’ve done and where you’d like to go. Consider the possibilities, not the regrets. Recognize that most of what we learn is through experience. And those experiences, good and bad, have shaped us into the person we are in the present. The beautiful thing is that we are never really finished. We are always a work in progress. There’s always another adventure just around the corner. But you need to step forward and look around that corner to discover it.
So where do you want to go? What do you want to do? How are you going to get there? Instead of reading about an interesting life, go out and HAVE an interesting life. Take a deep breath, focus, imagine the possibilities, and then . . . just start.