I think Socrates may have had me in mind when he said "the unexamined life is not worth living." I'm not sure I would make quite such a bold statement on everyone's behalf, but I do feel for me personally, it's imperative. My birthday has always been a perfect opportunity to stop and reflect - where have I been? Where am I going? What have I learned along the way? It's a way for me to stop and reassess my goals and dreams, to be truly present in my life and choices. When I hit the decade mark, then that's even greater an opportunity - what were my 50s like? What did I learn? Where am I going and what are my dreams and aspirations for my 60s?
Next Saturday I turn 60. Appropriately, I will be performing two weddings that day. What could be better for my Celebrant soul than to celebrate life and love with two couples?
Since it's a decade mark, it's a reason to stop and reflect. What have I learned in 60 years ? Where am I going from here?
What have I learned? (Well among so many other things, these are some highlights from my 50s)
* I've learned that having time for myself, every day, is as critical as air to breathe.
* I've learned if I'm quiet and still, I know what is best for me and that in being good to me, I am living my best life.
* I've learned that a kid who was labeled "shy", an introvert, really can love meeting people, talking with them and hearing their story, and that a kid who got nervous standing in front of the class talking can feel perfectly at home and at ease delivering a ceremony in front of 200 people.
* I've learned that I love doing yoga and it doesn't matter how 'unbendy' I am, I love it and need it.
* I've learned to listen more compassionately to others, to hear their stories without any judgment, to ask questions to learn more or help them to come to conclusions.
* I've learned I can drop old learned behaviors and pick up healthier new ones.
* I've learned to be more direct and open with people.
* I've learned that playing is good for the soul.
* I've learned to treasure my relationships and nurture them the best I can.
* I've learned it is possible to manifest my dreams, by working hard, setting goals and just being myself.
* I've learned it's totally ok to be me.
What am I looking forward to in my 60's?
and more of this.
and more of this.
Bliss Before the Ceremony Photo courtesy of Donna Beck Photography
and of course, more weddings and ceremonies and blissful moments like this.
And more of this, adventures with my sweetie.
I'm looking forward to meeting more new people, with new stories.
I'm looking forward to continuing to grow myself as a writer with a strong voice.
I'm looking foward to loving others passionately and whole-heartedly.
I'm looking forward to time to do nothing, time to be creative, time to work hard, time to play with vigor, time to explore, time to sit and talk, time to laugh, time to cry, time with my family, time to travel, time alone.
I'm looking forward to practicing letting go as I know my 60s will bring experiences that will require that of me. I'm looking forward to practicing having no regrets.
I'm looking forward to new opportunities and new challenges.
I look forward to working towards making a difference in the world, in people's lives in whatever small way I can.
I look forward to those singular sweet moments, petite enough to wrap around your baby finger, when time stands still and everything is perfect.
I look forward to aging gracefully. I look forward to learning and growing and having experiences that are life affirming.
I look forward to connecting with YOU, you who are reading this right now.
Looking forward to more of the journey.
Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each. ~ Henry David Thoreau