Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.
~ Marianne Williamson
May 11, 2015
Just before my 60th birthday a colleague at work asked what the best time in my life was. My immediate response was: my 20’s because that was a fun time with few commitments. But I thought further about my response and thought, No – the best time is now. And it’s true! While we are not free of commitments, we certainly have a measure of freedom that enables us to come and go and make decisions about our lives that would have been difficult to do at an earlier time. For many of us, our perspective on certain issues and people is different from our younger days. Things that mattered a great deal no longer hold the same urgency or require pressing attention. One simply cuts to the chase about what is really important.
My colleague’s question set me off on a train of thought about what life is like now, and I have continued to think about that in the months since that conversation. Life may not be free of challenges, but there is a certain liberation that comes at this time in life. For example, you can:
- Walk out the door and go somewhere without having to tell someone or be accountable 100% of the time. This often starts for many women when they no longer have to find a babysitter – absolutely liberating!
- Express opinions more freely. This can range from standing your ground, quietly putting an idea out there to being mouthy. I have experienced all three.
- Begin to let go – refrain from voicing an opinion or getting worked up about something all the time. Sigh… Something to keep working towards.
- Remain untethered to others’ opinions.
- Indulge in something for the fun of it. Being outrageous if we want to. Letting the creative juices float to the surface.
- Be more intentional about looking after ourselves.
- Appreciate (and benefit from) the richness and depth of friendships with other women.
- Realize life is 500 shades of gray – there is almost always no black and white.
- Attend to what is important and let the small stuff go.
- Enjoy very good health (many of us) and not take it for granted.
- Dwell in possibilities – there are lots of adventures ahead!
There are many more! It’s being mindful of the gifts that present themselves every day and not taking things for granted. Our generation is pioneering a new way of living our lives in ways our mothers could hardly imagine. Life is great!