Things I Learned in My 55th Year

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Today I am 56 years old. WTF? Dolly Parton’s birthday is also this week, and she’ll be 71. I’m only 15 years from 71. Holy cow… WTH???

Daddy called this morning and wished me a happy birthday. He went on and on about being old enough to have a daughter that is 55. I said, “Daddy, I’m 56.” “That’s even worse!” he said. I laughed but it wasn’t funny. Why does this clock keep moving? Can’t I just take out the batteries and let it rest awhile?

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I know in my heart that there is full life on the other side, but I have a long list of trails to hike and adventures to take here on earth. If I was independently wealthy I might have time to get them all in, but I have to work until I can retire … and if the Republicans have their way, I probably won’t even be able to do that. So, I’m pretty much relegated to fitting it in between holidays and vacation weeks which means I have to prioritize. 15 years? 20 years? How much time is there left anyway? Who says the biological clock ticks in your 30s? Mine is ticking now.

56…. I can remember when I thought that was old. And I feel as good now as I did in my 30s. Well, regardless, there’s not anything I can do about it but make the best of each day. So, I’d like to reflect a minute on some of the things I learned in my 55th year (the blogs are linked for your enjoyment):

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I am a badass in my soul. I learned how to backpack in my 54th year and took the new hobby on my own in my 55th year. I learned to scale down my pack to the essentials and that didn’t include makeup or hair product. I also learned that I can be a badass if I want to be, and I enjoy doing it. In a few words, I learned that I don’t need much baggage to be happy and content. I just need to be challenged.

Kefir is a miracle anti-depressant. I haven’t talked about this much since I’ve started making kefir and drinking it everyday, but I’m here to tell you that this stuff is a game-changer when it comes to anxiety and depression. Since July I’ve been consuming a glass every morning, and I usually end the day with a glass. It helps with my blood sugar after I consume sugar, and it keeps my anxiety at bay. They say that gut health is critical for anxiety issues, and I’m a believer now. Even Ashok is less anxious because she gets a couple tablespoons when I do. Kefir rocks… and it’s so easy to make at home!

God is not too busy to take care of me. I won’t go into a ton of detail about it here, but the way this job and move came about was absolutely divinely inspired. I should not be here, but I am, and I got an amazingly low interest rate on a 15-year mortgage on a great house. If I ever doubt that God has my back, please slap me silly. He even made sure I would stop complaining about the heat. He covered all the bases…. period.

Change your energy … change your life. I had another session with Lexlee a couple of weeks ago. I was starting to feel a bit down after the holidays, and I needed a lift. I’ve had the same experience this time as I had last year – although not as dramatic because I’m in a better place to start. When I shift my energy, and I start focusing on keeping it that way – doing yoga, eating right and managing my emotional state by feeling my feelings – life starts moving in an improved direction.

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I don’t know what I’ll learn in my 56th year. I hope I learn that having sex is like riding a bicycle. Or maybe I’ll learn that being wealthy doesn’t solve all your problems, but it does allow me to buy a yacht. I know that I will learn something. I’m learning much more rapidly as I get older. I know I pay attention more, and I also focus on living my life with intention. Every moment seems so important now. When I do cross over to the other side – this week or 40 years from now – I want to remember every second. I want to know that I spent my time here enjoying all of the beauty and love and laughter that was put in front of me. And maybe I’ll even inspire a few others along the way.

15 thoughts on “Things I Learned in My 55th Year

  1. Happy Birthday! I feel the same way about the aging process and love how you embrace it as a challenge and forge ahead full force. You are an inspiration!

  2. You are an inspiration (a vehement agreement with Michelle!) I remember when we did our letters to our younger and older selves maybe six years ago now?! I’d say even though you can’t actually stop the passage of time, you’ve done a great job really experiencing it all and taking great care of yourself. I hope to be just like you! Much love.

    • Oh you are so sweet. I just wish I didn’t have these damn feelings to contend with. But then I guess it would all be really flat, wouldn’t it?

  3. Oh my gosh…just noticed my previous comment never posted 😔 darn… Happy belated Birthday Sharon!
    I’m right there with you, just turned 53 on the 10th. Capricorns are the best! And I’d like to believe the best is yet to come. Wishing you awesomeness for 2017 and beyond!

  4. Sharon, when I turned 55, out of curiosity, I went onto an internet site that asked a series of questions about lifestyle, diet, parents’ ages, etc. and then spit out a guess as to my longevity. The range it came up with for me was 92 to 96. Around the same time, a friend of mine had watched her mom suffer and die from dementia and then her dad had bone cancer and died at 92. Neither parent had the falling asleep and not waking up death we all want at an advanced age. Her sardonic reply, when I posted my longevity findings on Facebook was “Good luck with that!” We all want longevity, but quality of life is clearly trumps quantity and this is something you know. We are now going through grieving my mother-in-law’s death of one month ago and watching my father-in-law decline, which is exactly what happened with my own parents 18 months ago. Not to be Debbie Downer, but these experiences so close together have made me very thoughtful about what’s important in life. In clearing out the possessions of parents and parents-in-law, it is glaringly clear that it’s not about possessions. On the other hand, watching John and his four brothers support each other and work together, it IS about family and friends and loving and supporting each other. How wonderful for you that you’re making a new life and continuing to learn and grow and understand what’s best for Sharon! Have a great birthday week and month! xxoo, Sallie

    • Thank you, Sallie. I appreciate your thoughtful comment. I’m sorry for your family’s losses as of late but it sounds like most things have a silver lining if we look for it. I’m so glad that our paths crossed in the last few years, and I got to know you.

  5. Very belated birthday! I feel younger today than I did 5 years ago and I also realized that my age is relative. I feel and act many years younger than the calendar declares. Screw that calendar – I’m doing it my way. You’re already doing that as well. Have a good month!

    • Thank you, Stan! Good to hear from you. Hey I’ll be in BR on March 12. I plan to be at Magpie from 8-12 just hanging out with whoever wants to stop by. Join me! I’d love to see you.

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