When I was a kid, many of the adults told me that I was living the best years of my life. My response was, “I sincerely hope not.” Fortunately, I was right. In my experience, my teens and twenties were the low spot, with each subsequent decade more interesting and enjoyable than the last. The 50s, so far, are the best. I say that in spite of hot flashes and the Second Coming of Zits. Yes, every now and then I feel a little creaky, and some nights I don’t sleep so well. Still, here are some of the ways life has changed in the past four or so years:
- Surprise, Surprise! Those of you who read my blog and my endless blathering about my garden may not realize that I never got my hands in the dirt until I was 51. I had no idea how much I would fall in love with my garden. Knowing that new passions are always available, no matter what the age, is priceless.
- Self-Acceptance Trumps Self-Improvement. The funny thing is, when I stopped pressuring myself to do and be more, it just started to happen. Improvement is fine, but it’s not the goal. I wish I had learned this lesson when I was younger. I would have saved a lot of money on personal growth workshops. Of course, sometimes I still lapse into old habits! I am learning to accept that, too.
- Better Yin and Yang Balance. We live in a great little town with lots of nice people that I’m enjoying getting to know better. Friendships are developing, and I’m feeling less “rusty” with my social skills. I’m even starting to give parties, something I never thought I would do. Still, I keep an eye on my schedule to make sure I have enough alone time. August has been a people-filled month, so we’ve scheduled some time away in a few weeks. I’m going to the spa!
- Giving Back is Fun. In my younger years, financial problems made it difficult for me to make ends meet, let alone share with others. Without that burden, I am more involved in the community, sharing both funds and time. I’ve learned skills over the years that are needed and appreciated, and it’s a joy to have the freedom to share them.
- Process, Not Product. While I’m still a Type A personality, my edges are softening. While I still would like to earn at least a modest living as a writer, I’m content to enjoy the process of writing and honing my skills. I’m not pushing myself to finish books quickly anymore…I go at my own pace, and I’m just happy when I solve a plot problem or come up with a better way to bring what’s in my head to the page.
What’s your favorite decade so far?