Adding age is good in almost every respect. It is easier to take care of oneself because the main opinion I value is my own. Whether I do kettlebells, wear make-up, listen Phil Collins, choose skirts instead of pants, eat potato chips depends on what I want to do. Not what my friends are doing – what Oprah suggests – or if my mom likes it.
Friends mean something. Friends are not just people to party with; they are the people who have similar hobbies, are free for a chat, make time in schedules. Sure, this can happen at any age; however, it feels a little deeper now than it did in my younger years. Maybe I just value this more now that work, children, car maintenance, yard work, and laundry can get in the way.
Things count. But not everything counts. Stupid or serious mistakes – from a bad haircut to a job you hated to an ill-advised marriage – all can be forgiven. Decide what counts for you and hold on to that until it doesn’t serve you any more – then re-decide.
Heartbreaks are real and can crack pretty deeply. The depth of emotion that I feel now is something I either denied myself or was incapable of previously. My biggest heartbreaks have had nothing to do with romance. Everyone’s heart breaks differently; be gentle with each other and with yourself.
Everybody gets to do their own thing. Debating politics, publishing writing, watching sports, making wine, hiking canyons, investing stocks, growing flowers, reading books, racing cars, playing music, fly fishing, stage acting, shooting skeet, watching birds: whatever. Everyone gets to do their own thing, and nothing is better or worse than anything else – it’s just different. Respect.
Sharing joy is better than being jealous. In younger years I was envious sometimes, and it was hard to be not jealous when friends had things I didn’t have: a marriage; a bigger house; a vacation. Some years ago it was the fashion to say, “I’m so jealous” when someone had something good happened. Seeking contentment allows more graciousness and shared joy.
Maybe that’s not all the things – but, it’s some of them. Anyone who – at any age- claims to know stuff for sure or have all the things under control might be a little delusional – fun to listen to perhaps – but probably a little nuts. In any case, we all make our own way together.