Two Teens And Their Mama: Celebrate Growing Older

Monday, May 5, 2014

Celebrate Growing Older


I have a birthday coming up soon, and I will be 47.  I've said before that in my head I feel 29, but when I look in the mirror, 47 is definitely staring back at me.

When you're a kid, each birthday is looked forward to with great anticipation.  It's exciting to get older and be able to do new things - start kindergarten, drive a car, go to college, enjoy a drink in a club.
  
My 1st Birthday

Happy sweet 16


At a certain point, however, birthdays start to take on a more negative tone.  Among my friends, the consensus seems to be that around the age of 30, nobody really wants to talk about their birthday or how old they are anymore.  We start referring to ourselves as "over the hill", or on the "downward slope to ...". Women especially tend to devalue ourselves the older we get and worry about adding another year on our life calendar.

I used to feel the same.  But I stopped 12 years ago.

Because 12 years ago my dear friend Gretchen passed away.  She was an amazing woman who loved her family and her community and taught me so much about how to live a positive life.  In 2001 she was diagnosed with a brain tumor and within a year she was gone.  
One day I was keeping her company while her husband ran some errands, and I was complaining about my birthday coming up.  Gretchen looked at me and quite firmly told me to stop feeling sorry for myself.  She told me to be proud that I had lived another year, that I had gotten to spend precious time with my family and friends, to grow as a person, to both teach and learn.  "Besides", she smiled, "what's the alternative?  You either get a year older or you aren't here anymore".

So now, every year on my birthday, instead of lamenting about how old I am, or how many more wrinkles or gray hairs I have, I think about how thankful I am that I'm still here. I celebrate another year gone by in which I'm healthy and happy and very lucky to be living my life.   If I do start to get negative, I think about Gretchen and how she would rather be here with us, growing older.

My birthday wish is that all of us celebrate growing older - we are fortunate indeed!

28 comments:

  1. Yes we should always celebrate the mere fact that we get up each day! And believe me....AGE is just a number!! Have an awesome year ahead dear!

    Rebecca
    www.redtagchiclosangeles.com

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    1. Thank you so much! We're only as old as we think we are.

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  2. I hear ya. Happy almost birthday!

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  3. Hallo, I'm so happy to be in your blog! I have already bookmarked your post about birthdays and surely remind myself every year!

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    1. I appreciate you stopping by. Thank you!

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  4. Happy upcoming birthday Lana - and many more! Gretchen was lucky to have you as a friend, and she would surely be honored to know that you are spreading the legacy of her wisdom. Maybe celebrating a birthday is more about the years ahead than the years past.

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    1. I love that sentiment! I hope we both have many wonderful years ahead!

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  5. Hi Lana! Thank you so much for leaving such a nice comment at So What to Twenty. I hope you enjoy your 47th birthday :)

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  6. Happy early birthday! Cute post! :)

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    Christine
    www.beyoutifulhope.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you for the birthday wishes. I will check out your blog!

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  7. Well, that pretty much puts it right into perspective, doesn't it? I do the same thing, so I think I'm now going to be thinking of Gretchen as well when I start to complain. I try to remind myself of the same thing when I start being critical of my various sagging body parts... I'm sure there are people out there who would be thankful for sagging body parts that work. Excellent post!

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    1. That's so true. Thanks for the nice comment!

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    1. Thanks for reminding me - it's so important to live each day like it's our last.

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    2. I am sorry of the lose of your friend. Great post. Nice reminder to stop feeling sorry for oneself and be happy with life!

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  9. I have a birthday this month, too and I find myself feeling bad about getting older. This is a great reminder that I need to be celebrating! Hope you have a wonderful birthday!

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    1. I appreciate the birthday wishes. Happy birthday to you too!

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  10. That's a great life lesson. I'm going to try to remember that. Happy Birthday!

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  11. Happy bday! And I think we just get better as we get older(: Susan

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    1. Thank you - I love that! We definitely get better :)

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  12. Happy belated Birthday! I totally agree! Even though I'm not always thrilled with what I see in the mirror, I am just glad I'm here to see it! I don't feel 53 (most of the time anyway) but I have the wisdom of 53 and that's priceless! :)

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and for the birthday wishes! I love your comment about wisdom.

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  13. Words of wisdom and a great reminder to be thankful for every day! ~Ann

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