Happy Birth Day

I’ve spoken recently about how I unexpectedly floundered when I turned 60. A self-described Pollyanna, the slump hit me broadside and I really struggled to find my way back to Beldingsville (Pollyanna’s hometown).

I received a number of comments from women who told me their own stories.  Whether they had turned 30 or 60, the stories were similar.  Coincidentally – serendipitously – several articles and podcasts and videos arrived in my inbox soon after that all discussed our mindset and our bodies, specific to our feminine wisdom.

In the midst of all this I suggested to a friend that I truly believed that when we reach that “trigger” date – the one that feels like an insurmountable hurdle, whether 40, 60, 65 – we need to decide on a meaningful day and celebrate that as our birth day.  Forget the birth year, forget the years on this planet, celebrate your life and your self, happily and joyfully.

Why should we do this?  Think about it:

If I tell you I’m going to introduce you to a 30-year-old, what expectations come to mind? If I tell you about a person who is 70 years old, who do you see? How about a 90-year-old?  Let’s go for lunch with each of those people; what do you think the conversations will be?  career or family with the 30-yr-old?  aches and pains from the 70-yr-old? loss of friends and memory from the 90-yr old?

Thing is, each of those women could be dancers, or hospice volunteers, or gardeners. But chances are you have expectations based on their age.  If you don’t know how old they are, you can’t make age-related assumptions.  How freeing is that?

Turn that thought around now and imagine that you are the person being met.  If the other person knows you’re 60 or 70, do you think they’ll ask you about retirement or failing eyesight or grandchildren?  If they don’t know your age, they will engage with you as a dancer or a volunteer or a gardener!

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