Reflecting on 50
Well, today is my 50th birthday and it seems that little miss “don’t let your ego control your thoughts” is having some trouble coming to terms with this particular milestone. Telling myself that 50 is the new 40 didn’t help, so I thought I would attempt to practice what I preach and coach myself through the day.
As I looked at a picture of myself at 18 I started to wonder, what would I say to that young woman today? If I were asked to be her life/career coach now, knowing all that I now know what messages would I have for her? This is what I came up with.
Note to Self
I would begin by saying, Cindy (because that’s what I went by back then) there is more to life than boys. It is okay and the world will not end if you go longer than two hours without a boyfriend. You do not need approval from men and you are more than someone’s girlfriend. You have a brain, use it.
I would probably say that it might be a good idea to skip the years of sunbathing using a lotion of baby oil and iodine. And while SuzyQs seem like a good idea today, one day they will catch up to you. In fact, they will reinvent themselves in this thing called cellulite – I know you don’t believe me now, but it will happen and your only defense is to stop eating SuzyQs and Mountain Dew for lunch.
This coach would say, Cindy, 18 is too young for an engagement and 19 is way too young for marriage. However, should you choose to take this road, understand the responsibility that comes along with it. Recognize that your immaturity and poor decisions will affect people who aren’t even born yet. You think you have all the answers today, but the truth of the matter is that you don’t even know the questions.
I would say, find yoga now. It will serve as a balance, a center, and a lifestyle for you in the years to come. And don’t chase religion, because God is inside you. He is the one who has given you kindness, courage, strength, and a conscious. It isn’t important to be a member of this church instead of that one, it doesn’t matter at all. God is part of your yoga practice, God is part of your morning coffee. Religion will let you down; God will not.
Don’t rationalize Cindy, it is a coward’s way of living. The grass is not greener on the other side, things will never make you happy, and the longer you search for significance the harder it will be to find. You already possess the qualities that will get you through life, stop searching for something else. Enjoy today.
You will become a mom one day young woman, and you’ll make mistakes. You’ll stress about driving the kids to school and worry about mean girls who might pick on your baby girl. And, you’ll have to learn that your kids are their own individual selves and are not extensions of you. You don’t get to live their lives, control their lives, or solve their problems. It will be hard, but I promise you that the unconditional love they will show you will be worth every sleepless night and every tear that you shed.
One day Cindy you will be 50. I know that seems like a lifetime away, but it will happen and when it does you will have a choice. You can choose to be sad that you are losing your youth, or you can choose to be grateful that you have your health. Yes, you can choose to dwell on an extra five pounds or you can choose to dwell on the career you have built and the life you have created. Unfortunately, you can’t coach the 18 year old because she no longer exists, but you can coach this woman who sits here today.
You can say Cynthia, (because that’s what I go by these days) in 10 years you will be 60 and when that birthday rolls around you will want to look at your life and know that you have touched others. Make these years count, be an example of kindness, show God’s love, and embrace the gifts that you have been given.
God has been good, blessings have found their way into my life and sometimes it takes a difficult birthday to realize just how fortunate I really am.
So, Happy Birthday Cynthia, life is good, enjoy it.