Well, that was fun! I had a party for my birthday. Many of my children and some of my grandchildren came along with a few close friends. Fellowship warms the soul. My birthdays are becoming somewhat thought-provoking. As I age, my idea about what aging means changes radically. What once seemed old is now young. People who have reached 65 are still young to me. It amazes me that some businesses had mandatory retirement at 65. Is that even legal anymore? I was just beginning to hit my stride at 65. And so many marvelous things have happened since then. 

What happens to those people who are forced to retire? It must be a cruel punishment if they love their jobs. Engagement in one’s chosen field is essential to mental and emotional health. If someone is “thrown out” due to age limits, it is vital to find something else to do. Everyone needs something that makes their heart beat faster. When we care enough to have a physical reaction, we are on the right track.

Of course, I cannot write about aging without bringing up gratitude. It is the antidote to grief, anger, despair, fear, and all the disagreeable emotions. Gratitude comes in so many flavors, so many colors and shades of color. We have almost unlimited things for which to be grateful. We can start with obvious things like health and family and wealth and pets we love. Perhaps some people have none of those, but we can go on to thank our “lucky stars” or our Lord or our guardian angels for our life. When we list things to be grateful for, the unseen things like air to breathe, or everyday things like water to drink, and the floor under our feet deserve mention.

Lately, I have been gathering stories about friends who have had unusual things happen in the last quarter of life. Those events give hope to others for whom life seems dull or unrewarding. Several women I know found romance late in life. These same women were utterly uninterested in a long term relationship, and yet one fell into their laps. Others have found success in business, written books, taken up a new career, or gone back to school. One woman whom I know just bought a new puppy. Puppies are something I highly recommend!

Women tend to feel like victims because they are told they are victims. But they are not. We can all control what we say and do. We can control how we react to life. We can be grateful for the things in our lives that we take for granted. But even more importantly, we can be grateful for the things we have manifested in the past. We are so powerful; our thoughts are so powerful that we really need to use caution when thinking negative ones. And positive emotions like true gratitude are game-changers. I promise. Just try keeping your thoughts grateful and positive and see what happens.

The point is to look forward and at the same time enjoy every moment of every day. My ability to live in the moment is much more honed than when I was younger. I have all that I need and want no more. Young people often tend to think “when I have this, (whatever) I will be happy.” Or they feel that they are not smart enough, educated enough, or mature enough to do something. Wrong. Go ahead and do it. It is the ‘scary thing’ that is most important to do.

Most of all, be grateful for the YOU that you are. Love yourself, warts and all, and you will radiate energy that brings good things your way. You are not a victim; you are awesome!

Copyright©. 2021 Bonnie B. Matheson

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