Tuesday, May 20, 2014

SierraDawne hits middle age

I found this little nugget buried on my Facebook page.  I had forgotten that I wrote it.  Now that I can't even see 40 in my rear view mirror, I still find the sentiment still applies:

My 40th birthday came and went quietly. This was due in no small part to my own stealthiness and expert avoidance tactics. It's not that I mind turning 40. In fact, I think it's pretty amazing, considering the life I have lived, that I made it to 40 and still remain un-incarcerated.

But I did NOT want to face the "Lordy, Lordy, the old bitch is forty" balloons, and the "Over the hill" cake with the tombstone. It's hard to stand strong against all that light-hearted negativity.

But really, on my 40th birthday, I was only one day older than the day before, and whose counting days? And if you did, what great insight who you gain? Would you change anything? It's not like you can go on diet and take off a few years. And as rough as some years have been, there aren't any I would want to lose.

Although, if it's our experiences that make us who we are, would I be a better or a worse person if I could take a magic eraser to some of the worst of them? As tempting as that is, erasing the bad would also mean erasing the good.

So instead of looking to the past, looking to the future is another option. But believe me, one thing I have learned in all these years is that no one can look to the future. Despite all due diligence and planning, the future takes it's own spontaneous twists and turns, leading you down paths that you never could have prepared for. Besides, the future is just borrowed time.

So that leaves only today. This moment. Nothing else deserves our attention. It's the only thing that we can change. Maybe not our location, or health, or appearance. But what we can do is decide how we want to perceive it. I was once told that "Perception is reality". Of course, the context in which that pearl of wisdom was delivered was in a very negative situation. And my knee jerk response was "only if you're stupid or lazy." But there is some truth to that cliche.

Actually, there is a great deal of power in it. It means that you can look out a stormy day, and instead of seeing an ugly, angry sky, you can experience beauty in the swirling shades of gray, and feel it's power tickling your skin. And suddenly you wouldn't trade this day for the sunniest of days.

Wow, does that sound Pollyanna-ish, or what? Oh, well. If you tend to look at the downside of things, it's worth a try every once in a while. As long as you don't abuse that power, it's a good thing. I mean, if that guy you're crushing on has a restraining order against you, perhaps you need to fine tune your perception of the situation.

So now that I am officially "middle age" I gotta say that I don't feel any different than I did at 28 (my official age BTW). So to all of you who think they'll slit their wrists on their 40th, 50th, 60th... birthday, I'd advise you let those candles burn, baby! That's your light, your flame growing stronger. Take that moment and celebrate your life!

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