I never spent any time wondering what it would feel like to turn sixty and yet here I am.
Maybe its’ because aging for me was measured by life events, like graduating, getting a driver’s license, or drinking legally. Marriage and babies. Showing up to support parents in their aging process.
As I reflect, (which feels so natural to do, as you turn into a new decade) I can see that the experiences impacted who I was and how I showed up in the world, but something always felt like it was missing.
After I got married – the focus shifted completely to my children, and their little hearts and milestones.
It was as though I was floating through aging and there was nothing to hang on to that felt necessary for me.
I was not being, I was happily in a constant state of doing.
Today I am beginning my 60th trip around the sun and everything is different in a very good way.
Almost five years ago, this June, I will honor the anniversary of the death of a beautiful man that I love, who left this earthly experience as I held him in my arms. I can close my eyes and in a heartbeat, return to the moment he transitioned, as I was begging him to keep breathing.
His incredible, terribly packaged gift to me, on that stunning June morning, changed my life forever.
The veil was pulled aside for me. To see the tenderness this life offers. To feel it in a way I had not been able to do before. The light shined on the love of self and life. Although nothing changed, everything changed. I began to see, feel and experience life as a deeper version of myself. There was a hunger for understanding my soul and being closer to it. A burning need to lean into the longing that pulled at my heart.
I also find that regardless of the birthday year, I always wake up and emotionally reach for my Mom. She’s been gone 15 years.
I feel especially close to her now. At this age (photo at her 60th Birthday here) she was on a fast track to aging and challenged with the demons that she carried from her life, in her belly. She loved so deeply and suffered silently. Her inability to have a voice was passed onto me as a child. Self-worth was measured by how much you gave up for others, not by how much you cared for yourself. It was a hard and painful part of life that had been ancestrally inherited for generations. I do believe the next generation has been strong enough to break the cords of this tragic way of being at a much younger age. For their strength to do that, and break the cycle, I am grateful.
I have a bottle of Mom’s perfume, Lutece. Often, I take the cover off the bottle and close my eyes. That smell takes me back to her warmth and love. I feel her around me. I talk to her about my life and wonder how different her life might have been if we could have done this work together. What I know now is that I can hold all the love she gave and let go of all the other stuff.
And so – it brings me to today. In a place that I couldn’t have planned if I tried.
With my new loving husband, who allows and encourages me to become an unapologetic version of myself. He reminds me when I stray.
His energy is contagious. Happy, and young. Alongside it, he offers me deep respect.
Our spirits are here to do the dance they came to do, during our precious time together.
It has been an outrageous trip to get here – this 60th year.
There have been soaring highs and deep challenging lows.
I have hurt and been hurt.
Tried and given up.
Grown and regressed.
Now, coming back to that calming sacred space where I am connected and guided by a power that never waivers in its love and support for me and the process.
I am swimming in a sea of gratitude.
Although it is a time in life when fear shows up when I can’t remember something.
Vulnerability flows through me when I find myself connected to regret.
Humility is an ever-present companion as my body becomes a different version of its youthful self.
The scars on my heart are many, but with each one, I can trace the path back to healing and the lessons offered. Some I learned from and some I will inevitably have to be taught again.
I hope to continue to look through the lens of love and gratitude when the scary things show up. This Universe has me safely in its circle of love. All I need to do is be happy. That is a very good place to be.
I pray I can leave my corner of the world a little sweeter than when I got here.
Always choose love,