Aging with Grace and Gratitude

I literally cried when I turned 29. I knew that it was my final year in my twenties and it terrified me. In my mind, 30 was old and I didn’t want to be old. I desperately wanted to hang on to my youth.

Oh, how naïve I was!

I blossomed in my thirties. I found my strength and my voice in my thirties. I was on my way to figuring out who I wanted to be, and began to recognize the toxicity of those I had surrounded myself with. I began to fight to become the “me” that I am today.

I am now almost 42 years old, and I’ve never been happier. My happiness is not dependent upon how much money I have, what my job title is, or what zip code I reside in. I no longer wonder if people are judging my appearance, because I simply no longer care (in no way am I saying to stop showering or basic hygiene practices!). I just don’t feel pressured to conform anymore. I wear what I want to, have burgundy hair and purple glasses, and my nails are painted teal. The opinions of others no longer matter; it is my opinion of myself that has utmost importance now. I am making myself happy, which in turn makes it much easier to keep those around me happy, too.

Over the years, I have developed real empathy, for I have suffered, too. To witness compassion and kindness now brings me to tears, for I know that those moments are far and few between. What once held only a little sweetness in life is now amplified beyond description, because I have such a deep appreciation for those fleeting moments. Only wisdom can bring that to a person, and only age can bring wisdom.

I have become richer in spirit, and am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to do so. I have become a better person through my trials. I have been blessed beyond expectation with two beautiful (inside and out) step-children; I have the love of a good old country boy who treats me like gold, and I know he’ll still hold my hand when we’re both silver-haired.

Now I look forward to growing old. I know that my inner riches will increase, life experiences will be bountiful, and I will continue to grow as a human being. I can’t ask for more than that. And, I’m not scared anymore. I am at peace with who I am, and who I am still becoming.

Grace and gratitude….there’s so much more to look forward to, friends! Life does not end when the blush of youth begins to fade from your outward appearance. Take a look inside yourself, because there is something even more beautiful blooming in there….

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