Today is my 52nd birthday.
I wish I had some words of wisdom to impart on growing older, but I'm not sure I do. However, I DO have much to be appreciative of, having lived this long.
I appreciate simply being ALIVE! After all, due to a genetic metabolism problem that results in kidney stones, I was told at the age of 23 that I would probably NOT live to be 30. Oh how wrong the doctors were! So I'll impart this wisdom born of experience: Don't believe everything a doctor predicts. Sometimes the human body surprises even them. In fact, first with medication, and later simply adjusting my diet, I haven't had a kidney stone since I was age 23!
I appreciate that DH and I are doing well financially. If someone had told me at age 30 that we'd one day own TWO houses debt-free, I would have laughed at them. Particularly since I've never worked full-time over long periods, instead being frugal and careful with DH's modest (and I DO mean modest) income. So wisdom born of experience: Get out of debt. No matter what you want, it's not worth debt. IF you have to get a home via a mortgage (and most of us do when young) pay it off as quickly as possible, no matter what else you have to do without. A "home owner" with a mortgage is NOT a home owner; the bank owns that house until it is paid for. And believe me, the bank won't hesitate to foreclose on it, if necessary. Without debt, you can save and move forward; with debt, you are a slave eternally.
I appreciate life, but there are times I've been suicidal. On reflection, I'd say almost without exception, most suicidal tendencies I've had are either hormonal or an emotional imbalance...both of which pass eventually. Therefore, suicide is NOT a solution to any problem. I agree with this quote: "Suicide is an irreversible solution to a temporary problem." Think about that when you are feeling depressed and fear life is a cruel joke (which it can sometimes seem, regarding almost all aspects).
All in all, I'm just grateful to still be alive, to be relatively healthy, active and still intellectually/mentally alert. If I can say this at 80, then I'll STILL be glad to be alive.
Regrets? A few, but none that are worth being miserable about. For certain, I have NO REGRETS about choosing NOT to have children. I appreciate that DH and I chose not to reproduce, and I'm sure some of our happiness NOW is due to that decision long ago.
I went on my bike ride around 1:00 today, and the wind was fierce! I had to struggle every bit of the ride, but I DID make it. Now it's pouring rain, a cold, dark rain...which should remain with us until around noon tomorrow. DH and I will eat out tonight, and my sister called for a long chat earlier, and to wish me happy birthday.
On this rainy afternoon, I believe it might be a good time to start a creative writing exercise, the results of which I'll post later.
Here's the writing prompt from a Writer's Digest website:
Imagine you’re a bartender, and there is a sad, lonely man sitting on the corner stool. You ask him what’s wrong. What story does he tell you?
Stay tuned for the story, coming soon!