I’m not an advocate for growing bitter with age. With each year, I gain more wisdom, meet more amazing people, and embrace more miraculous moments in life. Unfortunately, each year also reminds me of the impermanence of people and creatures I love, the consequences of pushing myself too hard, and that being an adult isn’t always as awesome as I imagined it to be back when I was seven.
Another thing I’ve learned so far is that not every year is created equal. The earlier years tend to have less stress and fewer responsibilities. However, it wasn’t until I graduated high school, and even more so after college, that I actually felt that I was doing something with my life. Being that all years are not created equal, I’ve concluded that age is not an accurate account of how long someone’s been alive.
That said, I just celebrated my third birthday in January.
Of course I didn’t tell anyone this. After all, I didn’t want to celebrate my special day in a psych ward.
Celebrating my third year is not lying. I’m merely adjusting my age based on how much time I’ve actually spent “alive.” To me, being alive isn’t simply breathing. In my opinion, it involves being aware of your soul and finding new ways to embrace and express it.
Now before continuing, I must clarify that I am NOT promoting lying about one’s age. Our time on earth is nothing of which to be ashamed or embarrassed. If I could go back in time and find the person who first planted the concept that as we age, our value and aptitude declines, I would give them a swift slap across the face.
Though, being a pacifist, it’s more likely I’d give them a very ugly look and tell them to stop this nonsense before they create a society of Botox aficionados and mid-life crisis casualties.
I understand the necessity and indisputable benefits of tracking time. After all, the construct of dividing moments into seconds, minutes, and hours is essential to maintain order in this wonderful, but unpredictable world. While this order coordinates with the Earth’s orbit and other natural phenomena, it has no purpose in defining who we are and what we are capable of. Age isn’t indicative of how healthy you are, how advanced your thought processes are, how many breaths you have left, or to what extent you’ve actually contributed to the world and your purpose.
This past Saturday, my husband decided to celebrate his 26th birthday. Wouldn’t you know it, he was grumpy the whole time?! This guy was acting like his next step is a retirement home. Healthy, sharp, and even more handsome than when we first met, this guy has everything going for him.
(Not to mention, he has a pretty amazing wife :P)
Regardless, he has it stuck in his head that since he’s more than halfway to fifty years old, there’s little hope for him left. Hey, I told him he could celebrate any age he wanted. Maybe someday he’ll come around.
This brings me to the artful adventure for today:
-Take some time alone today to reflect on you life. Are the first things that pop into your mind fond memories, exciting goals, or deep regrets? How long have you really been alive? Are you still a toddler, or are you in your golden years? Remember that with every breath you’ve had, there have been infinite opportunities to embrace yourself and your talents. Remember that not everyone has been fortunate enough to have as many breaths as you. What can you do today to make the most of each breath?
Warm wishes from my three-year-old self,