It's my birthday and I am reading about dying. Indulge me.
Not only that but my - much older - husband has taken a fondness to calling me middle-aged. Now, isn't that, technically reserved for your 40's? That's what I maintain anyways. I'm only half-way to 70 and my relatives seem to live well into their 80s so I should have another good, what, 9yrs before I fall into that category?
Anyways, the older I get, the more I understand the difficulty of taking "the road less travelled". And its grave importance. The following exerpt from Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie; an old man, a young man, and life's greatest lesson really embodies our choices as of late.
Dying ... is one thing to be sad over... Living unhappily is something else.
The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. We're teaching the wrong things. [Think materialism, self-indulgence, body image, entitlement ...] And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn't work, don't buy it. Create your own. [Think popular culture, family culture, church culture.] Most people can't do it.
In Morrie's words, many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things.
We're so wrapped up ... and involved in trillions of little acts just to keep going. So we don't get into the habit of standing back and looking at our lives and saying, Is this all? Is this all I want? Is something missing? The way you get meaning into your life..., states the quintessential teacher, is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning. Or, as Jim and I like to call it, living an intentional, Spirit-filled life.
We're not there but we're on the path.
Anais @Granville Island
On a happier note, I thought I'd write about a few of the more memorable birthdays along the way:
*A chubby 2yr old girl in pony-tails, pouting in front of an ice cream sundae - I don't know why, sometimes a girl just has to pout!
* When dating my hubby, my parents had me invite the guest list and were surprised to find some of his 30-something friends at my 20th party. Darryl brought me a bag of deli bagels and it was one of my last pictures of cousin Andy, 22, who died in a scuba-diving accident soon after.
* For my 30th, I wanted to teach the value of giving and brought Timbits to my high school students who looked at me like I was insane - like the doughnut holes might be poisoned - but devoured them anyways.
* Our first spring in the Kootenays, my sweet husband and kids held a surprise fancy-pants patio party complete with dress code and 3 course meal. [FYI, I'm very hard to surprise; I call it cautious while Jim calls it suspicious]. My daughter was so excited to wear fancy dress-ups I hardly knew who was more pleased!
* And today, I got suntanned and mistaken for a 15yr old; I'd call this one a success.
Thanks for sharing the journey with me, thus far, and for your grace as I continue to grow in wisdom, self-acceptance and intentionality.