“I’ll be 65 tomorrow, April 16th”, I muse…When the hell did THAT happen?
Time, you wondrous whisper. You magic melody. You symphony of sensations.
A letter. A word. A sentence. A paragraph. A chapter. A book. And at my age, a library!
My brain focuses on that number in jaw-dropping awareness and disbelief. Incredible, this age thing. Wasn’t it yesterday I was 15 and wondering how my life would take shape? Who would I be? Where would I live? How much education would I choose?
My mind ponders this unreal age reality. My neurons trace back my history. Bit by bit.
Ironic, it’s not milestones that come to my mind. It’s people. And photos of their journey along with me, thousands of them. At least 175 scrapbooks. And now digital files. Me, the sentimental mama, a camera is within my welcoming hands 24/7 ready to record every joyful jaunt.
I savor my photos. I cradle them in my memory, each one a grain of sand so lovingly creating a beaconing beach. I traverse its warm sand and suck up life’s loveliness. A grateful reminder of my life’s luck. Yes, but hard work, too.
Truth is, I’m thrilled to have lived to be this age.
I’m ever so grateful to be relatively still in one piece. And usually in peace, too. Gosh, I remember when I was young thinking I was never enough. Now I look back and think, “Hey, girl, you did ‘er up pretty blamed well! And you’re still truckin’. Hot dog!”
Having Mom with me for 64 years. And my family and friends there for me through thick and thin. That’s the real win win.
I remember talking with Mom about age, especially when I turned 50. UGH! She smiled and chimed in with, “Want to be 80?” We both cracked up.
Back to 2014…
You know how I LOVE to coach folks using strengths. I pause to ask myself, “Of all my strengths (find your own 24 strengths at viame.org), which ones have been the most steadfast? Which ones were in my corner the strongest when life’s 1-2 punches tried to knock me to the ground?”
GRIT! That’s it!
Do I hear you asking, “What IS ‘grit’, dear Judy, positive psychology coach?
According to Dr. Martin Seligman, “grit” is a combination of “very high persistence and high passion for an objective.”
OK, you bet I am as tenacious as a bull dog when I set my mind to something. But what other strengths have been my friend? I hope you PAUSE and mindfully ask yourself ask the same question.
What strengths pop up in your life?
I think of Persistence, Courage, Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence and Love. Not that I think of myself as courageous, but if I am honest with myself, I have really done some dumb, but challenging, things in my life. But even so, I did stick my neck out in HOPE (another strength!) for the best result. But many times I failed. Still, I tried, boy did I ever. Did you know it takes up to 10,000 hours to master a talent? No wonder I need to roll up my sleeves when I am doing my learning Spanish homework!
I would love to tell you I had SELF-REGULATION as a powerful strength, but like most people, I do not. It is great for goal attainment, so I power it up when I set a goal, but it is tiring. Let’s just say, I am still a work/play in progress!
No matter what YOUR years, what strengths consistently show up for you? Can you feel them igniting your RESILIENCE and FLOURISHING?
And where is your GRIT? You can find out by researching Angela Duckworth, Martin Seligman, Caroline Miller, and/or take the GRIT Survey at http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/questionnaires.aspx
No matter what your age, it is cascading, frolicking fun, foibles, and a freaking amazing journey. Set your action plan to explore life, but also allow your mind to creatively meander. Savor every precious second.
Time is irrelevant. It is here. It is gone. Why not enjoy it and happily sing along?
Maybe you’ll join me and make “positive reminiscing” your creative new art form.
Speaking of creativity, here is one of my favorite poems, my birthday gift to you.
Feel free to pay it forward to all those you love, too. Enjoy!
you shall above all things… (22) by E. E. Cummings
you shall above all things be glad and young
For if you’re young, whatever life you wear
it will become you; and if you are glad
whatever’s living will yourself become.
Girlboys may nothing more than boygirls need:
I can entirely her only love
whose any mystery makes every man’s
flesh put space on; and his mind take off time
that you should ever think, may god forbid
and (in his mercy) your true lover spare:
for that way knowledge lies, the foetal grave called progress, and negation’s dead undoom.
I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
I want to take this time to thank you all for being a part of my grit-with-a-grin Internet family.
I am eternally grateful to you for adding so much radiance and fun to my life.