I came across a bunch of thought provoking questions, which I thought would be great way to reflect via some blog posts during this week leading up to the aforementioned LANDMARK BIRTHDAY. Some of the questions are “meaning of life” kinds of things, others get you probing who you are and what makes you do the things you do. Some are very simple – although I do believe a simple and fast answer to a seemingly simple question can bring sometimes astounding and often deep answers.
Mostly I just think it will be a fun way to check into who this gal has become as she rounds 50, and maybe (hopefully) illustrate some of the things I’ve actually learned over these 50 years.
(I’m not going to tag you as one would do in your standard meme; but I would love to hear your answers to any of the questions – whether in the comments or on your own blogs. If you're so inclined – tag yourself!)
What does love feel like?
What made you smile this week?
What are your favourite simple pleasures?
Hanging laundry on the line. Clean sheets. Open windows. That first sip of coffee. Walking. The smell of dirt in spring. Rainy days. Lilacs. The smell of the woods. Barbeques.
What is your fondest memory from the past three years?
It has to be this party.
What book has had the greatest influence on your life?
If I had to narrow it down to one, I think it would be The Secret Garden. Certainly the first time I encountered that story I wouldn’t have known of the lessons inherent in it: that in the natural world one finds healing and true meaning in our existence; and that nurturing things/people outside yourself brings is what brings true happiness and fulfillment; and that beauty invites spiritual awareness and growth.
But now, having read that story a number of times over my lifetime, it's clear that my perspective and understanding of all these things is a major force in how I view the world, and how take meaning from my life and what’s happened in it. Occasionally, in my denseness, I need to re-visit these lessons – but they are lessons that I know deep within me. That story, The Secret Garden, beautiful thing number 34.
Yesterday we had a little advance celebration for my 50th birthday which comes later this month. When I was a kid, 50 year olds were, in my mind, ladies in polyester house dresses with weekly wash and sets – steel coloured hair sitting in uniform rolls around puffy, long-suffering faces. I don’t remember ever picturing myself as that matronly 50 year old, but then when you’re nine, 50 is a million years away.
I still refuse to refer to myself as “old” or “getting up there” because it’s true that once you start calling yourself old, you get old. And I can say, with gratitude, that I continue to like myself better as each birthday comes and goes, despite the effects that damned gravity has on my outer aspect. And boy do I love what 50 has become – we’re active, vibrant, sexual, vocal, important, participating members of our communities.
Roll on sisters. Whether you’ve already seen 50 come and go, or will be someday soon, you’re beautiful. In fact – us gals in the 50-Club – beautiful thing number 29.