In reflection, here are my favorite things about aging:
1. Dream Bigger - I love that with each passing year, I seem to discover a few more of life's treasures and dream a little bigger.
2. Increased Confidence - As the chapters of my life turn, I feel a little more confident in myself and what I am capable of doing. I am past the "first big things" part of my life - I have gotten married, chosen a career, bought a car, bought a town home, sold a town home, bought a house, currently am remodeling our home, gave birth to three sons...and the list continues. I look back on my life experiences and see what I have done, and each year move forward with more confidence than I had in the previous year.
3. Stronger Faith - I have years to reflect on and see God's hand in my life and the lives of friends and family. I see how much goes right, despite all of life's bumps and imperfections. I have repeatedly seen God pull good out of hard situations. This builds my faith. I find it easier to trust our Living God now than ever before.
4. I care less about what people think - Life is not all sunshine and roses and I don't mean that I don't care at all about what people think. But I have been in enough circumstances where I have stressed over a situation that involves other people to later find out that they weren't even a little bit worried or judgmental about the same situation. With each passing birthday, I am better about moving forward with decisions that I think are right for me or my family, and not worrying about what everyone else thinks - because people don't dwell on my life as much as I sometimes think they do. It really isn't all about me....
5. It is easier to get compliments on my outfits - Okay, this might seem like a weird one, but hear me out.... I taught high school all through my twenties, took a break to be home with my boys in my earlier thirties and this is my first year back in the classroom. I now get way more compliments on my outfits by my students than when I was a twenty-something-year-old teacher. This has made me wonder why...because, if anything, I put less effort into my attire now that I am trying to get myself and three little boys out the door. I concluded that when you get older, the expectations of wearing trendy clothes go down. So, now that I am back in the classroom and for the first time in my teaching career am technically old enough to be my students mom, I don't think they expect much out of my attire, so when I do dress cute - they tell me. It's kinda awesome.
6. A greater appreciation of life as a gift - I have been around long enough to see people lose loved ones. I have lost loved ones as well; my grandfather just this year....it is hard. I long to have my grandparents and other loved ones back with me...so, it seems a little silly that I sometimes look in the mirror and am critical of my aging face. I am healthy, my parents are healthy, I have a beautiful family and loyal friends....it makes me feel grateful and gives me perspective to appreciate what really matters in life. Because life moves way too fast - each day is a gift.
7. Live more intentionally - With age comes wisdom, discernment and a better ability to live my life more intentionally.
8. Happiness - Bottom line, passing years, reflection, experiences and by God's grace, my eyes have seen how much beauty life holds. I am grateful for the Creator that lets me be on this earth surrounded by amazing people and things. My heart fills with His joy. I am happier now than when I was fully immersed in the youthfulness of my early twenties.
I am going to try and remember this with each passing birthday. And feel the joy of celebrating the day that God created me. And realize that many of life's gifts come with age.
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