I had a birthday yesterday. Unlike many of my friends, I love them. My mum always used to bake me a favourite homemade cake and that memory is one that sticks. My childhood was not an easy one so I choose to carry this as a happy memory. So I started the day with my lovely girlfriend Linda May from Norway, who has been staying with me in my little room and the ensuing chaos and we have had such fun. She does not care where I live, what I have or how I dress, she cares about me and me about her. She is just wonderful and made me laugh about the things that life brings. I like the feeling of transience, of fluidity in my life right now and we celebrated it. So what better way to start a birthday? Friendship plus a huge coffee and of course, cake for breakfast. And very delicious it all was too!
Like many I used to wish to be old enough to be independent and was in a rush to grow up. But the grown up world has shown me that sometimes it is good to do silly childish things and now I have got to the stage where the place I am at now is the place I am happy to be at. I do not really have a problem with getting older because my heart still feels so young, but I can see how I am ageing physically and quite like what I see. There is something about wrinkles (not that I have that many) that speaks of experience and memories and reality. I am not rushing out to get injected with botox or puff anything up. I like what I have.
Looking back at images of a younger me, I know so much more now. The phrase that ‘youth is wasted on the young’ is nonsense to me. I was a fresh faced teenager but I am now a mature woman with knowledge one cannot possibly acquire without having lived. Genetically I still have something of my youthful self, but now, there is a peace beginning and it is a recent acquisition. Some would say I have become more selfish. I would say at last I have developed and continue to develop, a sense of myself. Not as a girlfriend, wife, mother, friend, sister but just as me.
I have let go of battles that are not worth fighting, of love affairs that cannot be, of work I don’t enjoy and yet I feel rich and free. That is what I woke to yesterday, at the start of a new year; freedom and an overwhelming amount of love and joyous friendship. I have had hundreds of messages in many languages from real time and cyber friends who sent me joy and took time to spread a little love. I am not famous. I am an ordinary woman in my little world, but I am connected to many and it’s a wonderful thing. Before we despair about our lack of privacy, or the dangers of being online, it is good to remember that cyber space brings a load of knowledge and connections that would never have been. There is a possibility of global connection that I find invaluable. I am happy to participate, to be part of a bigger picture. I am lucky. I never really feel alone. I like my own company but I know I have those around me who appreciate the flow of give and take.
So this post is just about appreciating now. I am practising that more and more. Yesterday is done now and I can’t have it back. Tomorrow is unknown. We can plan and I think planning is good; goal setting is good and striving for a better future a necessity if we are not to stay stuck. But for me, now is the most important.
Age is just a number, a way to measure the time we have lived so far. There are no rules that say we have to be anything at any given time. So for now, I won’t count my lines but I will count my blessings.