There’s no other way to say it, no cute euphemism that will do the trick, so here goes: I just turned sixty.
“Turned” feels like just the right word, actually. A light psychological departure from the regular path. A jaunt around a corner without being quite sure what’s on the other side, or what I should pack for the trip.
So yes, it happened. Quietly, uneventfully, and in a very loving way. It happened.
And then, because the Universe loves to get its point across to me with the utmost clarity, within the next few weeks, I will be holding a new Baby Girl. Which again, there is no other way to say it (I tried) will make me a grandmother.
Then, as if almost on cue, my right knee started hurting.
Is this the end? Is this the end of my mobility, my lightness, my ease, and - gulp - my freedom? Will I soon have to sell my quad, stop wearing shorts, or dance naked around my house?
The Fear loves to talk s*** and especially loves a vulnerable audience.
For a short time, I let her have at it. While I take late afternoon walks in the countryside, while I paint in my pink studio, she murmurs. She does her work, she tries. But I don’t love her company, I never have, and so I pick up her kryptonite: my pen. And there, to the paper, I give it all: her whispers and my prayers. My excitement for what’s to come, my vision, my surrender, too. My gratitude for having been granted sixty years. My joy at the possibility of having more.
Slowly, line after line on the small white notebook a realization that really nothing has changed other than whatever story I am choosing to tell myself and will keep telling myself.
On my birthday, I went sledding and ice skating. A few days ago, I was jumping up and down on a hotel bed in a Mexican city. I am planning my second art exhibit. I am in love. Whatever the number says, I am me and I feel me and I live like me.
Yes, time is passing and while I don’t feel very different today than I did after my 50th birthday, I know that my body is slowly changing. I also know that I am loving myself more and that this shows up in all kinds of ways.
Also, this weird little thought crept in the other day as I was trimming my banana trees of their huge leaves and carrying a heavy jug of drinking water into the house: there is an expiration date to this lifestyle I love. THAT thought had never shown up in my brain before no matter how / where I lived - and it was a strange one to commune with. It was not a dramatic thought, it was not a mean scary thought, but I think it was a reasonable thought. A thought that has its place right next to “I may want to start an art community someday.” Both are true, both are real, and both can be friends.
Today I invite you to find the sweet spot between what’s real and “reasonable” and what’s “YOU” and maybe less standard. I invite you to give them both a voice and a place at the table and then to concoct your own blend. The one that has you jumping up and down and loving deeply and creating freely - while not being afraid to acknowledge changes. Changes that come with the privilege of blowing many candles on our birthday cake.
SCARED OF THE SACRED