Here we are. In 30 days I will be celebrating 55 years of living. And, make no mistake -- I will be celebrating. Not in the way that you may think. No parties, no "turning up" -- just me taking care of me. In less than 30 days I will be traveling to spend a week at an amazing spa where I plan to rest, relax, rejuvenate, breathe, pray, eat and drink to my heart's content. Happy birthday to me.
Fifty-five. My daughter just celebrated her 25th birthday and I think back 25 years ago and how different my life was then. I was actually unable to visualize a better life for myself back then. I was miserable. I was broke. I was broken. I was depressed and could not find one, single reason to celebrate my upcoming 30th birthday. It was a dark time. But God.
Why is it that when we are young we think that we are supposed to know everything? How frustrating it was to go through life thinking I knew everything only to be shown over and over again that I was wrong. My problem was not only was I wrong, but I was wrong a lot and I was loud in my wrongness. You ever come across those types of people? The ones who are loud and wrong. Yeah, that was me.
What I am enjoying so much about my life now is that I am able to say, "I don't know", "I made a mistake", "I'm sorry". I'm still working on being able to say, "I need help" but I'll get there in time. Baby steps.
As you know I recently walked away from my second job as a fitness specialist in order to spend more time working on relaunching my health coaching business. I have spent so much time in the past month reading different books and listening to podcasts and webinars just in an attempt to get in the right mindset. There is so much information out there and it is a process to get through the noise in order to discover what is helpful and what isn't. I'm enjoying the process though. I like the idea that at 55 I am still learning and I am still growing.
Here are a few of the concepts that resonated most with me:
My existence is created by my thoughts. I love this because it reminds me that I am in control of how my day, my week, my month -- my life goes. It all starts with a thought. Contrary to popular belief, we can control our thoughts but we have to be intentional about it. If a negative thought enters my mind, I acknowledge the thought, dismiss it and replace it with something positive. That's where most people get caught up -- the replacement piece. If you don't replace the negative with a positive then you are leaving room for that negativity to return.
I have the freedom to choose what/who I will accept into my life without explanation or apologies. Guess what? Just because someone wants to be in your life doesn't mean they get to. I have learned to love the sound of my feet walking away from situations that no longer serve me. It's a beautiful thing. You do not owe anyone the benefit of the doubt, especially if they have proven (time and time again) that they don't deserve it.
Peace above all things. This has actually been a concept that I have been living with for many years. I refuse to let anything disturb my peace. For years, I would pray for peace. Finally, God reminded me that he already gave me peace (John 14:27) so why was I asking for what he already gave me? I simply needed to walk in that peace. I had to decide that my peace was a priority and anything that threatened to disturb that peace had to go. Period.
When I realized that I was 100% responsible for my own happiness, my own joy, that is when my life changed. I cannot control what anyone else does. The only thing I can control is how I react to what others do. My life is a gift and I do not plan to squander that gift.
In 30 days I will celebrate my 55th birthday. I am so grateful for every single one of those 55 years. The people I have met, the places that I've been, my kids, my granddaughter, my family ... all of it. It's been a lot and there is still so much more to do. I acknowledge that all the years weren't happy. There were many, many dark days, however, I know now that each dark day was there to teach me something and I am grateful for those lessons and I look forward to the beautiful days ahead.