Getting older has connected me with some incredible people. Last year I joined a group of bloggers, The Women of Midlife, who are the most generous and supportive group of women I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing.
I’d hoped to meet many of them in person last March at their first blog conference in Nashville, but the weather did not cooperate. In April, we will be meeting in Las Vegas for the 2016 Bloggers At Midlife Conference, and short of a blizzard in the dessert, I can promise that nothing will keep me away.
I am on the high end of the Midlife age group, to be sure. I started blogging because of issues I was having turning sixty. As I said in my very first blog post on Zero to Sixty and Beyond.
As for my impending birthday, I am trying to understand why it’s bothering me so much. I have embraced every decade in my adult life, and can honestly say life has gotten better with each one. I orchestrated my own parties for each milestone birthday and probably had more fun than my guests. I’m not planning one this year. Perhaps it’s about the downhill slide after this birthday. I mean, we’re living much longer now, but 120? So I can no longer be ‘middle aged’, but don’t even think about considering me ‘elderly’.
I can honestly say I don’t feel much older than I did then, but there’s no denying the number on my Medicare card. Rather than dwell on the negative I’ve been thinking about the positive side of aging.
First: I get to set my own agenda which means given the choice of an 8:30 am appointment or 11:30 am, I’ll take the 11:30 because I wake up when I feel like it, sans alarm. Some things you wish for actually do come true.
Second: I’ve worked from home off and on my whole adult life, but nothing beats the feeling of ‘technically’ being retired and not having to answer to anyone. I write or create art whenever the spirit moves me. It opens up the creativity in ways I hadn’t imagined before.
Third: Aside from raising kids in the suburbs I’ve always been a city girl at heart. City life is energizing. Being able to walk everywhere, grab a cab to go shopping at a wide variety of stores, it was never a problem. IKEA, Target, Macy’s… the list is long and I do miss you all, but I’m probably saving a ton of money, especially since Century 21, Nordstrom Rack, and Neiman’s Last Call opened in Philly this year! Saving money is definitely important, especially if I do live to be 120.
Fourth: Ten years ago country life would have been great for a weekend, but I wouldn’t have wanted to live there. Now I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Granted we live in the country at the beach and it’s like hitting the lottery on many levels, but the pace would have bored me to tears.
We go to the city at least once a month to visit my husband’s dad and get our hair cut. Sometimes we find time to catch up with friends at our old haunts and while I do enjoy it, when we get off the highway and make our way down the country roads to our home I feel my heart rate slow. A sense of peace comes over me like I’ve never felt anywhere else.
Fifth: My only experience with birds consisted of seagulls at the beach and sparrows in the city, with an occasional cardinal or mourning dove in the mix. I used to think ‘bird people’ were weird and then? I became one.
We are in a bird migration area with more varieties than I knew existed. Waking in the morning to various bird songs is magical. Although, this time of year there are large flocks of geese arguing loudly over who gets to lead the V formation and they’re never on key.
Bonus: We’re also in the Monarch butterfly migration path. Our yard has six butterfly bushes and right now you can’t step outside without seeing clouds of gorgeous butterflies all around you.
I’ve always tried to live in the moment and this moment suits me to a T.
What about you? Do you prefer city life or country? Quiet or noise? What are some of the new things you’re finding that you enjoy as you celebrate each birthday?