This past Saturday was just another day. Except for the part about me turning 60.
For months, I had been waiting for this to turn into a big occasion, but it didn’t. And that’s okay. In fact, it seems to be the way this milestone was meant to be for me.
That doesn’t mean it wasn’t meaningful, because it was. Turning 60 is a big step along anyone’s journey. But it’s just a step. And the journey is the part that matters, the direction and pace with which we are moving forward. Saturday was a step. But so was the next day, and the one after.
Such is the art of getting older.
The Journey to a Better Life
Inside, most of us have a picture–unchosen and subliminal–of ourselves, one that is likely younger than our actual age. If I had to pick one age for that inner me, it would be about 40.
Frankly, I felt pretty good about things when I was 40. I was old enough to feel I had some wisdom, yet I still saw myself as young. My marriage and family were in great shape. I was successful at work and making a good living. Just about everything was going well, and life was good.
That is a nice image to look back on, but it is not who I am now, or who I was meant to be. And it’s also an incomplete picture, because the me at age 40 also had fears and insecurities, issues I had not yet dealt with, and a gap in my life where God and purpose were supposed to be.
Amazingly, in my early 40s, things got even better, and I entered into a wonderful period of my life, especially spiritually. God seemed very real and present, and those years were both enjoyable and exciting. I changed greatly as God became the most important thing in my life.
But then, over the next few years, everything that could go wrong did. Life became a struggle, and virtually every day was difficult. Those tough times changed me as well. Looking back, I know I needed to go through those trials to help shape me into the person I was supposed to be.
“Your journey has molded you for your greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don’t think you’ve lost time. There is no short-cutting to life. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time.” (Asha Tyson)
The Art of Getting Older
As we get older, our moral compass can be shaped by our journey.
As I turn 60, I’m okay being the imperfect person I am. I am excited about what is to come, and comfortable with where I am going. Deep down, I feel truly blessed and thankful.
My world view has been shaped by the experiences God led me through. From faith, I learned to experience joy and understand my purpose. In recovery, I found wisdom and peace.
The principles from STEPS: A Daily Journey to a Better Life serve as stepping stones for a future to be lived one day at a time. They help me navigate, and are part of the art of getting older.
- Surrender your will to God and make choices based on faith and courage.
- Humbly admit your mistakes and make positive changes in your life.
- Seek forgiveness and invest in good relationships.
- Spend time every day in prayer and meditation.
- Serve as an example and add value to the lives of others.
Looking ahead, I do have some trepidation about where my calling seems to be leading me. But, thinking of life 10 years from now, my biggest fear is not that I will have taken a risk and failed.
It is that I will be comfortably enjoying life while knowing I did not take a step I should have taken.
“I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.” (Bob Goff)
Question: How do you feel (really) about getting older?
Action: Decide on one positive step you will take today.