25 Aug A Birthday Like No Other
Interestingly enough, I have a milestone birthday approaching very soon. This October I will be 60! I am wincing slightly as I confess this because I have never been one to offer up my actual age. Not that I was ashamed of getting older but it’s just that I have never felt fully like the numbers on the page.
But this year with everything that has gone on around me I feel like making a landmark birthday while still being able to see new opportunities and possibilities is a blessing to be celebrated. Like so many other friends and colleagues around me I never fully thought of what reaching this milestone actually meant. When I was much younger in my thirties I felt like 60 was a number for my grandparents, synonymous with a rocking chair and a back porch. But truth be told I have never been so busy and so challenged and so excited about what lies ahead.
Now, I in no way mean to negate the severity of what the Covid virus and the worldwide shut down has leveled against us as I do understand it has forever changed us as human beings. But rather I am choosing to shift my perspective to the beauty that can emerge from the ashes once we have braved and conquered these storms.
For the past several decades I have been focused on the craziness of my life as a crisis manager and corporate speaker. I have gone from one assignment to the next. Fueled by the adrenaline and the benefits that my job afforded me. I’ve met a lot of incredible people and been to so many amazing places in the span of my life. It was a blessing beyond words to be called into the back rooms of so many national situations and circumstances that I was privileged to be able to speak into. The memories alone will stay with me throughout eternity. And then about a year ago I started this blog and this journey to go beyond the back rooms and meetings and bring the wisdom and revelation that was afforded me to share in simple ways with others around me. To give an outlet to not just myself but other people along the way who encouraged me to stop and smell the roses and enjoy the life God had given me.
So during this shutdown there are a few things that I began to see and appreciate more clearly that I wanted to share with you my friends, as I am sure many of you have also noticed the same.
I have always loved my family. But during this shutdown I had an unlimited amount of time to spend with my family members like never before. I have three adult children, two daughter-in-laws and three grandchildren. We have always been close but during this shutdown we have spent much more time together collectively between our three homes as we all live close. We have shared movie nights, cook outs and long evenings staring at the stars in our backyards, talking about life and our futures together. My family inspires me to keep going and to keep dreaming and to be their bridge to stand on years from now when I am gone. It doesn’t matter if you all see eye to eye on everything as long as you have love. Never get so far from your family that you lose sight of them and you.
My husband and I are both equally busy and independent. We fully support one another in all our endeavors but we are also the kind of partners that have never needed to hold each other’s hands constantly throughout our relationship. We like our own space and we have learned to allow each other room. But being on lock down with not much work or travel being done we have had to spend a lot more time alone and around the house during this strange season. I have been reminded of how funny and how smart my husband is. I am a pragmatist and he is a can do person who never sees the limitations but rather all the endless possibilities. I have been reminded of how intrical he has been in all the accomplishments of my life. Pushing me and prodding me to go for it. I remember just what attracted me to him in the first place. And how without him I would never be the person I am today. Sometimes we all need to slow down and be reminded of what gifts we are to each other and that through good times and bad times our lives shaped one another to become who we are today. If we hold tight to one another and remember what is most important we can make it through anything life throws at us.
A house is not a home. Home is something inside of you that you build over time and take with you no matter where you are. I have learned the importance of legacy and traditions. Because if you give this to the people you love it stays with them all of their lives. And then they return the favor of sharing those same things with others around them. If you make your house a home it’s not so bad having to stay inside for awhile. A home doesn’t have to be filled with expensive things but love and shared experiences and fun times and welcoming smiles and a sense of genuine hospitality for others. You are never really alone if you build a real home for yourself.
Giving of your time:
Sharing time with others. Time is our most precious commodity. It is something that we treasure but can never get back once it is gone. So I have learned not to waste so much time on things that really don’t matter and spend more of it where it will do the most good. Investing in mentoring. Teaching and sharing. Volunteering, you decide. I have decided to spend more time with those that I love and those that I see can benefit from something that I have to give. For me it’s my grandchildren, my blog and the outreach and speaking opportunities that come my way. While my time is free it is definitely not cheap. It has a cost and so I cannot waste it on what doesn’t matter or what or whom doesn’t see its value. I understand now that I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, anymore but God. So I will be more selective and prayerful about my time in the days ahead.
So this year’s birthday will be very different for me. I have reached a milestone in life and like so many of you have been through a milestone year. I cannot waste any of the experiences that I have been allowed. This 2020 has been a major shift for us all thus far. And while we may still have a ways to go it’s good to begin to take stock and ponder some things. I want to come out of it changed for the better. Out of the ashes I pray we can all rise. I will be 60 this year and this is major enough but I will also be more focused on seeing the beauty, the love, the possibilities and the blessings that are before me like never before.
This birthday will be different. As I hope to be as well!!