And aren't we all just really walking each other to the finish line? Let's do it with a bit of gratitude, and grace...

I was happy to run into a parent that I knew in the hallway this morning. I was her daughter’s first grade teacher several years ago and I was excited to see her.She's been busy these last few years finishing up a degree, so I haven't seen her very often. 

We spent about ten minutes catching up about each other’s families and then walked down the hall towards my classroom. We were chatting away a mile a minute, firing questions and answers at each other along the way.  My room is conveniently located at the end of the hall right next to the exit door and we chatted a bit more as we walked.  We were ready to say goodbye when she added this. 

“I’m getting ready for my 40th birthday! I just can’t believe it! The girls are growing up, and time is flying!” 

“Congratulations!” I said with a huge smile. “I am so excited for you!” 

She laughed and looked at me quizzically. 

I stopped and faced her.  “I have to tell you something.  I am 56 years old, and I can honestly say that I have never been happier!” 

She looked at me and smiled a huge smile. 

I continued, “These last years, the ones in my fifties, have been amazing.  I am more confident, I am more focused on what is important, I have more meaningful friendships and am still enjoying all the parts of being a mother. Each part of the growing up process with my kids has been busy and challenging--but very rewarding.  I have a great relationship now that has taught me so much about being valued and confident. I know what’s important, and what isn’t.  I enjoy all the little things each day, and feel an amazing amount of gratitude. 

“Sorry about gushing on and on, but I just kind of want to shout out to everyone how great getting older really is!  Youth is fantastic- but getting older and a bit wiser really is incredible.  And you know, as they say, it’s WAY better than the other thing….”

She threw her arms around me for a huge hug. “I AM excited about each part of life. But how cool that I saw you today to remind me about how great it all really is.”

That’s the way to start a day.


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#1Nana said...

If you think growing old is good, just wait until you're retired. It's the best. It's spring break every day. You can take those trips you wanted to take in your youth, but now you have money. You can fly, not take the bus. No hostles, just good, clean hotels with private bath. We're not camping in a VW van these days, We've got an airstream! Life is good.

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