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.