You Can Outgrow Anything

Right before my official retirement date (March 2013) I was sorting through boxes of things that I had collected over the years. I am embarrassed to say there was really a lot of stuff! Most of which, upon reflection, should never have been saved in the first place.  Then I opened a file and the photo below popped out.

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Can I say I laughed out loud?  In fact I laughed so hard I was practically crying.  Was it the big hair?  Giant glasses? No, I think it was the pearls that really got me.  This photo is a relic of another time, a time when I lived my life to please other people.  And even if it meant a return to dewy skin and a perkier figure I have no interest in being that woman again.  What joy that I grew up!

One of the things I treasure most about aging is the mental clarity that comes with it. Then I put up with people because I thought I had to. Now fools beware. Then I did not laugh at myself. Now I find myself to be an endless source of amusement. Then I reacted strongly to any misfortune. Now when I say "nobody died" I know what that means.  But perhaps most significantly, then I cared deeply what other people thought. Now I care what I think.

Aging is so freeing.  Then I was living for the approbation of others - the big hair and pearls say it all. Now I get to live for me. Just call me living proof that you really can outgrow anything!

Who are you living for?