Today, December 12th, is my birthday. As it happens, it is one of those special birthdays that only comes around once every ten years. Today I am sixty. (That boggles my mind somewhat. Where did those years go?)
I’m writing this on the eve of my birthday. A friend emailed me this evening, asking if I had any thoughts as I prepared to leave my fifties and embark on my sixties.
It’s a good time for evaluation and reflection.
I looked forward to fifty, and to my fifties, very much. I wondered what lay around the corner. I thought, in the words of A.A. Milne’s Piglet, “I wonder what exciting will happen today?” I felt that there was great possibility in my fifties.
I was right. I have met people, have had experiences, and have done things that I could never even have dreamed of.
My fifties did bring grief, as I watched my parents’ health deteriorate, and as I dealt with their deaths. But that in itself helped me to understand so much more about living and living well while we have the opportunity, and of not being afraid of death when it comes.
My fifties have brought me so much growth, and change, and maturity, and possibility. I am so grateful to be the me I am now as I leave my fifties. I have so much to be grateful for.
I am grateful for friendship. I have some very dear lifelong friends. I also have made many new friends in this decade of growth and discovery. Some of the connections I’ve made via the internet have become deep, lasting, treasured friendships, and I am so grateful to have those special people in my life.
I’m grateful that I’ve begun to travel again. For too long, I shied away from travel, particularly travel on my own. With the encouragement of one of those new, dear friends, I have spread my wings and oh, how I am enjoying it.
I’m grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way in my fifties in becoming part of an incredible and diverse group of writers all over the world. I know some of you are reading this — I’m grateful for YOU! I have learned so much about writing, about people, about myself, through this close-knit and ever-expanding community.
I have met people I never expected I would — and I am so grateful for those times together, and the connection I felt at those times, however brief.
As I look toward my sixties, I’m eager to find out what this decade has in store. I feel there’s even greater possibility in my sixties. Bring it on!
Yes, E is for evaluation. It is also for esteem (such as the high esteem I hold you all in). It is for the eagerness with which I look forward to the future. it is for expectation and experience (as well as experiences). It is for all I’ve enjoyed in the past decade, and for all I will enjoy in the future. Oh! And E is for Elizabeth.
(Also, although this doesn’t begin with E, I’m grateful for the photographic skill and creativity found at Focus 91 Photography, and I’m grateful to them for my new author photo, which is part of the celebration of new possibilities!)