With very little fanfare, another year has come and gone though I can scarcely understand where it went. Short of quoting '80's pop songs about time slipping through your hands there is not much more to say on the subject. The process of getting older is not about aging, it's about those life lessons that come from the journey, some have been brutal, others filled with love, some happy accidents and others, the culmination of determination, planning and hard work. All in all it's been a good, full life for the most part.
But I've noticed something about getting older, at least for me, it's become more about allowing myself to really live. Death was a frequent visitor to my family over a a condensed period of time, my mother died at 48 followed in quick succession by several other close family members. It is a lesson that we have finite time so make the most of it, not that I always payed attention but am still learning.
So here, having lived almost half a lifetime, I recognise that you cannot make other people responsible for your happiness, only you can make yourself happy. You cannot build your world around someone, they are only human and they will disappoint you. Life is not black and white, it is green and blue, yellow and red and all the shades and hues you can think of. There is no right and wrong, only do the best you can in any situation and hope for the best. Thinking in absolutes never gets you very far. If you are unable to bend, you will break. Know where your line in the sand is, be prepared to defend it and be prepared that out of love, despair or compassion, you may move it. Don't be too hard on yourself when you make mistakes, how else will you learn. Yes, sunscreen is your friend. If he loves you, your cellulite or crows feet will not be an issue.
There, the accumulated "wisdom" of a lifetime. As I get ready to embark on my next great adventure, which with any luck will see me standing on Macchu Picchu, editing a magazine, speaking fluent portuguese, diving and hopefully, someone to share it with, I'm ready to take the plunge, back into living.