How is it even possible that sixty years of my life have already passed? Better yet – how is it that I feel so much younger than that on the inside? As many milestones do in life, this birthday has caused me to spend time in reflection; not only for the years of my life that have passed but the ones that are yet to come. In retirement and in “empty nesting,” how can I live my best life while having a positive impact on those around me in the time that I have left on this earth?
In 2020 more than any previous year, I have come to realize how quickly things can change. Things that are comfortable and familiar, along with things that we simply take for granted. A gathering, a vacation, a hug. I am realizing the necessity for sacrifices needed in order for others to continue their own journey of life. I am forever conscious of what an incredible gift each day of life is. And how important relationships are in order to enrich our lives to the fullest.
One day my grandson looked at me very seriously and asked, “Nana, how is Papaw old…..but he doesn’t act old? When I’m old I don’t want to act old either.” We had a long discussion about what “old” meant (he has white hair and he’s older than 30) and what it means to not act old. In his young mind, acting “old” is all about lacking energy and passion. For Zeke, if you can keep up with his level of energy, play with him and manage to relate to his youthful vigor – you are not acting “old.” Our conversation ended with his matter-of-fact statement: “It’s just that some old people act old and some people don’t.” He proceeded to name a few of each, which I will keep to myself. J
Completing another decade of life seems to me to be the perfect time to stop and ask myself some questions. Questions to help me figure out where I’ve been and more importantly – where I’m going. I did some research, and here is a compilation of my favorite questions for self-reflection. I plan to hang onto this list for future birthdays and possibly even for a mid-year checkup.
- What things from the past year am I grateful for?
- Am I aging gracefully?
- Where has the time gone? What do I spend the most time on?
- Have I gained maturity from the experiences of the past year?
- How does another year sound?
- What do I want to change during the next year?
- Have I made new friends? Strengthened the relationships that I currently have? Who have I let in?
- What did I do this past year that scared me at first?
- Am I who I want to be?
- What single thing can I plan to do this year that will matter the most in ten years? Eternity?
Wow- so much for an aging mind to process. Haha! But really great questions to ponder for the years to come.
Wishing you many more decades of life,
Questions credits include lifehack.org, hellobeautiful.com, and biblicalspirituality.org