I was full of big ideas about life and things I wanted to accomplish when I was young. Then I grew up and reality took on different forms than I could ever have imagined—some wonderful, some not so good. Life handed out curve balls that pushed me in directions I hadn’t foreseen and onto paths that were unfamiliar.
Overall I’ve managed to keep my equilibrium and make the best of what I’ve been given. I’ve been mostly content, and have enjoyed much of my journey. So when I turned 58 a couple years ago I was surprised at the deep sense of grief that surfaced over those unrealized goals from my youth.
The feeling of loss over things that will never be, and experiences I will never partake of during this life hit with such finality that I found myself depressed and in mourning. I always thought I’d face old age with grace, but instead found myself kicking and screaming—NOT FAIR!
I wasted a year feeling sorry for myself.
Then, one uneventful morning, I metaphorically slapped myself in the face and said ENOUGH! It was time to let go of those unfulfilled dreams. I needed to thank God I’m still healthy, and bloom where I’ve been planted.
I took stock, explored a latent interest in writing, and forged ahead. So what if I still feel frightened every time I try something new. That doesn’t stop me. Life is too short to worry about “what if’s” anymore. I just do it.
Guess what? I’ve found adventure, purpose, and excitement again. My future may be somewhat limited, but I’m making the most of the time I have left. And the beauty is I’m thoroughly enjoying this stage in my life.
If you’re feeling the way I was—please stop. New dreams are waiting to be realized, but you won’t find them unless you let go of the past and take a risk.
I used to think that flowers were most beautiful when they were just budding. Now I rejoice in the luscious extravagance of a flower in full bloom. Getting older has it’s challenges, but there’s much wisdom gained through life experience. Peace comes with accepting who and where you are.
Bloom where you’re planted, dears. If you make the most of today—tomorrow will take care of itself.