A DIFFERENT VIEWPOINT
Aging. It’s a fact of life. No matter who we are or how we fight it, we age. I know. I am one of the large number of 55+ Americans living right now. Aging brings its aches and pains. It also brings a different viewpoint on life. I spent my career from law school graduation on being competitive in a corporate world. I fought at a time women had to fight to get ahead. If you are fighting to get ahead, you know that pushing forward in your career is hard, time consuming and life sucking.
I do believe that being a hard driving, got to get ahead person is a life sucking proposition. You give up something to get ahead in the corporate world. It’s great to be a successful career person, but it’s almost impossible to do that, have children, a close marriage, and have time for self. I know it was for me, and I didn’t have children.
I admire all who strive for excellence in every area, but as one aging, in the long run, use the career for joy, an outlet for your passions, and a challenge for your mind. Do not do it for the glory that the ego desires. When the career is over, it’s over. The next month at the company it will be as though you are a distant memory. Corporations/Companies go on. They forget you quickly and adjust to the new cast of characters. Don’t use your career for your ego or your glory. Don’t use your career and the ego trip it provides as a substitute for loving yourself.
Back to where I started, aging. It gives me a different perspective on life. I see life as a time to savor the positive every day. It’s easy to look at the world now and see if for all the harshness and ugliness that exists. It’s easy to focus on the terrorizing acts that humans do to humans, but at my age I feel it’s very important not to get quagmired in the ugliness. If we get stuck in the ugliness, we miss the positivity, the beauty that does exist in the world.
It’s where I am in my path toward death, but I feel we must pull together and look for the positive qualities we as humans exhibit. Kindness is one. Acts of kindness take place every day. As I’m aging it seems that recognizing and appreciating those acts of kindness is important.
It’s also important to practice random acts of kindness. Everyday why not participate in an act of kindness? It can be as easy as smiling at another person you see on your commute to work. I take a rather practical look at biblical teachings, but one that’s important is that you treat others the way you want to be treated. Treat others with random acts of kindness.
The other side of the coin of participating in acts of kindness is recognizing and being thankful for their occurrence. Gratitude. A daily practice of gratitude is one of the things that brings me joy. One of the best ideas I’ve heard in a long time is a gratitude journal. As you can well imagine, there’s an app for that. It’s easy to write down a few things every day to remind us what we are thankful for.
The final lesson I’ve learned as I’ve aged is to take time for myself. Take the time to bring peacefulness into your life. Internal peacefulness is the ability to be with and to be at peace with yourself. You only really have you. You must live day in and day out in your skin. You better like it. As Bruce Springsteen sang it’s hard to live within your skin if you don’t like you. Do whatever it takes to find a way to like you. Study, learn, therapy, life coaching, or whatever works for you. Find your happy spot in you.
At my age it seems kindness, gratitude, and internal peacefulness make a pretty good life. I’ve shed the hard driving, cold, calculating corporate attorney for the happier human being. Practice acts of kindness, gratitude, and moments of peacefulness in your life and you’ll smile every morning as you open your eyes and thank the Universe for giving you another day.