Thursday, October 26, 2017

50 for 50, day 50: So now what?

This is the final post of 50, celebrating my 50th birthday. You can read more here.

I set up these 50 for 50 blog posts as a kind of personal challenge. I wanted to see if I could do it, I missed blogging, and I hoped I might say something useful along the way.

So now what? 

Life is now what. Life continues. Tomorrow I turn 50 and I doubt if I will actually be much different than I am today. It's unlikely my hair will all have turned white or my breasts will suddenly sag down to my knees. I won't be appreciably wiser or richer or more enlightened. I will feel much the same as I do today. I will continue from moment to moment, trying to learn a little bit more as I travel forward.

That's the way life is. If we are very lucky we learn that no matter what is thrown at us the only thing we can really control is how we respond. We can become bitter or more compassionate, we can do our best to respond with kindness (though tempered with steel sometimes) or we can be dismissive, we can curl up and hide or we can try to create change. I hope I tend towards compassion and kindness and strength and hope. I don't always. All I can do is try again.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how we are each the center of the universe. No matter how hard I try I will always see the world through my eyes so, for example, right now when my back is still giving me some trouble, it's hard for me to remember that not everyone has back trouble, that not everyone needs to be careful as they move. As I move forward into 50 and beyond I hope I remember this; we each are the center of the universe. Our own children will be the most important children. Our own pains will be the most important pains. Our own beliefs will be the most real. I hope remembering this makes me more able to see the world broadly, more able to connect and more able to create meaningful change. 

So what do I want to leave you with, you kind people who are taking some of your time to read this post? A few things.
  1. I am so lucky. Or blessed. Whatever you want to call it. You are, too. We are lucky to have the chance to try again and try differently, to fail again and fail better. We are blessed to have relationships and love and hope in our lives. 
  2. If I had a chance I would do it all again. Even with the pain and the sorrow, I would still have my parents, I would still love Kevin, I would still try and fail and try again.
  3. Love is worth the risk.
  4. Eat cake and ice cream (or whatever your equivalent may be) even when it isn't your birthday. Use the good china more often. Our time here is so brief. Please live your life.
  5. Don't be afraid to look foolish or be too afraid of what others think. Your own heart, your own standards are what will guide your life. If Brother Blue could live his life out loud and so powerfully, we can do the same. If I let fear stop me I never would have become a storyteller, a writer, or much of anything.
  6. I love you. All of you. Love is the easiest thing and I will not be a love miser.
Happy birthday to all of you. I'll see you soon.


p.s. I'm inviting anyone who wants to, to make a birthday donation to something they know I would love. You can find more here

(c)2017 Laura S. Packer
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True Stories, Honest Lies by Laura S. Packer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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