I just turned 41 last December 7. I woke up to hugs and kisses from my hubby, a serenade of my favorite songs from my daughters and love letters and a bouquet of roses waiting at the breakfast table. Later in the night, I had a quiet dinner with my family.
What more could a woman ask for? I was asked by friends about my birthday wish. I told them I have everything I wished for, and so my birthday prayer was actually a prayer of gratitude.
At 41, I find it interesting that I have taken one step closer to 50. But the feeling is no different when I was 21 or 31, which seems to lend credence to the saying that “age is only in the mind” I still have the passions and excitement and inclinations of a twenty- or thirty-something year-old. I feel life radiantly bursting in, through and around me. I feel that there is still so much to do but at the same time, time is slipping away.
As I think about the fact that I am now into the middle age, this also brings me to reflect upon the things that truly matter in this stage of my life. My values and my priorities in life have changed tremendously over the years. What seemed important before is not nearly as important to me today.
• I used to define success as being able to make it based on the standards of this world – a name, a position, a bank account. Success for me is now being happy in whatever I do – whether as a simple housewife or mother or a corporate employee. Rank, position and money maybe important, but they no longer define my worth as a human being.
• I must and continue to take responsibility for my own life. I consciously live my life with a purpose and meaning. I now seek to be more joyful than to be happy, because happiness is a function of circumstances while joy is a function of inner peace inspite of the circumstances.
• Family and real friends are most important than anything else in the world. In their deathbeds, people usually died wishing NOT that they have spent more time working, BUT that they have spent more time with their families and loved ones.
• My relationship with God is of chief importance to me. I make Him as a part of my daily life, even with mundane things. He walks with me and I walk with Him everyday, even if my walk is not always straight. I realize that I am utterly dependent upon him. My life is in the palm of His hands. Just one click of his fingers and I am gone. Everything I am and I have I owe to Him. In fact, I am nothing without Him.
Everyone has a journey - and a story of what their life is, and what it isn’t. I have danced around inevitable changes all my life, taking and missing some of the precious opportunities that have come my way. But I have no regrets. I have accepted my place and have revolved my life on truths and values that are fundamental to my sense of being.
As I continue to write my story, I want to seek a life that truly matters. I want to continue to ponder on life’s great surprises, to feed on my natural sense of awe and wonder for ordinary things with extra-ordinary meanings, to affirm who I am as a person and to live the fundamental truths that have given my life meaning.
For every birthday marker that I go through, I see the “grains of sand” running out of my hourglass. And I’m rushing to ensure that I won’t run out of time to accomplish what I believe are the things that truly matter.
2 years ago