Yesterday was the culmination of 40 days of preparation for my 50th birthday. Every day for 40 days I did over an hour of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation and wrote a blog post. My intention was to have a different experience turning 50 than I did at 30 or 40. I didn’t want to be devastated all day (30) nor did I want to ignore it and pretend it wasn’t happening (40). My goal was to leap out of bed with joy and gratitude yesterday. That did not happen but I certainly didn’t want to pull the covers over my head and sulk in bed all day either.
I also made the questionable choice to launch this blog to my friends and family yesterday. It was risky putting myself out there in such a public way on a day already rife with emotion, but I am so passionate about some of the things I’ve written that I wanted to share them with the people in my life.
I am humbled and amazed at the feedback and support I received on the blog. From people I’ve never met from the WDS group to friends I see every day, so many people came forward to let me know that they heard me and what I have to say is important. I also heard from many people who are in the same situation as I am, feeling their way around a milestone birthday. It is empowering to find an extended community to share this process with.
I’m fortunate enough to work for a company that sees a 50th birthday as a reason to celebrate. Not all companies honor the wisdom and experience that comes with age. They went out of their way to make sure they showed me that I am appreciated and valued.
Last night a dear friend of mine arranged a party for me at a fabulous hotel downtown. Even though it was a Thursday night in the middle of downtown with LA traffic, a lot of people came. When my friend the rock star spinning instructor showed up he gestured to the room and said, “Is this all for you?” I realized that yes; all those people were there for me.
I understood in that moment how my life has changed. I used to move every 2 -3 years and start my life all over again. I just wasn’t open to deep lasting connections with other people. I’ve been in LA for 11 years and I now see the benefit of not just staying in one place but of choosing great friends and building a sense of community. I’m finally learning how to truly connect with other people. I saw last night what a blessing it is allow myself to be vulnerable enough to let my friends see my true authentic self. That is where connection happens and that is where joy comes in this life.
On this, my second day of being 50 the main emotion I feel is gratitude.
I Am grateful to all the friends and family who showed me such incredible support yesterday (and everyday).
I Am grateful to work in an environment and for a company that took the time to show me that I am appreciated- not just as an employee, but as a human being.
I Am grateful that I was able to act from a place of love yesterday rather than from a place of fear.
I Am grateful that I was led to start writing again, to document the journey I am on to find my own truth. This simple act is bringing me clarity and joy.
But mostly I Am grateful that I am here, I am whole, and I am loved.