I just received the above quote from a dear friend via email. She wrote, “saw this and thought of you.” Perhaps that is because in exactly 11 hours and 26 minutes (but really who’s counting) I will turn the ripe age of 35. How did that happen so fast? The first birthday celebration I vividly remember was my 7th. It was also right around the time my father had turned 35, and was having what many referred to as a “mid-life crisis” He bought a brand new corvette. It is hard to believe that my son, just one month ago turned 7. There is nothing that demonstrates the passing of time more clearly than a child growing before your eyes.
I have never been one concerned with getting older. I always found it somewhat comical when people would freak out over birthdays and aging. This year however, I have become more increasingly aware of my age. 35 seems like a milestone. Maybe that is because I will be closer to 40 than 30. Or because I will be half of 70. I will no longer be in the 18-34 age bracket, the one that so much music, television and media is marketed to, the one considered a “young adult” in the Dr.’s office. To a certain group of people, I no longer matter. I am sure people younger than me are shaking their heads thinking “whatever old lady” and people several years older are rolling their eyes thinking “just wait young lady…” 35 just sounds strange, so grown up, and many days I feel like a child playing the part of grown-up. I love watching cartoons, laying in the grass and looking for images in the clouds, watching, in awe, an insect do its thing (so long as the insect is not in my house) and I often bust out into spontaneous solo dance parties in my kitchen. I suppose age really is just a number, and for the most part I am very excited for the future. I can truly say that right now I am the happiest I have ever been in my life, but I have to be honest, I woke up today, a little dazed, a little confused, a little bummed that this was the last day of my early 30’s. I thought to myself, “OH SNAP! there really is no turning back from adulthood.”
By now, at almost 35, I must know some things, right? Certainly I have had enough life experience to confidently say I know a little bit about what makes the world go around, and if someone were to ask for it, my advice may even hold a little water. My yoga practice over the last several years has really helped me to settle into myself. At nearly 35, I am able to relax into my own body. I can accept the genes I have been given, the way that having a child changes things, and can truly appreciate and even revel at the fact that it was given to me. I know I am not this body, but it is mine for now, and while I have it I want to do my best take care of it and love it exactly the way Mother Nature intended it to be. I have also learned, through the self-journey of a yoga practice, how to be so much more present, in all aspects of life – to truly savor the moment no matter how great or small, and realize that miracles are constantly unfolding all around me; miracles that are all interconnected, and also all impermanent. For a while, I comprehended this idea intellectually, but it took a long time to truly absorb and feel it on a spirit and heart level. I can now chuckle at control freaks (I used to be one) and have grown into an understanding of how the mind controls everything, and the only thing I need to control are my thoughts, my mind, which creates all of the conditions from which I experience life. And although it may be a seemingly simple concept to some, it is not an easy task. Like asana, it is a practice, and some days are better than others. Through this practice of conscious thought, however, I have recognized it is SO much more pleasurable to let go of the need to try and control anything outside of me, and surrender to the downstream current.
Most importantly, what I have come to find in my mature age of even now closer to 35 , is that we were put here on this earth plane to be happy, and that happiness is a choice. Happiness does not come from making a great deal of money, or having a fancy car, or being in an elite group, or even putting your foot behind your head. Happiness comes from deep within. It is a state of mind, heart and spirit. One of my favorite quotes by Abraham-Hicks is “a happy life is just a string of happy moments, but most people don’t allow the happy moments, because they are so busy trying to get a happy life.” I am delighted to say, as I enter into this next age bracket, I do so with enthusiasm, appreciation, and a great deal of joy. I am so thankful for all of the experiences along my path that have led me to this place, and for all of the people in my life, past and present, as we are all teachers, all students, and all reflections of one another.
I have dreaded writing this blog for a couple of months now. I signed up to be “Miss October” back in July and knew it was coming, but have put it off as long as possible. So here I am, on Ocober 3rd, three days past the blog’s due date, and on the eve of my birthday, I write. I do not like writing about myself, it is sort of that same dread of having one’s picture made (had to do that the other day too) But as I wrap this up, I really am glad that I had to do it. I already feel so much better about 35 than I did when I woke up. It is funny, simple, and profound – when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. In two weeks I will be traveling to Atlanta to celebrate my Granny’s 90th birthday. She still cooks, drives, plays golf, and doesn’t look a day over 70. Now that is a real milestone.
~Brooke (Miss October)