Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Aging Gracefully

Time passes by so fast. I can't believe I'm turning another year older in a few days. I'm taking a couple days off from work and hopefully I can celebrate my 49th birthday as I planned to.

For most of my adult life, my feeling about celebrating my birthday has always been a matter of just adding numbers to my age. My self image has always been of the young, fresh out of college me. Smarty pants, ambitious, and out to prove something to the world.

That's all started to change in the past five years or so. My eldest daughter is now pursuing her Masters in Business Administration and my youngest is working in the same company I am working for. I'm starting to be conscious of gray hairs when I look at myself in the mirror. I see a different person in the pictures others take of me. I see the wrinkles and other signs of natural aging. I'm in a stage where I am planning my retirement years.

Physically I'm changing and I am gracefully accepting it. I'm getting older but happier, internally stronger but also a tad bit slower. As a single parent to my two daughters since they were eight and ten years old, my world revolve around them and baby Arielle. They are my inspirations and the reasons why I am where I am today. Lately, events and circumstances struck me and made me face the truth that they are on their way to being completely on their own. Sometimes it makes me sad to realize that my two kids are all grown ups now and have fully embraced the American way of valuing independence. From where we came from, our children especially women usually stay with parents (regardless of age) until they get married. I have to learn to accept the fact that they don't need me as much anymore, that they want to make their own choices. And I have to let them do that. Parenting is one of the hardest things to learn but teaches us the most.

Anyway, I am pretty well adapting to the many changes that are taking place in my life and the aging process. I am grateful for who I have become. Life has not been perfect, but in the scope of things, it has been so good. I can't thank God enough for everything. I'm happy with my life now and I'm looking forward to what the future will bring. It's a blessing to have what I have and just this thought is enough to make my birthday truly worth celebrating.