It’s hard to believe that in just 50 days, I will be celebrating a half century of living! It doesn’t feel possible and I do not feel “50. But what is 50 supposed to feel like? When I was a kid, 50 seemed old; too old to be doing all the things I’m doing now. So many things rush through my mind about my last 50 years; it’s mostly good; and what wasn’t all that good, I’ve learned to somehow see the good in it. I think we all can look back on our upbringing and find fault with it in some way…blame others for our shortcomings, failures or low self-esteem. I used to do that, but the good thing about making it to 50, is that it usually takes that long for us to finally “get it”. The definition of the “Golden Years” generally means life after retirement. I think the Golden Years are whenever you finally grow up…I mean grow up mentally, rationally, and emotionally. It’s when you stop beating yourself up, stop trying to please others, stop trying to fit in, and start believing that you and your happiness are what is important.
I grew up constantly being told to “sit still”, “stop running”, “stop talking so much”, “stop talking back”. I’m not bitter about that [anymore] because I understand that it was the generation/mindset at the time, but that doesn’t mean it was right to suppress a child’s desires to do, to be, or to speak and label them as difficult or unruly because of a strong will.
That never made sense to me. I always asked a lot of questions (and still do), which resulted in being told “because I said so” or “it’s none of your business”. I used to retort “that’s not an answer” and stomp off to my room. Fast forward many years and many “stops” and now comes the realizations. If I’d have “sat still”, I’d never have accomplished anything. If I’d have “stopped running”, I never would have achieved my fitness goals. If I had “stopped talking so much”, I wouldn’t have so many wonderful friends or learned the social skills needed to be a good nurse, mentor, mother, or friend. Had I “never talked back”, I wouldn’t have learned how to think for myself, to be assertive, or to stand up for what I believe in. I still have al ot of “growing up” and learning to do, but it won’t be by “stopping”!
“Backgrounds, upbringings and circumstances may influence who we are, how we start out in life or how we feel about certain things, but they are NOT responsible for who we’ll become, how we will interact with others, if we will be well-educated, the career we will have or how we will raise our own children. We are in control of our own, thoughts, decisions, emotions etc. and only we can mold our own destinies. We don’t have to become a product of our environment. In other words, don’t use a not-so-perfect childhood as an excuse to not be better”.