I’ve just turned 45 years old. As I absentmindedly applied a splash of morning makeup, I thought about this word: ‘turned’. What exactly does turn mean in the context of turning a new age? I pondered (as I do) if this word had a positive or negative connotation. I had, after all, turned older. I decided that, as with most things in life, it could mean either. It was up to me, and why would anyone choose negative when positivity is equally available?
I am fortunate to have experienced many chapters in my life. Some are nastier than I care to remember, yet their lessons are entwined with the joyous, magical experiences that make me the 45-year-old I am today. And guess what? I quite like what I see. I like who and what I am. This is my turn, my time to shine, my shine to sparkle. Turning a year older and turning the page to a new chapter is something I choose to celebrate! How wonderful to have the opportunity to experience this wiser, happier, more grounded me.
The more I thought about what turn meant, the more I giggled to myself. In fact, I was beginning to find the word turn utterly delightful. Who knew it could be molded in so many ways?
From a simple word, I decided I'd continue turning the volume up in my life. I choose to live bigger, louder even more confidently than before. I choose to turn off any self-doubt my younger self may not have entirely shed. I celebrate my life and choose to turn up the corners of my mouth so that my smile may pass from my lips to my friends, family, and even passersby. I choose to turn up, to face life and work with sparkle, with a grand effervescence.
I attend weekly dancing lessons. We twist, and we turn across the dancefloor. I do this without fear of missing a beat or imperfect footwork. Why? Well, at this stage in my life, I have finally learnt that the experience is what you make it. And if you can bring effervescence, bubble, and shine to these moments rather than insecurity, why would you choose to do any different?
I held a 45th birthday party. Actually, I threw it. There was a palpable energy, so much so that one of my friends said, "The energy is so magical. I'm sure if we all held hands, we'd levitate!"
This birthday also marked my 5th anniversary of living permanently in the UK. As I looked around at the 45 adults at my 45th birthday (yes – there really were) and at the full moon (yes – it really was!), my joy bubbled over along with my champagne as I announced, "sante!”
Never too old for a cake, mine was adorned not with candles but sparklers and additional sparklers were handed to every person. Sparklers at 45? Yes! To me, they represent more than bright light and a fizzing, crackling sound; they represent innocent, youthful joy and celebration. Furthermore, we all know a sparkler is going to fizzle to its end, so they keep us attentive and grounded in a finite magical moment.
This coming together of all my friends, colleagues, and loved ones resulted in beautiful new connections. It was my dream of curiosity, connection, and celebration bought to life. It had unfolded right before my eyes. And to be honest, I came close to not throwing a party at all. I was considering waiting for the 50-year milestone. BUT we should never wait. Not when the opportunity to live, love and laugh with others is something we can choose to do NOW. Use the crystal glasses, and for heaven’s sake – please don’t let those bath bombs gather dust.
James Clear, says this: “Whatever age you are today, your future self would love to be it. Most people do not consider 65 to be a young age…but when you’re 75, you’d love to rewind to 65 and regain those years. Few people would describe 35 as your youth, but in your mid-50s your mid-30s will seem like the young you.”
I have turned yet another corner. And let me tell you, endless effervescence and wonder are awaiting. And I’ll leave you with this thought, what does it mean to grow older? Ponder that through the lens of positivity.