(Estimated reading time 1.5 minutes)
In a couple of weeks, I will be turning 50.
In a world that idolizes youth, I am not afraid to tell you that 50 is better than 40. It’s better than 30 and it much better than 20. 50 is to be celebrated! 50 brings mortality into view in a way that is both liberating and inspiring. What? Reminding myself of mortality is liberating and inspiring? Yes. It creates a sense of urgency, of purpose and focus.
Turning 50 crystalizes the impermanence of it all in such a way that makes me want to squeeze the juice out of this moment, celebrate every mundane detail knowing it won’t last. We kid ourselves that what we have now will be forever. It won’t. Knowing that things will end (whether that is the Big End or the smaller transitions of life) enables me to endure the difficulties with grace, savour the comfort of the familiar and vibrantly rejoice in the aliveness of what is now. It makes me look at it, really look at it and appreciate, knowing that one day the now will only be a memory.
The urgency settles on me like the cloak of a superhero, giving me the gift of being awake, alert and determined. I don’t know what the next decade will bring, but I do know this: if I am given the time, I’m going to make it count.
“Everyone knows they’re going to die,’ he said again, ‘but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently.”
“It’s very simple. As you grow, you learn more… Aging is not just decay, you know. It’s growth. It’s more than the negative that you’re going to die, it’s also the positive that you understand you’re going to die, and that you live a better life because of it.”
Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie
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