Year of 39
“We all want to know why we are here. What is our mission in life? Those people who know it are easy to spot:
Their lives shine with meaning.”
Year of 39–that is what I called this past year of my life. I know everyone says that age is just a number, but I must confess that turning 40 stopped me in my tracks. Suddenly, I felt the need to do things I had always hoped to do-one day. I also found myself taking a serious accounting of my life. Who was I? What was my purpose here on earth? Was I living a life that I could be proud of?
For the first time, I felt intimately and somewhat painfully the sands of time slipping through the Hourglass. I wanted to take Time by the collar and say slow down, turn the clock back, or better yet, stop! I have things to do, contributions to make, joy to be had!
Over this last Year of 39 you could say I took Tim McGraw’s hit country song, “Live Like Your Were Dying” to heart! I skied a black diamond mountain (trembling and praying the whole way down!), I spent a week in complete silence with monks at a monastery, I made a pilgrimage to the healing waters in Lourdes, France, I rode in a hot air ballon over the Teton Mountains, I jumped off a rock 30 feet high into an ice-bucket-cold glacier lake, I got my first henna tattoo (sadly, only temporary!), I experienced a reading by a famous spiritual intuitive, and I tried acupuncture and cupping for the first time! They really should make a Reality TV show: Turning 40 or Bust!
It was certainly a year for adventure and trying new things, but the most important epiphany, imperceptible to anyone but me, was constellating deep within my soul. What I realized over this last year was that although my body was aging with every birthday, my soul was like a brand new baby. Ageless! And that was liberating!
Socrates said, “an unexamined life is a life not worth living.” It’s important to take stock of our souls. We must have the courage and discipline to ask the tough questions: Are we living lives of integrity? Are our lives too heavily weighted in the secular, and dangerously light in the spiritual? Can we honestly say that we have done more for others than we have for ourselves? Do we honor ‘the breath of life’ within us, and thus seek out the positive before the negative, the hopeful before surrendering to the despair? And most importantly, are we walking in the direction of love…or away?
Time is a gift. I think we human beings have no idea just how precious every one of our breaths are here on earth. I am not naive. Life is not all hot air balloons and yummy coconut birthday cake. I know all too well how fragile, scary, and disappointing life here on earth can be. And yet, inside the gift of every breath, lives hope.
I’m darn grateful to be 40! Taking the lead of my Eastern friends, I’m going to focus less on age and aging, and more on the shape and condition of my heart. I pray over these next 40 years, if I’m blessed to celebrate them, that I will contribute something good and beautiful to the world, that I will continue to be a person of joy and hope, even when the world challenges, and that I will run headlong towards love!
Live in Hope,
P.S. It’s great to be back! I feel inspired and ready for a brand new year of nourishing the mind, body, and spirit with some ‘Bread and Honey’ love!!