Focusing on Age: which lens?

Birthdays. There seem to be a lot lately. I sent four cards yesterday alone…and then in the evening, I realized I’d missed another one.

The thing about birthdays is they can be experienced in so many ways. I’ve seen splashy, sedate and even secretive. We don’t all feel the same about the marker for another year coming round, whether it’s dressed in cake and balloons or in a card with a grim reaper on the cover.

And speaking of the card selection for anyone over 30! All the talk of wrinkles, passing wind and forgetting your own name, it’s no wonder some people flip out and stop celebrating their life anniversary altogether.

By the time we are adults, birthdays are not a surprise, and yet they have a shock factor on the system.  I’ve been asking myself a lot lately why that is. Each one feels so new and can be so daunting.

And then it occurred to me:

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Ah! THAT’S why it always feels so new to turn another year older. In every moment of our lives (and more palpably on our birthdays it seems), the above is true. No, I’m not factoring in anything other than the life we are living right now, so even if you believe this ain’t your first rodeo, this truth nugget still applies.
When I coach and in my trainings, we ascribe to the principle that when faced with a challenge, we have a choice.
We can either change:
  • our circumstances
  • our perspective
  • or both
In this case, we can’t change our birthday. Not really. We can pretend, but that doesn’t change the facts. So the circumstances are what they are.
Now perspective is another story, literally and figuratively.
So… if you have never been as old (seasoned;) as you are right now AND you are younger than you will ever be, which lens do you want to see yourself through?
Personally, I’d rather experience my youth. Thankfully, it’s always here and now for the celebrating.

Birthday cupcakes with candles

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