This week hopefully marks the half way point of my life… my idea of officially “middle age”! But really… do any of us know when we are at the half way point… and what is “middle age”? I have strived all of my life to live each day as if it is one of my last, yet also the first of forever. I am not always successful, but it is my mindset.
I chose a picture of a Birds of Paradise for my cover photo on Facebook… at my 25th birthday I arrived at Jason’s home (my BFF, brother from another mother!) in Queens, NY and one of his friends who also happened to be a florist had created a gorgeous floral arrangement that included this flower. It was the first time I had been introduced to it and I was mesmerized! It was so beautiful and made such a powerful statement! It didn’t distract from the other flowers but enhanced the overall beauty of the entire arrangement. I like that idea for myself. To be beautiful and to make a powerful statement, yet not distract from the beauty around me, but enhance it! Because there can be beauty in everything and everyone… if only we look for it!
There was once a time when I would have said 50 was old… but I have learned that age is only a number. And while that may sound cliche it is still true. I know those in their 30’s who act “old”… already feeling (and acting) like their life is half over… and I know those in their 70’s and 80’s who still live each day with the joy and passion often only seen in the very young!
I have already lived a very full life. I have studied subjects I loved, thrived in jobs that challenged me, and volunteered my time and talents over and over again to causes and organizations I believed in. I have loved and been loved by an amazing family and extended family and have created a beautiful family of my own. I have lived in small towns and big cities and I have travelled extensively throughout the world. I have continued to pursue my passion as a performer and been blessed by repeated opportunities to share my God given gift of voice in multiple ways and venues both as a testament to my faith in God and his blessings in my life, and in ways traditionally considered “just entertainment”, yet also that gave me the chance to learn more about myself, and hopefully bring a bit of joy or self-realization to those watching. And I have cultivated friendships through each and every one of those experiences that repeatedly stands the test of time and distance!
I’m not sure about the “aging gracefully” part… but I have also never been one to lie about my age. I strongly claim every single day that has gotten me to this point. Some of those days have included challenges that have aged me more than others, but those have been some of the greatest lessons learned. I have gained weight and lost weight… and I’ve learned my lessons in the kitchen but still occasionally indulge in sweets that bring me pleasure. I’ve worked hard in the gym, but still unashamedly admit to a little help from an excellent plastic surgeon to restore the breasts that fed and nourished 3 children and the tummy that was stretched as they grew. And I have lines and wrinkles that may prove I’m not still 25 but for now I’ll continue to use the cremes and potions to help smooth them a bit and much like the Bird of Paradise, I’ll continue to use makeup to enhance the beauty I see when I look in the mirror (and maybe one day make a visit back to my favourite plastic surgeon! LOL)
Finally… I’ve learned that the best gifts to both give and receive do not come with a price tag. And while this also may sound cliche, whether it is just a short text hello that someone is thinking of me, or the friend or family who makes time in their lives and their schedule to share a meal or even just a hug is worth more than any wrapped gift! But even better is when that note or time is shared with others… so if you think to send me a hello, or schedule a coffee date… please also consider others who could use a little hello, a friendly hug or volunteering your time to those who could use a little help. Instead of a “birthday fundraiser”, I’m hosting a “birthday memory-maker”… so if you take the time to send me a birthday hello… please also take just a moment or two more to send a note of greeting to someone else. You may never know the ripple effect of your smile and a kind word… but I promise you it happens!
I am far from perfect… but perfection is a myth. Today…I am a perfect version of me… and tomorrow that may look a little different than yesterday, but until my first day of forever is also my last I will continue to…
“Live as if every day is opening night and everyone I love is on the front row… and then give them a performance worthy of a standing ovation! — Sonja Milsom