"Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." -Leonard Cohen
Today, I celebrate 40 years of life! Supposedly you can do whatever you want on your birthday, so I’m going to tell you how I feel about something. There's something I don't get - our culture’s obsession with anti-aging, particularly in the holistic health movement.
What ever happened to growing old gracefully?
On the one end of the spectrum, you have people who are turning themselves into plastic with surgery and botox. And on the other end, you’ve got the holistic health movement with an unconscious belief that by doing all the “right” things, they are going to prevent pain, suffering, disease and death. Sure, you can improve your quality of life with these tools. I know I have, but you can’t control LIFE with these tools.
My aunt, who suddenly passed away a few years ago, had a saying... “Life is a puckered asshole.” Yes, it is! Sometimes, life is a puckered asshole. Isn’t that the perfect description? Saying it makes you feel good because it’s true.
Other times, life is the opposite of a puckered asshole (whatever that is). Sometimes life is a wonderful experience full of joy.
And that’s why I love birthdays. I am still here. I am alive. I am a creative being. I enjoy bad days and good days knowing that it could be otherwise. From my perspective, lamenting another birthday is like hating your body. It doesn’t make any sense and is certainly not living in a model of wellness.
Each birthday also brings a welcome maturity that only time on this planet can give you. For me that has meant an increased acceptance of life and myself.
I was 36 years old when I gave birth to my son. A few months into motherhood, I didn’t know if it was day or night, or even what day it was. I realized that THIS IS IT. Deep in the trenches of motherhood, in the space of feeling like I had nothing to look forward to, but another diaper change or another fifteen minutes of breastfeeding, I found acceptance.