In less than 4 weeks I’m celebrating my 47th birthday. Everyone who knows me, is aware of how much I look forward to July every year, because I love celebrating my birthday. This year is no different but to be honest, I have sensed a different kind of anticipation as my magical month draws near.
This July is going to be different, much more exciting and just altogether the most magical month ever! This July, not only am I going to be one year closer to the big 50 but I am going to be a grandmother … for the very first time!!!
Have you ever felt scared but excited, overwhelmed but happy, unsure but completely ready, nervous but confident, all at the same time? It’s that constant pool of emotions, each fighting for dominance at any given time. You’ve been there, right?
How am I going to tackle the scary “50 Monster” coming for me? What kind of grandmother will I be? Will I be enough in my new role as a parent and grandmother?
The last time I felt like this was when I was about to turn 40. I really had no reason to feel scared but every person out there, whether they were in their 20’s, 30’s or over 40, told me how my life was about to change. Everything was about to go downhill from there. It’s really crazy because 7 years later I cannot tell you what 40 is supposed to feel like. All I know is that at 47 I am healthy, happy and active and that I can most likely give a good couple of twenty-and-thirty-something’s a run for their money.
So why am I at this point once again? What’s going on? Why am I feeling like a teenager falling in love for the very first time? Why am I feeling out of control? I haven’t felt this way in a while and it’s quite scary.
Then it hit me … it’s called CHANGE !!! For the most part of 2015, I have been dealing with and adapting to change.
I have taken some time to reflect and make sense of all these different emotions.
Whether it’s your first day at school as a kid, your very first encounter with love, your first job, getting married, having your first child, losing a loved one, getting divorced, getting older or having your first grandchild … CHANGE just gives you butterflies in your stomach! It’s the fear of the unknown …
We can’t be afraid of change. We have to step out of our comfort zone and embrace it. Sometimes it means going against what is expected of you by family, religion, tradition and society but if you don’t take a leap of faith and trust yourself, you will never know what lies beyond your horizon. Often we hold on to something GOOD because it is familiar to us, but in the process we don’t allow ourselves to ever find and experience that which is GREAT.
When faced with change, I have learnt to keep it simple and stick to the basics. I have picked up a few pearls of wisdom over the last 47 years, from family and friends and from reading many books, which I have adopted and made my own. Every morning, while I put on my makeup, I look at myself in the mirror and I have this little chat with myself. It just sets my mood for the day. It goes something like this …
“You are human and luckily for you that means you don’t have to be perfect. Just go out there and focus on being authentic and the best version of YOU. Strive not to DO more but simply BE more … more loving, more kind, more forgiving, more patient, more giving and caring, more understanding.(1)
Trust God and believe in Him. Don’t be a slave to religion or tradition but believe in God and the power of His love. Through faith, positivity and love all things are possible.
Love yourself first … you are worthy of your own love before anyone else.(2) If you can’t love yourself, how can you love your family or anyone else? If you are filled with negativity, how can you impact their lives in a positive way? Know who you are and what you want for yourself and your family and be a blessing to them every day.
Listen to advice but trust your instincts and let them guide you. You know yourself better than anyone else.
Stay close to the people who love you the most. Your family and their needs must always come before that of anyone else.(3) Respect the opinions of others but don’t let their opinions define who you are.
Don’t take anything people say or do personally. The words and actions of others have nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.(4)
People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you understand this, you will value their place and purpose in your life and know who to hold on to and who to let go of. You will learn how to adapt to the changing roles of people in your life, without blame and resentment. You will value people for who they are and not who you expect them to be. Your relationships will become so much MORE.
Family values are what makes this family, it’s the glue that makes us stick together. Uphold your family values and lead by example: TRUST, RESPECT, HONESTY, LOYALTY and LOVE.(5)
Love your children unconditionally and without exception(6), that is the only way you know how to love and that is what you are good at. Your calling is to love and to serve.”
Having said that, the biggest lesson I’ve had to learn, is that as much as my calling is to love and serve, I could not allow that to stand in the way of my own happiness. In order for me to be my best self, for my own sake and for the sake of everyone else, I had to take care of myself first. I was not born to be a sacrifice, I was born to be a blessing and to be a blessing I had to be happy. If I continued to allow religion, tradition and the uninformed opinions of others to prescribe my life, I would still be unhappily married and my children would most likely have very different careers today. I had to be true to myself in order to teach my children how to be authentic.
So here I am, still with all these conflicting but normal human emotions trying to take over my life. I know I will be just fine because I have stood at the door of change many times before. I always found a way to work it out, once I have opened the door and stepped into the situation.
I now know who I am and what I want from life. I know that I am an incredible human being with so much to offer the world. I am a great mother and I will be a fabulous 47 year old Glammy! Bring it on, I am ready! Let’s write this new book!
In July I will be a year older, still surrounded by my amazing family, which will now include a beautiful grandchild. Life will be different and new and scary at times, but I will still have my little chats with myself in the mornings, after I put on my makeup … and I will continue to be fabulous!
I am looking forward to celebrating life … my own life, that of my family, my new grandbaby and humanity…
By sharing this, I trust that I will touch the life of at least one person and through that person I will impact the lives of many generations to come.
I am happy, blessed and grateful.
Footnotes: I have learnt through my own experiences over the years but along the way I have taken advice from people I trust. These experiences, people and the many books I have read, have shaped my way of thinking and expressing my life. Here are just a few of those “pearls of wisdom” which have impacted my life in so many ways.
(1) From a dear friend and someone who has impacted my life in more ways than one, since we met almost 3 years ago. We don’t see each other often enough but the impact that he has made on my life will always remain.
(2) I read the book “In the Meantime” by Iyanla Vanzant at a very trying time in my life. I have implemented the learning from this book into my life and I have become a changed person.
(3) To me, family is first and foremost my children, my two sons, their girlfriends or wives and their children. Extended family comes next. Family is the only constant in one’s life and should be treasured. The woman I am today is mostly because of my children. Motherhood has changed me and made me a better person. Then there is the rest of my family and my friends. I would not be the person I am today without their unwavering love and support.
(4) This is the one thing which stood out for me more than anything else in the book “The Four Agreements” by Don Miquel Ruiz. The book was a gift from a close friend and has become something which I refer to often as I strive to adopt the agreements as my own.
(5) Each family has a set of unwritten values which children learn from as they grow up. These are ours.
(6) This is what I gained from reading the book “Raising Kanye” by Donda West. I love this book because I can identify with her on so many levels.
Have you had to deal with CHANGE recently ? Please share your experience in the comments below.
Life is Love