Are we really wiser as we get older? I am now the big seven oh but I’m not sure I feel wise. I feel much the same as I did at 50 or 60. I’m sure the vagaries of age will creep up but I hope not for a while yet. Oh yes, there are a few creaky bits, less of an appetite for prolonged hard labour, a preference for British mysteries on tv instead of nightclubbing. I like a ten-minute nap now and then. And on occasion I feel like I have finally figured some things out!
I do think more often about the time ahead of me being much shorter than the time behind me. Oh, I don’t ponder that in a maudlin way. It’s just a fact like the weather. And I guess I may not have time for another full-blown career, or take up sports, or climb Machu Pichu. I won’t rule anything out but I am pretty certain about the sports!
The question is have I acquired genuine wisdom along the way?
There are some things I know now that I didn’t know then….you know, back when I thought I thought I knew everything. And for sure I have some advice – wisdom? – for my younger self.
Wear sunscreen every day – while not invented until you are older, it will still be a very good thing. Try to wear good flat shoes more often and gorgeous high heeled pumps less often. And buying those fabulous ankle boots that were a wee bit tight but didn’t come in any other size will be a big mistake.
I would tell that young self it was a good choice to always wear sunglasses. But all those cosmetic ads were wrong, a lifetime of smiling and laughing would give me lines on my face later in life that will be quite nice!
Take care in what you say as you never know what influence your words will have on those you meet along the way. But don’t be afraid to be who you are and share who you are.
I’d tell myself that it was good to be fearless but bad to be foolhardy. That being kind would be better for my soul than being angry or mean. That I would remember every unkind word and thoughtless action for the rest of my life. And that I would sometimes lay awake at 3am wishing I could snatch them back.
I would say trust your instincts on everything from motherhood to that creepy person making you feel uncomfortable. Don’t be swayed by what others think you should do or be. Think for yourself, be true to yourself but listen to those who have wisdom.
Stay alert, pay attention to the world around you. Don’t be fooled by the foolish. Don’t be lazy about searching for the truth or pursuing knowledge. Read the news. Pay attention to the leaders, the politicians, the influencers. Not all are right and not all are wrong.
Always strive to be your best self. Show up for your life. Get up each day and believe in yourself. And remember that every day holds a multitude of choices and you get to choose who you are and where your path will lead.
When a door opens, don’t be afraid to step through it. Go on adventures. Reach higher.
Be less busy with your life. Take time to savour the small things – bees buzzing in the flower garden, the smell of the ocean, the sweet sound of birdsong, children laughing, a field of wildflowers, the way the moon looks on a frosty night. Look up more often. Look around. Stop occasionally to watch the sun set or a flock of geese overhead.
Always be open to learning, every day in every way. Find purpose in your life. Find someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to.
Love with gusto – people, pets, causes, ideas, the planet.
Be generous of spirit. “Do all the good that you can, for all the people you can, all the ways that you can, for as long as you can!” I purloined that from Hilary Clinton but it’s brilliant!