As they say, “time flies”… seasons change, school years begin, babies are born and people leave this world on a daily basis. Some like to assess their lives each new year. In my opinion, birthdays are a great time to take a fresh look at where I stand and where I’d like to be at the end of the following year.
This month, I turn 46 years young. Although I will admit I am beginning to look a bit weathered, I don’t “feel” old. Frankly, I hope I never understand what “old” feels like. My goal, like many other people I know, is to age with grace. But what does that really mean? For some, it includes finding a good plastic surgeon and a stellar dermatologist. For me, it means a multifaceted attempt to feel the best I can at whatever age I happen to be — inside and out.
Physically I have been blessed with the internal motivation and desire to work out. I have a lot of friends who don’t possess this quality and for them it is a Herculean effort to break a sweat. Pushing my body helps me feel good about myself (within reason of course, I’m not stupid … age also brings wisdom). I would like to tell you I am one of those people who also eat healthy, but that would be a lie. I do watch what I eat, but I also tend to forget to eat and then get so hungry I will scarf down the nearest chocolate bar with a bag of salty chips and a side of Coke. Ask my husband. He’ll tell you I have a secret stash of Dove bars in my pajama drawer in case of an emergency.
Second, I do a lot of reading. Not fiction, although I don’t have anything against fiction. But, if I am going to spend time reading, it has to make me feel like I have gotten something from the time invested.
Consequently, I only read psychology, self-help and biographies. I have always been fascinated by reading about other people’s lives and why they have taken the path they have, and made the choices they have made. I am a firm believer we can learn from one another’s challenges and triumphs.
In addition, I love to laugh and to be inspired (who doesn’t, right?), so I only watch television and movies whose overall message keep me in a positive frame of mind. Scary movies, dark TV series … no thanks, the real world has enough of that to offer. The same goes for the music I allow my ears to hear. A few years ago, when my 4-year-old began to sing lyrics she knew nothing about but made me blush three shades of pink, I switched to the local Christian Rock radio station. I have never looked back.
In the coming year, I plan to continue my writing endeavors. I really love to connect with people through the written word. I also plan to share my love of self-help literature by starting a series of book discussions with local moms. However, my most important goal will remain as it has for the past 20-some years: to love, support and encourage my children, as well as my husband, on their own journeys.
Tell me, what helps you grow old gracefully?
Kimberly Muench is a Flower Mound mother of five and author of “My Mothers Footprints: A Story of Faith, Calm, Courage, Patience and Grace.” To see more of her work or to contact her, visit www.mymothersfootprints.com.