Yes, I’ve done it, I’m made it to 75. Just think, if I’d only made it to 70, I would have left this Earth still naively convinced that the world really was becoming a kinder, more inclusive place. That illusion has certainly been smashed to smithereens in the past 5 years. The reality that humans really are a work in progress, at best excruciatingly slow progress, has become all too real.
It never crossed my mind to post about my own birthday until a few weeks ago, when an article appeared in my news feed reporting on Debra Ferrell, a woman who, when unable to celebrate her 53rd birthday with family because of the pandemic, decided to carry out 53 acts of kindness to strangers instead. That had me sit up and take notice. I hadn’t thought anything about my birthday until then, but suddenly I thought, “Wait a minute, I have a milestone birthday coming up, I could do something special for others, too.” But then I saw how much advanced planning that had taken on her part and came to realize that it couldn’t work for me. Not in two weeks. I couldn’t reach out to 75 strangers and satisfy their wants or needs in the middle of tightening COVID restrictions that quickly. Maybe I can come up with a year-long kindness project for this year of being 75 instead.
In the meantime, I thought maybe I could come up with a list of 75 things I am grateful for. I’ve had an uncommonly fortunate life, and I was pretty sure I could come up with such a list, but once I started I realized that it would be awfully long, as well as awfully boring to anyone but me. However, a few thoughts about gratitude in aging came to me that might be of interest. Perhaps my musings will give you pause to think about how what’s most important to you might change in your “later years”. Or to put it another way, at some point in your journey will the importance of the items on your bucket list give way to the quality of your relationships with the special people in your life? Continue reading