Wisdom, Confidence, Character and Strengths. Look for them not with dismay, but with hope. - Valerie Munroe
The year I turned 40, I threw a party and invited all of the new friends I had made since coming to the Island. The theme was “Life Begins at 40.” Everyone had to bring something that reminded them of babies - new life - and it had to be fun.
I was determined to celebrate each passing year as a brand new year. Dismay was not going to be part of my life; I was going to live my life with hope. My 40s were a time of change, of learning, of some maturing. Not much, but some. Life was one big party.
Along came the year I turned 50. That was the year, filled with confidence, I left my job in corporate Canada to start my own company. It was filled with lots of fear, finding strengths I didn’t know I had and plummeting back to depths of fear again. That year began dramatically and dynamically and just kept exploding. It was the beginning of my character-building years: my 50s. I had teenagers when most people had grandchildren. Boy, did I build character! Throughout my 50s, I travelled and I spoke to audiences from Victoria to the Netherlands. I made friends, and it seemed that as I turned toward my 60th year, nothing could get better.
But it did. At 60, I wrote my second book, a book that became the basis of this column - Becoming Courageous and Outrageous. This column has been the mirror, the reflection of all the lives that have touched mine. Sometimes the mirror is steamed over with laughter or tears and, sometimes, the reflection is that of someone who has all of the characteristics I look for in others - confidence, strength both of body and of character.
Now, in this year, as I turn 70, I wish for wisdom - for you and me. The wisdom that comes from living life with joy, from the years we have travelled and the sights we have seen. May we continue to view the future not with dismay but with hope. Remember, we are aging, but we never have to grow old.
See you on March 5th at Senior Living's annual 50+ Active Living Celebration at Pearkes Arena.
FEBRUARY 2010 SENIOR LIVING MAGAZINE VANCOUVER ISLAND
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