As the summer winds down here in the States and we enjoy the last holiday weekend of the season, I had intended to share a journal entry from Waking Up in Winter: In Search of What Really Matters at Midlife after a reader emailed to say she was rereading the book now that fall was in the air (the book starts in September and autumn becomes a metaphor for midlife truth-telling and change). However, when I pulled the book out to search for an entry to include, I fell into my former life and kept reading.
If you keep a journal, you probably know what it’s like to go back in time and meet your old self with new eyes. It’s nostalgic, a bit unsettling, and inspiring when you’ve used self-reflection as a catalyst for change. And I have.
As I read through the story of my life back then, what stood out most was what happened to the four regrets I feared having at the end of my life if I kept living the way I was living. I was afraid I would never:
Live peacefully in my body
Make beauty and nature more of a priority in my everyday life
Be less defended and more open to others
Let go of my self-consciousness and be bolder with my choices
This morning, I reread the list a few times before it finally sunk in that after five years of facing hard truths, accepting wise counsel, and doing tough things, I was now a woman who no longer feared having these regrets. My life had changed. I had changed. And it was time to acknowledge and celebrate my success.
That’s the part we usually forget – to celebrate ourselves for how we’ve changed for the better regardless of what still needs our attention. Sound familiar?
So, on this holiday weekend, I’m going to put on a bathing suit, get myself to the frosty shores of a Maine beach, grab a couple of my sisters who have agreed to join me and take the plunge into gratitude and joy for all the wisdom years have to offer.
Happy end of the season to you…I hope you take some time to celebrate your successes, too!
P.S. –Explore what it means to age consciously and joyfully with me at Omega Institute during our Self Care for the Wisdom Years retreat the weekend of October 6th-8th. You can get more info and register here.