We are half way through March and I am reminded that time does indeed go fast. I know it sounds clichéd but each year does seem to speed by a little faster than the last.
As my family lovingly remind me that I have a Birthday approaching, and asked how I might like to celebrate this year, I am confronted with my usual annual dilemma; I have always approached my birthday with a mixture of reflection, anxiety and like many, a little bit of dread. I mentally create a ledger of all the things I still want to achieve and experiences I still want to enjoy. I look in the mirror and don’t always recognize the reflection looking back at me. I am shocked to see extra bits that didn’t exist a few years ago and I am amazed how quickly yesterday’s decadence has already appeared as extra centimeters in places that don’t need them. And the blaze of candles on the cake remind me that time is indeed precious.
But what I often forget to do, is balance the ledger with all of the things that I have achieved. I ignore that my body is healthy, that it has produced three beautiful daughters, and whilst not quite as fit as I have been, it hasn’t failed me. While the additional candles ignite a sense of urgency, I sometimes forget to enjoy the moment.
Why is it that we are our own worst critic?
According to research conducted by Marie Claire in Jan 2014, the average Australian woman learns to like her body at the age of 45. We look in the mirror and see everything that is wrong, everything that we are not. We beat ourselves up on a regular basis and have such unrealistic expectations we make it difficult to succeed.
Why is it our inner voice can’t be just a little friendlier and more forgiving?
However, this year I have decided that I am going to change my attitude. I am going to embrace this Birthday. I am going to cut myself some slack, and I am going to be kinder to myself. I am going to remind myself that each year is a privilege. A privilege that not everyone has the opportunity to enjoy, and I am going to balance the ledger and celebrate accomplishments, rather than ponder failures.
I am going to remind myself that whilst I am old enough to have many experiences, I am still young enough to have dreams to be fulfilled.
I am going to be Thankful for each candle on my cake and the many experiences that they represent and I am going to be Thankful for every year that allows me the opportunity to fulfil those dreams.