Today I turn 51. Officially I’m now into my 50’s and feeling some trepidation about it and yet, I’m going to try to allow myself to feel it and do my best to ‘become’ it. There’s no point in fighting it, denying aging or trying to reverse the process of evolving into “middle-age” as it’s here to stay – so I may as well become comfortable with it. Each and every one of us has to deal with growing older every second, every minute, every day too so why not honour this delectable passage and privileged entrance into wisdom and grace.
Every time I look in the mirror I look back at myself and it is tainted in a slight way of disbelief, “how did it happen so fast?” Then on to the bigger looming questions, “What have I done to change the world? And, “have I made a memorable mark and contributed in some profound way to make this planet and little better, kinder, happier, and more evolved?” This really matters to me.
At 51, what is next for me in my journey? What have I learned so far? What do I get to share with those that want to listen? What is the message that is burning within me to share with the planet? What is of significant importance in this ever-changing world right now? How can I help?
With age, what I feel more than anything else is that you get a stronger voice from within, and this voice comes from really digging who you are growing into. You become more relaxed and comfortable with your body, your mind, your spirit, your words, your vision, your beliefs and you can BECOME who you’ve always wanted to be. You get to do this with no fear as you’ve done your time growing through trials and tribulations and some perhaps, painful journeys and now, here you are!
My passion and fervor runs deep for many things like the suffering of animals and the suffering of the planet (with the changing climate and excessive deforestation and droughts, polluted waters and GMO’s), the ill-health of society due to the emergence of fast food and processed foods, and the powerful pharmaceutical industry and other big corporate interest groups. I also am passionately aware of the rights of suppressed women and the protection of women and I am not afraid to voice my thoughts about inequality. I am so darn blessed I am able to have a voice through the success of our businesses and that people do want to listen. It humbles me every day.
I think of my dad today, who instilled the unwavering, ‘girl power’ in me to believe in myself and never settle for a mediocre life or for just “any” man. And now, for me to be 51 years old, I think about when he suddenly died, and he was 62 and that is only a mere 11 years from now. Life is, but a blip on the big screen, and I have some serious living to do.
My gift to all of you on my Birth Day is to share: “What I’ve learned so far” – I hope it can bring some insight into some part of your life and I am so happy that I got to share it with you…I’ve been up all night.
What I’ve learned so far……
1. LOVE is all there really is.
2. In a sea of people, all I search for is my loved ones. Always.
2. Random Acts of Kindness make the world a better place. I practice it every day.
3. Life is too short to bite your tongue.
4. Even though I may think I am right, it doesn’t mean that I am.
5. Forgiveness: it is important to forgive others to RELEASE ourselves.
6. Forgiveness: MORE IMPORTANTLY is to forgive ourselves and that RELEASES us too. We are not perfect.
7. Life is never a ‘done deal’. Don’t wake up thinking you will ever finish your “To-Do List”.
8. You can get over sadness, even if you think you never will. While it never ever disappears, it dissipates with time.
9. I might look old to a “20-ish year-old”, but I’m not going to cave in and act that way. Ever.
10. I’ve always liked to be called “Kelly” – never “Ms. or Mrs. Childs”. Kelly is my name – I don’t need titles.
11. You’re never too old to learn and when you think you are, you’re done.
12. I miss my dad every day. I miss his brilliance and our crazy talks. And I’ll probably never stop. The people we care most about get taken too soon.
13. I miss my nursery school teacher who had an incredible influence on me at 3 and 4 years of age. She cultivated the L.O.V.E (how to spell it) and my creative, kind juices.
14. Never doubt the power of a 3 year-old’s mind. At three, the mind is a sponge. Teach them kindness and empathy.
15. It’s okay to say, “NO” and not feel the guilt.
16. It’s okay to dance in the (warm) rain or jump in the (warm) ocean and ruin that dress!
17. If you compare yourself to others, you’re ripping yourself off.
18. What others think of me is none of my business
19. Family is not necessarily one made of blood. It’s the people in life that WANT you in theirs; the ones who ACCEPT you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile and who LOVE you no matter what.
20. It’s perfectly okay to admit that you’re not OK. Surrender.
21. I’ve learned that behind EVERY angry harsh word is FEAR. Compassion works very well here.
22. A flower does not think about competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.
23. You cannot be all things to all people. (Be unique. Be different). Give to others what you want for yourself. And do what you were made to do.
24. Pleasing people pleases nobody.
25. If you want my opinion, you can ask and I’ll be honest. If you can’t handle it – don’t ask.
26. Damaged people damage people.
27. Do what you did at the beginning of the relationship and there won’t be an end. (I LOVE this line)
28. I’ve realized that no matter how deep the pain or grief may be, the world will not stop for your tears.
29. Everybody is entitled to his or her own opinion. I don’t have to agree with it or pretend I do. But their opinion belongs to them and it is not up to me to judge.
30. I’ve learned that credentials hanging on a wall or spelled out beside someone’s name doesn’t automatically mean that they are nice, decent or any better than anyone else. It doesn’t even make them necessarily smarter. The beauty of a human comes from within and radiates with compassion, love, kindness and brilliance. We are all ONE.
31. LISTEN without interrupting (this helps everyone).
32. Worrying changes NOTHING. (that is very clear to me now).
33. I’ve realized that I don’t need to eat animals to survive and thrive and I can live freely (without the suffering for everyone) and co-exist with them with kindness and share this planet equally and compassionately.
34. Less stuff. Less work. Less expense = More money. More time. More Joy. (less equals more)
35. Never apologize for saying how you feel.
36. People will love you. People will hate you. And none if it has anything to do with you. (Well, that relieves me)
37. I’ve realized that even if I fill my every day with beautiful deeds, there will be those who will choose to twist them into ugliness. (I say, “It so doesn’t matter who likes us. I LIKE US”).
38. As the Buddha says, “It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not” – I’ve learned how important it is to walk to the beat of my drum no matter what others think.
39. I have found these words to be strong and true: “Every experience, no matter how bad it seems, holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it” – Buddha
40. It’s never too late to make new and simply wonderful friends. Some of my best and enjoyable friends have been made in the last few years.
41. I get to love ME the way I want to love me and I don’t have to accept those wrinkles if I don’t want to. BUT, if I want to I can too.
42. I love eating dessert first and sometimes that’s all I eat – because that’s my choice.
43. If I feel like my legs can rock a mini skirt, then that’s what I’m wearing.
44. I’ve learned so much about life from my daughter. Now, THAT is empowering.
45. I can and should trust my gut, as it is always right.
46. I’ve learned that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are but we are 100% responsible for who we become.
47. If I want to sing in the car, I will and I might even dance too. If anybody is watching, they can enjoy the show. (Ken can attest to this)
48. Speaking my mind is always fun and very underrated.
49. I’ve learned that I want life at a slower speed now and have realized all that I have missed from flying in turbo warp speed. It’s the ‘sharing of life’ with my family (my sister and mom) and friends that I miss the most.
50. I’ve learned that it has taken me 51 years to learn all of this and I am grateful to give back as best I can and to renew my time on Earth for a few more years (if I’m so lucky…maybe 50 more because I have a lot to accomplish).
51. Every person, every animal, every fish, every bird, every tree, every blade of grass …..every single molecule has a living energy spirit to it and the more kindness and compassion we can share and connect to us/ to them, the better our world and our lives will be…That is my unwavering commitment to humanity and to be that conduit.
Love and kisses, today and for always.
P.S. The one life lesson I omitted was one thing that I have taken for granted because she has always been there for me for 51 years. Through all of our family life’s lessons, my mom taught me more than she will ever know (that “Girl Power” thing came from my mom more than anyone else). When I made mistakes she’d call me a “silly ass” and reminded me that my strength came from within and to dig deep to find it. I always did. So here is Lesson #52:
#52. I am never too old to ask my mom for advice.
Read Ken’s Birthday wishes below:
From my husband Ken:
“When I look where I am, who I am, what matters to me, what doesn’t, what feels good and inspires me is all because of you. You showed up in my life, in more ways than one. This life of mine is awash in beautiful technicolour everyday. Could it be more simple, yes, could it be any better maybe, could I ever ask for someone more beautiful in every way, no.
You came into my life to show me what awesome is.
Happy Birthday to my Angel.
Love Ken, the guy you sleep beside”