I was talking with a friend tonight about the bittersweet nature of getting older. She asked how my birthday was and I told her each progressing year I feel a certain let down on the day, a sense of, “I really thought some things would be different by now.” Part of this is probably the “good christian girl” inside of me who was brought up in a religious community that valued performance and still feels the cool shadow of that repression on my skin. Part of it is also just life; I really did think I’d have some more boxes checked, goals accomplished, and personal messes put together by now. No matter how much cake or sex accompanies them, birthdays and anniversaries always feel like mile markers that flew by without care, reminding me that I’m not as far down the road as I hoped to be.
That’s the bitter. But the sweetness of spending 365 more of my days is that I realize I don’t have time to waste.
If I live as long as the average female lifespan in the US, I am now halfway through with my time here.
If I live as long as my dad did, and am prematurely taken by some form of disease or unexpected catastrophe, I have even less time than that.
I can either let that thought push my face into the gritty ground or I can bow down and kiss it. I can choose every moment of this one day to inhabit my life, honor and bless the place where my feet are. I can inhale deeper, letting my stomach and lungs and arms and heart expand, and live full into the love and freedom and Spirit I am a vessel for.
So here I am, halfway done with my allotted lifespan of days. Here I am on the edge of the coast in California, laughing as a herd of cows respond to my voice like puppies, coming to say hello. This is what it looks like to be met with the gaze of the life I am taking ownership of. This is what it looks like to kiss the ground of my life while I still have it.