I thought by the time I was in my early 60’s, I would have accomplished all sorts of impressive things. Surely, I’d have made lots of money, seen the world, had a successful career, raised lovely children, had a successful marriage and published at least three books. Here I am at 62 and I can truthfully say I have raised three lovely children. I also genuinely love (and like) my husband so a successful marriage can be counted. The rest of the list, well…uh…no. I have seen some of the world. I have made some money, but not oodles. I have enjoyed a non-conventional career, and I have not published one book, much less three. Alas, in real world terms does that make me a failure? Perhaps.
Since we’re looking critically, I also thought I’d be more well-read than I am, more fit, and more well-rounded in areas of knowledge and life.
Good grief. I am not stacking up too well, am I?
What is going right?
Well, I am happy that I love my growing family. I am grateful that I have enough money to pay my bills and have a few pleasures. I like my life for the most part. I feel fortunate to be healthy (knock on wood). I am happy to have developed a solid spiritual life. I am glad to have a strong faith community and also a few friends who seem to love me. I also feel grateful that I have stumbled upon my passion for the written word and the joy that has come from that discovery.
Who cares what the world thinks anyway?
Getting older may help clarify what is truly important in life and what is mere window dressing.
It may also help to pare life down to the simplest components: love, health, spirituality, and passion. Enough money helps, of course. More than enough may be great, but this has so far proven elusive in my case.
My grandmother once stated that her happiest years were between 60 and 70. Maybe she had come to terms with her failures and accepted her successes.
That may be the secret to happiness.
I think I’ll go with that. Why not?
Oh, the other truth I have discovered that helps with this analysis: the world really doesn’t care. Not if you’re happy.