Two days ago, I celebrated my blog’s one-year birthday. How about that? It caught me by surprise when I looked at the date on the calendar and realized how quickly that had come around. Kinda scary.

A whole year. 75 posts. Untold support and encouragement from so many people. And lots of learning on my part (with much more to go, of course).

So, onward.

Since my post last week when I spoke to feeling a lack of inspiration lately, I have received all kinds of support. Some came in the form of comments or emails or calls from friends (all very much appreciated). Others came by way of example.

Case in point. #timesup #oprahOMG #metoo

At the Golden Globes Sunday night, Oprah gave one of the most electrifying and inspiring speeches I’ve heard in a long time (in my opinion, anyway).

Even though she was addressing the gender inequality in Hollywood, and basically all industries, the essence of her speech, and of the TimesUp and MeToo movements, is all about finding our own voice. Speaking up. Leaning in. Getting on with it.

In the crazy clatter of these complicated times, and with the fears and insecurities that hold us all back in different ways, each of us – women and men – must find and express ourselves in the authentic, true-to-oneself way that only we can do. Especially as we get older when we have so much to share. I believe it is our imperative, our obligation, to step up, find our way, and show ourselves and others a better way.

All of that got me thinking. Maybe this case of low-inspiration that I’m experiencing is merely a cover for not feeling or following my own voice. Perhaps that’s the path to finding the inspiration that will guide me.

“If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path is the one you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.”  Joseph Campbell

OK, there’s a little tingle. I’m feeling something. Times up!

Take a step . . . just take a step, and then another, and another . . . and . . . you get the point. I don’t have to figure it all out now, I don’t have to know what the path is exactly, I just have to start.

I can do that.

Speaking of getting started, one of the emails of support that I received last week was from a dear friend (thank you, Peter) who offered a great suggestion to help me get unstuck.

It seems my friend had another friend who had “stepped off “ her career years ago, and with all the sudden free time she then had, she decided to tackle it head on. She and a buddy decided to do something new, something they’d never done before, every single week for a year. A year! 52 things!

OK, I’ll admit I’m not ready to take on the weekly game, but once a month sounds doable – and fun – to me. If I can manage more than that, I will.

By the way, I’m open to ideas on what some of these things could be, so if you have any, send them my way, please. Nothing crazy now – I’m not jumping out of an airplane or off a mountaintop, just so you know.

I’ve come up with a few simple ideas – one of which is “throwing clay.” My husband has resumed his interest in pottery/ceramics and goes to a studio to throw said clay every week. He said I could come with him one day and he’d show me how to do it. Sounds like fun. So, I’m in.

The other thought was that I could take a cake-decorating class. Now, I have absolutely no interest in decorating cakes (eating them, yes, decorating – not so much), but maybe that’s the point. Trying something new, something different than I would typically gravitate to might stimulate the inspiration pot that I’m trying to smoke . . . er . . . stir (just a joke given California’s new legalized status).

Other things might be:

  • Only use public transportation for a full day.
  • Take a sound-healing and/or aromatherapy class at my yoga studio.
  • Staff a Voter Registration booth in my local area.
  • Take a night hike, led by a park ranger.

So now I have some things in mind to get me started, and I’m reading a lot of inspiring material, talking to inspiring people and generally feeling a whole lot better. And I can see things (inspiration) beginning to take shape already.

Wish me luck. Better yet –  join me in the “something new every month” adventure. There’s nothing to lose, and lots of inspiration to be gained.

Because . . . Times up!

Till next time,

Judy

when I’m sixty-four? Which happens today – my sixty-fourth birthday.

Can I just ask — how the heck did that happen?! Don’t get me wrong, I’m really happy to be here to celebrate another birthday. It’s just that it’s kinda hard to accept the number. And I know that it’s just a number, but geez. How did it get so high so fast?

I’m sure you remember the Beatles’ song “When I’m Sixty Four.” Here’s a bit of the lyrics, just for fun.

When I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
If I’d been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?

I remember singing along to this song when I was probably 13 or 14 thinking that at 64 I’d probably be sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch watching life go by.

Well, hello, no rocking chair here. At 64, I’m feeling good, feeling sassy.

Since my birthday is at the almost-end of each year, I’ve always had a bit of a personal tradition of looking back at the current year and taking stock. What kind of year was it? What lessons presented themselves to me and how did I handle them? Where and who am I now at this new age? What should I try to improve or change about myself?

I’m taking stock, not because I’m concerned about checking off a list of goals and achievements, but more so because I want to take the time to recognize and absorb and enjoy and celebrate and honor as many moments and experiences of the current year of my life as I can remember.

Isn’t it good news that as we add years to our lives, we can also choose to add more life to those years? For example, what a relief it is to not worry about those pesky 5 or 10 pounds anymore. Good grief, if I could take back the days and months and years that I worried about such things, I’d probably be about 14.

Here’s another one – all the striving and eggshell-walking that we’ve done to “succeed” in life – good riddance. My feet can’t take it anymore.

And lastly, what about those life-sucking relationships that you can kick to the curb now? So long! No time for you anymore.

Remember, I said I was feeling sassy at 64. This is me, taking stock.

Anyway, at this age, when the path in front of me is shorter than what’s behind me, I’m obsessed with making sure that I eat up every bit of life and love in it.

I know a lot of people – especially those of us in this “aging” category – will often say that birthdays are just another day. Nothing special. No big deal.

Sound familiar?

Well excuse me but I think a birthday is a very big deal – especially as we count higher.

If nothing else, it’s a great time to be thankful for the year just passed and for each new day ahead. It’s also a good time to give yourself a little love. Make it a “be kind to me no matter what I do or what happens” kind of day.

So happy birthday to me and to everyone else sharing the day with me. Thanks Mom and Dad for bringing me along, and for my husband, siblings, family members, friends, and pets who make my every day a little brighter, a little happier, and more love-filled than anyone could ever hope for.

Off I go with a certain Beatles’ tune in my head, a Christmas tree to trim, and a brand new day to enjoy being 64.

Till next time,

Judy