The older I get, the less I worry about what other people think of me, and the more I find the freedom to live life the way it pleases me, which is a beautiful thing.
Yeah, I'm weird. I dress to suit myself. I hate makeup. I cry at TV shows. I like to eat stuff I've grown.
It's no great revelation to those my age or older, but to me, it's surprising to find out that one of the nice things about being over 50 is I am comfortable in my own skin. I look back at myself in my 30's, at the OCD marriage-crazed woman I was, and I CRINGE.
I think back about some idiotic things I've said in my life, and I CRINGE.
But here's the thing. Those people who are my friends love me anyway. They know how weird I am. They know I am super opinionated. They know that [outside of a business situation] I like to occasionally drink a beer, sometimes cuss when I get mad, and laugh at very inappropriate jokes.
I hate pretense.
They also know I am generally a very loving person, a person of strong faith, and I never do anything half way. If I like you I adore you. If I don't like you, well..... I try to remember "If you can't say anything nice don't say anything..."
One huge gift of getting older is that you look back on your life, the good and the bad, and if you aren't a delusional idiot, you have CLARITY. You see your mistakes, but you see the good stuff too.
When I was young, I did some idiotic stuff. I learned some hard lessons.
Being really ill last spring and most of this summer has given me even more clarity. I want to stop living life carefully, cautiously, and I need to worry even less about what anyone thinks of me. I want to reach out and get to know new folks, like Cliff Brooks. I want to help my friends. I want to interview interesting people, like my old friend Jeff Joslin.
I am not in pain any more, and I want to embrace life.
In September, I am going to live for 1 week according to one of Julia Child Rules. I am going to cook a different Julia Child recipe every night for a week, for dinner, and write about it. I think it will be great fun. I have always admired Julia Child.
If you are 16 or 36 or 65 or whatever age, I urge you to not live life quietly and safely and cautiously. I urge you to do things you never thought you'd do. Travel to Russia. Start your own business. Write a memoir. Oh wait, those are the things I've done. You figure out your own adventures.... LOL
Just LIVE with ZEST. [the verb, not the soap] Be Passionate. Listen to your heart more, and your head less. [I don't advocate using alcohol or drugs or anything else artificial for this, just change your thinking....]
Here's a cute video of my cousin Linda [who studied classical piano for years but now plays steel drums] and her husband Bry, playing music. They have a band. I interviewed Bry for my Twenty Questions series because I so admire how he uses music as part of his ministry, and just because he loves music. How many Presbyterian ministers do you know who also love Jimmy Buffet? Linda and Bry rock.