Am I Really 55 Years Old Already!



This week I had to put our red Siberian Tanner to sleep as he was 16 and could barely walk or see. His quality of life had diminished so much this past year that I knew prolonging his life was only prolonging his suffering.

I’ve had to put four animals down in the past four years, one for each year. You’d think I’d get hardened to it but I still find it just as difficult each time and cry over each one.

There is nothing like having a pet with their brief life spans to appreciate time passing.

And there's nothing like another birthday to make you stop and reflect on life so far. Reaching 55 years old today is hard for me to fathom. I still feel like a little girl deep down, even if I get a rude shock when I look in the mirror. Who is that old plump lady with the wrinkles around her eyes and the grey in her hair? Do I know that person?


Stores are offering me seniors' discounts and retirement magazine samples are arriving in the mail. If that's not proof of my advanced age, what is?

Somehow being in your fifties gives you such a different perspective than when you’re younger. All of a sudden, you realize just how short life really is and how time shouldn’t be wasted. Things you thought were important just aren’t anymore.

I don’t care so much about what others think of me as I used to. I have grown to love and accept myself more, flaws and all. That’s not to say that I don’t get hurt. I still do but I can let it go much easier. Before I would hang onto every mean word and wallow in self pity. What a big waste of time! Being a drama queen is so overrated.

I wouldn’t say I’m super adventurous with a bucket list that includes bungee jumping, deep sea diving or skiing down a treacherous mountain, but I am more open to new experiences and taking more risks.

While I still fear failure, I’ve learned that failure doesn’t necessarily mean the world will end. You learn from the mistakes and try again, smarter this time.

My wise friend Cecile said in our online chat this morning that as our bodies age physically, our minds and spirits are enlightened by experiences of friendship, love, loss, hurt and disappointment. Relationships become more important than things.

We realize that life will never be perfect and that bad times come to everyone along with the good. We learn to be more accepting, appreciating the good things and letting go of the bad.

Now I want to experience more, reach out more, live with more love and creativity, let go of past hurts, buy less material possessions and make a difference. I also want to help others appreciate their special gifts.

I might not change the world but I can make a small difference and leave the world a bit brighter because I was here. Isn’t that what most of us hope for?

Gee, I sure am wise after 55 years, aren’t I?

Comments

  1. Every Birthday is like a stop, one at which we look back and reflect and I can only imagine the memories you would be blessed with at 55 ... May you have many more wonderful years... And I know it could be hard to put a pet down but then that's life... Hold on :)

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Naba. Much appreciated.

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  2. Happy Birthday and many more, Cathy! ☺ Everything you said resonates with me as well.
    Pets are wonderful, but it never gets any easier when we have to say goodbye. My sympathies! ♥

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    1. Thanks so much, Debbie. Yes, it sure is hard saying goodbye to our fur friends. Hopefully I won't have to do the awful task again for a while now as the remaining animals are young and in good health, thankfully.

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  3. ohh it must be such a hard moment to put him to sleep.
    Old age is inevitable. But we can always be young at heart, with more experience and broader perspective on life. The thoughts by your friend is so in-depth and insightful. Wish you many more beautiful years to cherish :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Rajlakshmi. So right about always remaining young at heart even if we're aging physically. I agree!

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  4. I was 55 too this year so can truly relate to your post. So sorry for your lost. I've lost 2 dogs and 2 guinea pigs. Hugs and love. Have a blessed Christmas and Happy 2015

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    1. I always enjoy your gentle wisdom, Suzy and to think we're the same age. That's fun! Thanks for the kind words about the pets. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and Happy 2015 to you, too!

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  5. Cat, like you, I will be turning 55 soon and can relate to, "little girl deep down" and ..."plump lady with the wrinkles around her eyes" and white in my hair! ;) However, age is only a number. Chronologically you may be turning another year old, but inside, don't you feel young? Young-at-heart with the little girl inside? I wish you many wonderful birhday and Christmas. And so hard to put a pet down anytime, and perhaps more so this time of year. Hugs and blessings, Elly <3

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    1. Thanks for your kind comments, Elly. We are close in age. Yes, I do feel younger mentally than physically. Maybe I'm just immature! Hugs and blessings back atcha!

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  6. Age is really in the mind and we are just as old as we feel. So here's to many many more young years for you. I've never had a pet so i can only assime how sad you must be feeling. Losing a pet must almost be like losing a family member. Hugs to you Cat.

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    1. Thanks for the kind comments, Tulika. Yes, it's hard to lose a pet as they are like family, for sure. So true about age being in the mind mostly. Physically some days I feel 90 and other days I'm 16 but in my mind I'm always young.

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  7. I'm so sorry for your loss.. losing a pet can be hard. Hugs!

    And Happy Birthday!

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    1. Thanks so much for the kind comments, pixie. Much appreciated.

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