I was too young for the cultural rebellion of the 60’s, but I’ve decided I’m at the perfect age for a personal rebellion in my 6th decade.
I have spent the better part of my adulthood in search of perfection-or at least betterment of my physical, emotional and spiritual self.
I have embraced the self improvement movement (personally keeping book stores profitable as I bought every personal growth book that hit the shelves). Even I had to chuckle as I paid for another “less is more” simplicity book and shoved it into my crowded bookshelf:)
While I’ve gained nuggets of wisdom along the way, the overriding feeling that the pursuit of self improvement has brought me is a feeling of being “less than”. No matter how hard I try I will never attain the body, the mind, the temperament that the self help books tell me are only a matter of discipline.
My finances will never hit the multi million mark “the experts” tell me are needed for a secure retirement (regardless of the fact I’ve been comfortably retired for six years).
My body will never be shown next to Christie Brinkley’s as an example of the ageless body (of course, it wasn’t comparable even in my 20’s at the height of my physical self!).
Regrets will still surface as hard as I try to put the past behind me and live in the moment.
I still become impatient with loved ones and careless with my words, although I know better. I am guilty of taking friends for granted, trying to mediate disputes that aren’t of my making and apologizing for everything and anything that happens around me.
Even though I know better, I reach for comfort in trying times by numbing myself with too much…food, t.v., or social media scrolling.
So, here’s where my rebellion comes in. I’ve decided the best way to improve my life is to stop my quest for self improvement. As the new year has begun and resolutions have been made (and broken), I’m going to try acceptance for a change.
Instead of continually searching and trying to correct my flaws, I’m going to accept that I will never be perfect, but I always try my best in the moment. Accept that I am generally kind, but I will allow myself grace for the occasional cross word. Accept that as I seek to help others, I need to ask if my help is needed and forgive myself when my attempt is less help than I intended.
I will seek to accept that I am still evolving in my 6th decade. That, as I age, I am growing in wisdom and experience. That I can trust my intuition to help guide me, and I can accept that I will make the occasional misstep.
So, how about you? Are you feeling rebellious? Do you care to join me in my non-pursuit of self improvement?
Like a fine wine, we’re improving enough as we age. I’m going to stop whining about what I should change about myself and start celebrating about who I am by wine-ing.
So, cheers to a new year and the old me!
My big remaining question is what shall I do with all the money I’ll save from buying the self improvement books??