I love birthdays! Today I’m taking full advantage of what I think of as birthday privileges—feeling like a kid, treating myself to things I’d normally avoid eating, taking it easier, allowing myself time on the phone during my work hours to chat with friends who call to give me good wishes. That’s what birthdays are for!!!

Birthdays are not for regret and getting depressed!

Unfulfilled ambitions get more pronounced as years pass. Do you stress over what you don’t have or haven’t accomplished? In my DoorMat days I worried that I was ticking away my “good years” and soon it would become too late to “become someone.” I didn’t recognize I already was someone. My self-esteem plummeted from worries about being too old to pursue dreams. I was in my twenties! Thank goodness I proved me wrong! Developing self-esteem motivated me to go for the gold as I got older.

Doubting yourself impedes you. Birthdays can make you wonder if you can continue to have the energy needed to continue following your passions. They can also bring up questions about how you’ll cope with competition from younger people in your field and concerns about not looking as good as them. Understand that your age doesn’t stop you! YOU stop you by buying into the belief that getting older limits you.

Why not make the most of the rest of every year instead of letting concern dampen them.

A major contributor to a youthful appearance is happiness. Unhappy people take the doom course. If they feel lousy about aging, they want company and try to undermine the happy activities of others, using age as an excuse. I’m knocked for taking off with a backpack to places a woman my age “shouldn’t go to alone.” SHOULD! I figure they’re dying to go but can’t. Not me! Let them point out my age. I’ll point back, with a postcard from my next destination. Last summer I went to Alaska solo and had a blast!

George Bernard Shaw said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.

I’m playing today and will keep playing the game of life every day. As I said, the only one who can stop you from doing something is you! People decide at a certain age they must do things differently. NOT!! Like Shaw said, if you limit what you can do because of your age, you’ll grow old. Age doesn’t have to stop you from playing or pursuing dreams or staying fit or looking good!

I continue to overcome hurdles and every time I do, learn that I’m capable of most anything I put my mind to. I tend to date guys who are a bit younger than me. Often one will say that while the calendar says I’m older, I’m younger than him in every other way. ? My spirit has grown and flourished, not gotten old.

So don’t be scared of birthdays!

Come out and play! Embrace yourself and your years of experience and be grateful for what you have, instead of lamenting about what you think getting older will take away. Why ruin the rest of your years? Take life one delicious step at a time. I thought I was over in my twenties when I was a DoorMat. Now that I’ve recovered, every day that makes me older is a gift. Enjoy!

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