I keep being told the grey makes me look older. I’m 47. My response? “I am older” I’m proud to be aging, it is a privilege not all get.

I’m thankful for the lessons and challenges of life they have made me, uniquely me.

Recently a woman, who is almost 80 and dealing with some challenges with her kids, told me she “wished she could grow a whole new personality.” She felt trapped by the circumstances and contention of her family dynamics, she felt powerless. The irony being she had choices, still does, but she would rather just go along with the loudest voices.

I’ve thought a lot about this, the stories we tell ourselves and the behavior we permit. They go hand in hand don’t they? We allow bad behavior from others because we rationalize it’s just the way they are, or we love them. Not realizing that when we accept -y from others we are robbing them and ourselves of peace, joy and growth. We stay stuck in a pattern of behavior that only makes sense to those playing along.

Perhaps the thing I most like about me, is I’ve learned to not play a long. I’ve made my mistakes, I’ve had failures, I’ve lost relationships that I’ve mourned but I can own that. I can be accountable to my own failings. Accountability is a foundation principle of personal growth.

I am beyond blessed with a spouse that expects his best daily from himself, as a result he pushes me to do my best, he deserves much of the credit for who I am today. In 2008 he died, in a heart attack, came back and we experienced a miracle as his heart’s dead tissue began beating again. Not a birthday, Christmas or milestone can go by without me thinking how wonderful it is that he is still here. I am thankful to be in the mature years of life with my Loverman Nathan, he truly is a gift. Over my birthday dinner I thanked him for the life we’ve created, the freedom from past patterns and his expectation that we will always be growing.

Life really is what we continually make it to be, a prison of our life’s choices or an inevitable consequence of the love we give.

My life’s greatest gifts are:

1) My knowledge that God loves each of us. We are his children.

2) My Eternal marriage to a man who strives to become all that God expects of him.

3) My children both in my home and those already with God. It is my greatest life work, privilege and honor to be your mom.

4) To you that choose to have me in your life. I hope that in all I do that I reflect the love of God and help you see your unique value.