If you want to look toward the future with excitement about the possibilities, as opposed to dread of getting wrinkled or getting ill, this is the post for you!
Last week I read a quote about getting older that went something like: “As you get older, you become the person you should have always been.” I thought to myself, that’s exactly how I am starting to feel more and more…cutting through all the superfluous stuff in my life to become who I actually am.
It may have been brought on by the fact that one of my personal missions in 2016 is to massively downsize my belongings, my commitments, anything that is not aligned with exactly what I want my life to be about. Although this is a lengthy process, I have just started coming to terms with my photo collection (print photos and digital).
I may dedicate an entire post (or several) to this one day, but as I’ve mentioned before, I honestly believe that decluttering your life is one of the keys to wellbeing. I have always loved photos, and have been pretty organized about displaying/organizing them. But after three kids and a busy life, my collection was out of control and has been on my to do list for at least three or four years. So, I finally just started…knowing it’s going to take me months to get it done.
It’s quite a trip to go down memory lane throughout an entire day, which is what I did last week when I finally got down to the task. Starting to declutter my photos means looking through every photo and discarding some of them before I reorganize what’s left. It gave me a chance to see the journey of my life from child until present. And the quote above really resonated with me.
Most importantly though, it made me think: What will my photo collection look like in ten or twenty years? What photos will I keep and which ones will I discard? What I really want is to take less photos, of just important things, and not feel much of a need to discard too many in the future. Instead of taking 200 photos during a summer holiday, I want to take 10 or 15 as a “souvenir” and enjoy the time with my family and friends without snapping shots every few minutes.
I want to be “on point” more and more with where my life is headed without “stuff” holding me back or even distracting me. Looking back on photos could be a way to check if I’m on the right course.
In parallel to this, my daughter’s ski instructor got me thinking too! My six-year-old finished ski school and got her beloved medal for the season after 40 hours of skiing with other children her age and her 65+ year old ski instructor, Jean-Louis. I don’t actually know Jean-Louis’ age, but since he taught my husband to ski some 40 years ago too (can you believe it?), I figured he would have to be at least 65.
Jean-Louis is a handsome athlete with the loveliest smile, a great sense of humor, and abounding energy! He seems to be in a good mood always, dispenses advice without sounding overly serious, obviously loves what he does, and enjoys being around people of all ages!
It made me think about getting older myself and what I want my life to look like post 65! Luckily for me, I have a few great examples of people in my life, like Jean-Louis, who are thriving later in life, through the ups and downs of getting older. One of them is my great aunt Esther, now in her 90s. I’ve written about her before here, such is the inspiration I get from her continuously.
And another is a distant relative, Emilie, who is in her 80s now, living alone after her husband died many years ago: a vibrant example of what a woman can be like later in life. Emilie pays attention to her health and wellbeing, gets out to exercise every day, has built a community of friends via her love of golf and the outdoors, downsized her home and possessions and lives in a beautiful place not dragged down by stuff and relics, offers part of her time for others, pays attention to how she looks, and is usually in a great mood. She is a true inspiration and someone I would love to be like when I’m 80!
So in the spirit of my journey this year, here are three ways I plan on getting excited about getting older. The focus is on getting closer and closer to the person I am at my core … and, of course, to enjoy life along the way by looking forward with excitement/energy/and no fear!
Find Examples Of Older People You Admire
Jean-Louis, Emilie and Esther top my list for now, but I am always on the lookout to admire, emulate, and learn from other people, older than myself, who live great lives! It’s not about finding perfect lives – everyone has their ups and downs, tragedies, failures… What you want to look out for are real, authentic people spreading great energy around. You’ll instantly know it when you meet them. And when you do, ask them all about their lives, how they live, and just enjoy learning from someone who has had more time on Earth than you!
No matter what your age, visualize yourself in 10, 20, 30 years. What do you want your life to look like? What do you want to be doing? Where do you want to live? What are your hobbies, your passions and how often will you be doing them? Who do you want by your side? What “stuff” do you want to own/not own? Visualizing your future is a powerful tool that can help you steer your life in the direction you want to go. For example, if you want to be a vibrant, energetic, healthy person later in life, there’s no time like the present to make sure you are taking care of your wellbeing!
Declutter On Many Levels
It goes without saying, that getting rid of excess stuff is good for your wellbeing. But aside from cleaning out your house (and feeling great at the “lightness” of your surroundings), decluttering includes getting rid of those commitments, people, and time suckers all around that do not align with your personal goals and where you want to be headed. Go back to your visualization exercise above and figure out if what you have/the people you hang out with/the commitments that take up your time are worth it. There should be no guilt in letting go of those things that don’t get you to where you’re going. Life is short. Time is luxury. Don’t let unnecessary things/people/commitments rob you of who you are meant to be and how you want to live!
There you go – hoping you might get some inspiration from this blog post! And don’t forget: When you inspire others, you’re actually inspiring yourself at the same time! For added inspiration, follow us on Facebook or Instagram.
See you here next week!!!