Two girls and an elephant

Life, Love and Africa: With Age Comes….

I was thinking about that as I celebrated a birthday last week, and these are the words I came up with to fill in that blank.  With age comes:

Wisdom.  There is no substitute for experience. While I didn’t enjoy every experience that came my way, I can now appreciate each and every one of them.  The hardest knocks were the ones that challenged and changed me the most.  They made me the person I am today, and now that I’m more than midway through mid-life I feel more comfortable with myself than I ever have.

Self Acceptance. I know who I am, and each day I strive to be the best version of myself. I am,  and will always be a work in progress. I like knowing that. Every moment brings a new opportunity to make changes and to create the life I want.

Confidence. I no longer second guess myself. I listen to my gut, and follow my inner guidance. I know what’s right for me. Did people think I was crazy when I eloped with a paramedic I met in South Sudan and moved to South Africa? Absolutely.  Was it the best decision I ever made? Absolutely.

Courage.  If not now, then when?  I seize every opportunity that comes my way, even if it pushes me out of my comfort zone.  I’m no longer afraid of failure because I’m in it for the experience, not for a particular outcome. As the old saying goes, If you’ve never failed, you probably haven’t tried much. Since turning 40 I’ve run for Parliament in Canada ( epic fail) , written a play that was performed Off-Broadway (broke even), moved to South Africa where I’ve written two books and passed killer courses to become a nature guide and a yoga teacher. None of it has been easy. All of it has been rewarding.

Clarity: I know what’s important to me, and that’s where I choose to direct my focus and my energy.

Appreciation: I truly enjoy the many moments that make up a day; the first sip of coffee, a hug from my husband,the cat on my lap, seeing the birds in my yard (and the warthog), talking with a friend, writing, attending a yoga class and now teaching one! What you focus on expands in your experience. I choose to focus on all the things that make me happy.

Do you appreciate the gifts have you received with the passage of time?

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