Reflections at 46

Reflections at 46

This is me.

Those silver highlights running through my hair are from endless grocery store runs, dinner on the table every night, science projects, Halloween costumes and birthday parties fit for a king.

Those lines on my forehead are from late night fevers, broken bones (some unnoticed for a day or two), stitches, college decisions, and the constant question: Am I doing this right?

The puffiness under my eyes from the late nights of waiting to hear that car in the driveway, or hear that boyfriend or girlfriend NOT go in your room, roughly 3,240 school mornings (never late!) the shared tears over broken hearts, bad decisions and sappy movies.

The smile lines around my mouth, as I watched Christmas mornings, prom pics in the front yard, graduations, college acceptances, fearlessness, gumption and leaving home to conquer the world.

The laugh lines around my eyes are the evidence of true living. Laughter is my default mode. I am thankful to have them; there to remind me of how much fun it has been. God, how we laugh.

Today I celebrate 46 years and I am thankful for every one.

For my birthday, I am so pleased to have my Pilates mentor and trainer, Joseph Vargas, PhD, guest post this wonderful piece on aging.

Aging gracefully.  

If by that we mean, “Just let it happen, don’t fight it”  then, hell, no!   I ain’t going down without a fight! Aging chronologically is inevitable and should be welcomed.  After all, we should all get better with age, right?  But, the truth, “getting better with age” does not just happen.

Getting better with age psychologically is the result of examining our lives (previous decisions, choices, actions etc.) and learning from them and honing ourselves into “better”.

Getting better with age physiologically means makes wiser and wiser choices as to how we fuel and exercise this gracious and forgiving vehicle which we inhabit all the years of our lives; being smarter and appropriately more attentive to it than in our wilder days (or should I spell that “daze”?).  Ah, good times ,yes.  And, even better times can be here now and in our future.

Whenever you see someone who’s “older” and looks fit and whose posture (both attitudinal and physical posture) is striking, you can BET that it didn’t “just happen”. Those individuals were interactively involved in this dance we call the aging process.  And, their dance was graceful, not by default, but by their persistent and vigorous, strategic pursuit, awareness and daily action at many levels. “Aging gracefully” is no accident; it occurs purely by intent and commitment and execution.

If you don’t believe me, next time you see someone who has “aged gracefully”, just ask them and you’ll see, hear and, more than likely,  be inspired.

 So, engage dear ones. Engage.

Be well, be joyful and be prosperous,

Joseph

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17 comments

  1. Happy Birthday Sweetheart ! You look Ma-a-h-velous !!!   Love, Mom

    Mom told me how old you are today! You are so beautiful on your Birthday. We love you.

    1. Alica & Angela: Two of my inner circle. I couldn’t do this without you. Thanks so much for your support. Love you.

  2. That’s another thing I love about you–you are appreciative and grateful.  Enjoy your day!
    Love,
    Angela

  3. Happy birthday, 2nd Momma!!!! Can’t believe it’s now 46…. I remember the big 35 haha I am wishing you the best birthday, my Lola. You remind me to not be in a hurry to grow up and I think we can both say we have those laugh lines, and they are deep 🙂 Love you!

    1. Oh, dear girl, my 4th daughter! How much we laugh during our “kitchen island therapy”! Thanks and I love you, too.

  4. Happy birthday, 2nd Momma!!!! Can’t believe it’s now 46…. I remember the big 35 haha I am wishing you the best birthday, my Lola. You remind me to not be in a hurry to grow up and I think we can both say we have those laugh lines, and they are deep 🙂 Love you!

  5. Jackie – You have always, always had a positive attitude, a loving family growing up and your own beautiful family.  How wonderful.  Forty-six, oh my.  You and Julie. 
    Your post is beautifully written.  Thanks for sharing – some of it made me laugh cause I could see myself when you and Jewels and John and Jennifer were teenagers.  Ah yes.

    Ironically today I’m going to a birthday lunch for a lovely man who is turning 90!  He still works out every day.  Coming to Mexico was a lesson on how to age well, enjoy life and ignore all the naysayers that say you aren’t productive after your retire.  San Miguel has been an eyeopening experience for me the last eleven years.

    Happy Birthday my dear – I’m so happy we have reconnected.

    1. Thank you so much, “Babs”! I’ve told you what your family meant to me growing up: my darling, best friend, Julie, that crush I had on John, and that Jennifer…so much influence on who I am today, seriously.

      90, wow! Well, now I’m over halfway there! ha! San Miguel sounds wonderful and I love reading about your life, your experiences. Just as when you were my Girl Scout leader, you are still an inspiration to me.

      With love, Jackie

  6. Hail Jacqueline, full of grace!
    Happiest of Birthdays to you, the master of aging Grace-Fully. 
    We celebrate your 46 chronoligical years, AND also celebrate your  “Biologic/Metabolical Age”, which we measured for you at the Clinic last week.
    Drum roll. please…
    Results: Your metabolic functional age is: 21 years old.
    Congrats! Everything you’ve done has paid off. It shows, and now, it’s a medical fact!
    Joseph
    Grace: 1.  elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action:2.  a pleasing or attractive quality or endowment:3.  favor or goodwill. Synonyms: kindness, kindliness, love, benignity; condescension. 4.  a manifestation of favor, especially by a superior: 5.  mercy; clemency; pardon: 6.  favor shown7.  grace, as in “grace period”8.  Theologiccal: a. the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God.  b. the influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them.  c. a virtue or excellence of divine origin: the Christian graces.  d. Also called state of grace. the condition of being in God’s favor or one of the elect. 9. moral strength: the grace to perform a duty. 10. a short prayer of appreciation said before a meal {Heck, why wait! Just say one all  the time for any or no reason! It’ll make your life better and put a smile on your face. I promise 🙂  }11. a formal title12. Graces, Classical Mythology . the goddesses of beauty, daughters of Zeus and Eurynome, worshiped in Greece as the Charities and in Rome as the Gratiae. 13. Music . grace note.

  7. Happiest of birthdays Jackie…I am your Mom’s first cousin. Your Grandma Adelina was my Dad’s sister. I remember when you were born! I enjoy reading your blog. I am an English teacher and you have a wonderful insight in all your articles. You write from your heart…something I have tried for years to instill in my students. So glad to be able to keep up with my family on facebook.

    Angela Leal Huerta
    Kingsville, TX

    1. So lovely to hear from you. Your sweet comments made me cry! I am so happy you are enjoying the blog; I’m having so much fun with writing. Who knew?! Please keep in touch.

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