October 24, 2011

Karla's Korner: It’s My Birthday!

I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

It’s My Birthday!

How many times have you heard someone say “I’m not having a birthday anymore” or something similar indicating that they are not happy that they are getting older? Well, my birthday is Tuesday and I am embracing it with everything I have and I am not going to lie about my age either. I am turning 44 years old and I am proud of it. To some sharing their real age is taboo, but not for me. You see, in my “older” years I am thankful that I am still having birthdays.

My husband gleefully announced in church this week that I was having a birthday and someone commented to me that he should have told everyone that I was 29….”Nope” I proudly said “I will be 44” There’s no hiding the fact that we all get older and we all change with age. I can remember the year my daddy turned 40. I do not know why that particular birthday stands out for me, but I remember making him a big card out of poster board and writing the number forty all over it. It was like turning 40 was the pinnacle of old age. Now my daddy just turned 76 and he will be the first to tell you that he is not old and he plans to live to be 100.

As a young girl turning 16 was a very big deal. That was the year I was old enough to get my driver’s license. I thought that I was so wise and so ready to conquer the world that nobody could tell me anything I did not already know. Boy was I wrong. Turning 18 was an even bigger deal because I had graduated high school, enrolled in the community college and was allowed to vote for the first time. Once again, I had all the answers. And once again I was totally off base. By the time I had turned 21, I was engaged to be married and planning my new life with my soon to be husband and together we would conquer the world. Well, we have not really conquered the world, but we certainly have plowed our way through a lot of muck to get where we are today. And, I would not trade it for the world.

The other night while standing over my shoulder reading something on my computer screen my 13 year old son noticed a few gray hairs in my head. (If he would have looked a little harder he would have found a whole lot more). Apparently this shocked him because he nearly shouted “Wow! Look at those gray hairs on your head. Those suckers are really shiny. I bet you could pull them out and use them as tinsel on the Christmas tree!” After composing myself a bit I told him that those gray hairs were a sign of wisdom and that I had earned each and every one of them. I then proceeded to go to the store the next day and purchase a new box of hair color. I said I was embracing my age I did not say that I was going to look it.

With age comes a lot of changes both physical and emotional. I find myself focusing on more spiritual, meaningful things in my life than I did in my younger years. Taking time to seek out purpose in my life has become a priority instead of quick, instant gratification. Age has a tendency to creep up on our physical selves in various ways such as the graying of our hair, extra pounds, achy joints, fuzzy vision, etc. Being affected by all of those are daily reminders that I must take better care of myself to ensure that like my daddy I live a very long life and aim to reach 100.

Do you shy away from your birthday? Do you find yourself fibbing about your age or worrying about the affects aging has on your physical self? Naturally, we as humans want to make sure we look our best all the time, and I along with most work very hard to look my best. As a matter of fact, there are very few people who have seen me without my makeup or hair done. (I do suffer from a bit of vanity, something I will probably write about in the future.) But what about your spirit? Do you nurture your spirit as much as you nurture your physical self? Take time to begin working on carving out a little bit of time on a regular basis to nurture your soul. Listen to music, read a book, take a class, meditate, take a walk; whatever it is that awakens your spirit and feeds your soul.

Embrace your age. For me, I welcome each new year as a symbol of maturity and the opportunity to improve over the year before. I have come a long way since that little 16 year old farm girl who thought that getting her driver’s license was going to be the key to total happiness and freedom. I realize now that age does not really matter as much as what lives in our hearts and how we share ourselves with those around us. So as I celebrate my birthday on Tuesday, know that I will not be shying away from the number. I will be welcome it with open arms, a smile on my face and hopefully if I am lucky a big piece of birthday cake.


Karla Robey

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