Today is my birthday. I’m 49. My cousin sent me an email saying, “Happy birthday. You are 39 again.” No thanks!
As I peek over the wall like Kilroy* into my second half century, the following quotes by some of my favorite thinkers make me smile:
1) “Probably the happiest period in life most frequently is in middle age, when the eager passions of youth are cooled, and the infirmities of age not yet begun; as we see that the shadows, which are at morning and evening so large, almost entirely disappear at midday.”
2) “A mature person is one who does not think only in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and in all things, and who walks humbly and deals charitably with the circumstances of life, knowing that in this world no one is all knowing and therefore all of us need both love and charity.”
3) “You can never really live anyone else’s life, not even your child’s. The influence you exert is through your own life, and what you’ve become yourself.”
4) “Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.”
5) “He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.”
6) “Solitude is painful when one is young, but delightful when one is more mature.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
7) “To be yourself in a world that is consistently trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
8) “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children…to leave the world a better place…to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
9) “Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.”
10) “I am all the ages I have ever been.”
11) “And she is going to dance, dance hungry, dance full, dance each cold, astonishing moment, now when she is young and again when she is old.”
12) “I’m here to be me, which is taking a great deal longer than I had hoped.”
I’d love to hear your own thoughts or favorite quotes about approaching (or living in the midst of) your second half-century.
* Does Kilroy still show up in graffiti? Is this a totally outdated reference?
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