|6 Continents in 60 Years!|
I was privileged to attend one of the most entertaining and delectable birthday parties a few weeks ago. The birthday boy turned 60 and decided to throw a bash for a few hundred of his closest friends and family. It was an exceptionally generous gesture on his part and a real shin-dig (old person’s term for quite an event). The theme of the party, was to share his wanderlust experiences with friends and family- 6 continents in his 60 years. He's indulged in the majority of his exploration in the last decade and a half, right around that mid-life mark. A time, when many of us in that demographic begin to hear Peggy Lee warble in our heads, “Is that all there is? Is that all there is? If that’s all there is my friends... then let’s keep dancing. Let’s break out the booze and have a ball.” My friend didn’t break out the booze; he broke out his National Geographic caliber photography AND cuisine, native to each of the continents he visited, sharing his phenomenal experiences with all of us. Around the perimeter of the party room were six stations, each one showing off beautiful photographs of his trips as well as tables laden with the food of the continent. Of course the European table with its spectacular, art gallery quality shots of the Alps and beyond, was my personal favorite- --the table was laden with exotic imported meats and cheeses. Cheeses of all colors and textures! Heaven! South America wasn't my personal favorite, but food is my friend, and I sampled it too. Now, China, India, and Africa were excellent, but, Antarctica revealed the most delicious crab cakes with Dijon dill sauce. Believe it or not, even I would visit there despite the below, below, freezing temperatures. I hate the cold. But the privilege of partaking in the most breathtaking natural views on the planet, would more than make up for shivering myself silly. The older I get, the less I discount any door that opens, viewing most of life as just a series of wonderful opportunities. I do think this is one of the bigger blessings of aging and I embrace and surrender to the unknown, most every day. Aren’t we supposed to get more set in our ways as we age? I think not.
In my 30’s, and 40’s I was in heaven: I had arrived and still had plenty of that ammo in my much bigger tool box, along with some smarts by now as well. It was those things that I actually thought defined me back then. My ability to attract and achieve. But, it was exhausting to maintain.... investing all of that energy, constantly worrying about how you looked, how others looked at you; striving to be better, do and have more because this was the benchmark for a successful life. Virtually placing your destiny in the hands of the perceptions of other people, and so many elusive toys, is never a very good idea. Time marches on and you best be moving forward, marching or dancing along with it. The days of physical and mental “hot-mama-dom” have evolved into a desire for something more noteworthy-- a legacy--- One which revolves around, unselfishness, kindness, honesty, authenticity and integrity.