I've been spending a lot of time thinking about the passing of minutes, hours and days this week. Maybe that's what happens when your husband takes you to a Mad Hatter's afternoon tea party during a birthday trip to London. Or, it could be the result of turning 50 years old. In any case, I've been contemplating the past, present and future. Am I on the right path? Is this where I want to be at this stage in my life? Should I take a sip of the magic potion from the "Drink me..." bottle?
One of the good things about having lived half of a century is that my experiences have made me somewhat wiser than I was at twenty five, at least that's what I've been telling myself. Here are five lessons that I've learned along the way, one for each decade of my life:
*Travel as much as possible when you're young and impressionable. “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” - Mark Twain
*Read, especially if you can't travel. “For one who reads, there is no limit to the number of lives that may be lived, for fiction, biography, and history offer an inexhaustible number of lives in many parts of the world, in all periods of time.” - Louis L'Amour
*Be adaptable and embrace change. "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change." - Charles Darwin
*Ask questions. There's no shame in not knowing something. "When you stop learning, stop listening, stop looking and asking questions, always new questions, then it is time to die." - Lillian Smith
*Be brave, even when you're no longer carefree!
While working as an extra on a mini-series for French television last Tuesday, I met an inspirational American woman who has made some significant changes in her life. From what I could glean from our all-too-short conversations in between shoots, Katrina Maxwell, an engineer with a Ph.D., stopped working as a senior research fellow at one of the world's leading graduate business schools after she turned fifty to enroll in a year long acting program. She also decided to rekindle a relationship with one of her first passions, music. Here's Carefree, a song that Katrina said she felt compelled to write after watching some video clips of her daughter when she was on the cusp of womanhood.
Please click here to visit the Facebook page for Katrina Maxwell (Singer/Songwriter).