Perhaps I’m getting old, but…

rise and shine

I turn 35 soon. My wife, a full nine weeks older than me, has already reached that exact mid-point of her thirties.

This is the first birthday I’ll approach feeling the same age as my chronological years. Up to this point, I’ve always felt slightly older than I look. Now, with greying hair but a leaner, fitter body than I’ve had in a while, 35 feels about right.

My daughter is four. She’s just started school properly. At that age, things are experienced on a much more visceral level. Building work on our house has meant us spening the last few weeks staying at my parents’ house. Now the work is nearing completion she’ll stop sharing a bedroom with her brother and move into a room of her own. 

To cope with all these changes in her life, she’s taken to carrying a toy dog around with her everywhere. The dog, of course, is a kind of comfort blanket. But it’s got me thinking. As adults, we too have connections and comforts that can soothe us. A great example of this for me is music. Like many people, I find certain songs have a huge emotional resonance, while others evoke a very definite sense of place.

Instead of stumbling upon these touchstones, I’ve begun to actively seek them out. For example, I’ve read how some people my age have found tea rituals helpful. I experimented by investing in a glass teapot. Now, I’ve built into my day watching jasmine pearls and chamomile flowers unfurl. It’s wonderfully relaxing.

My aim with seeking out rituals and routines is to build a centredness, a stillness in my soul that allows me to be the best, most authentic version of myself. It also increases my overall capacity to get things done. As I’ve grown older, I’ve found that the biggest impediment to success is less to do with talent, and more to do with emotion.

Image CC BY-NC-SA Chau Tu