I’ve been thinking about the word “forgiveness.” Maybe it has something to do with the Jewish New Year. During the sermon on Yom Kippur, the rabbi talked about forgiveness and letting go of our sins in preparation for the year ahead. I’ve always been very hard on myself, not very forgiving. Now that I am fifty-something, I’ve noticed that it seems easier for me to let go and forgive.
For example, I spilled coffee the other morning as I was preparing my breakfast. The coffee spilled all over the counter. The grounds fell out of the Melitta filter onto the floor, onto the top of the garbage can and also onto the kitchen drawer and cabinet below it. Maybe it was my practice of mindfulness that reminded me to forgive myself. Maybe it was the fact that I was glad to be alive after hearing of the untimely death of the famous and brilliant boomer Steve Jobs. He was only 56 years old. (I was definitely iSad about the loss of Jobs. I went out the next day with my son D to AT&T to reserve the new iPhone 4S.)
Spilling coffee seemed like something that I should not get too upset about. Luckily it did not spill on the new suit that I was wearing that day. I wiped everything up and made another cup of coffee. This time I was careful to steady the Melitta filter on the mug.
I chipped one of my new small china bowls on Saturday morning too. I had just bought a full set of four china bowls from the Bobby Flay Collection at Kohl’s. I didn’t get upset about the chipped bowl. I threw it out. I sensed forgiveness and told myself to be careful the next time I put a china bowl in the drain to dry. “Oh Judi,” I said, “You can always buy another set of bowls or serve mismatched bowls again, which might be more interesting to your guests anyway.”
I got stuck in traffic while driving to work last week. I didn’t blink an eye. I put my favorite Lady Gaga CD on high and rocked out to “The Queen.” Forgiveness engulfed me until the traffic jam subsided.
I went to mail a package to my mother and missed the turn for the post office. I decided to drive to another post office, but when I arrived there the post office was closed. I did not stamp my feet, nor make a scene. Instead I put the package back in the car and returned the next day. “Oh Judi,” I said, “Your mother can wait an extra day for her new blouse.”
I like forgiveness. Forgiveness for my sleepless nights, forgiveness for my aches and pains, forgiveness for my wrinkles (okay, maybe not for my wrinkles – still have to work on those wrinkles.)
When interviewed on Charlie Rose about her new book, “Prime Time,” Jane Fonda said that “forgiveness is one of the most important things to do during our third act of life.” She says that “you can’t heal if you can’t forgive.”
So what about you? What are you forgiving during your life after 50? Do you find it easier to forgive now that you are 50+? Do tell.