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May 16, 2022

Becoming a more distilled version of myself

Rachel McCrickard, LMFT

CEO and Co-Founder

Today is my 41st birthday. I’m not one of those people who likes to keep my birthday a secret. I actually don’t understand those kinds of people at all. 

I like everyone to know it’s my birthday, birth week, and birth month. I remember when I turned 21, I really wanted a surprise party. My sister and brother got right to it and planned a huge party for me, with all of my favorite things and favorite people.

However, as my birthday got closer, I worried they had missed my not-so-subtle hints about wanting a surprise party so I became a bit moody and complained, for days, that no one loved me.

My siblings became so annoyed with me that when I walked into the surprise party, my brother said, “Here’s your party, brat.” 😂

If you think I’ve evolved since then, you’d be wrong.

No matter how old I get, I still love my birthday. I’m sure most of this is because I love to be celebrated and, even more, I love having something to look forward to.

I also really like the process of getting older. That might sound strange, but it’s true. When I think about the people I admire most in this world, it’s often older individuals who seem to really know themselves. These are the people who’ve seen a lot, lived through some trying times, and, often, have become stronger, wiser, and more resilient because of it.

A few weeks ago, I listened to this We Can Do Hard Things podcast episode about ageism with author and activist, Ashton Applewhite. Many of the powerful points Ashton makes in the episode are also included in this 11-minute TEDTalk.

Ashton Applewhite: Let's end ageism

One of my favorite quotes from the podcast is when Ashton says, “as we get older we become more distilled versions of ourselves.”

I looked up the word distilled and read that the definition is: to extract the essential meaning or most important aspects of.

Gah, I love that.

When I look to the years ahead, I want to become better at letting go of the small stuff and the things I have no control over – and, instead, focus on the aspects of my life that are the most meaningful and important to me.

Things like:

  • Prioritizing relationships with those I love most
  • Being open to new ideas and ways of thinking
  • Doing work that I am proud of
  • Treating myself and others with kindness, love, and respect

These are the things I’ll be pondering on today as I get ready for the surprise party that I’m sure Warren has planned for me. #kidding #notkidding

I’m curious, how have your thoughts on aging changed over time? If you have anything you’d like to share, I’d love to hear it.

Rachel McCrickard, LMFT
CEO/Co-Founder, Motivo

Each Monday, I’ll share my perspective on topics that mean a lot to me: growth, resilience, relationships, and leadership.

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