Peace, Aging and Growing up

“Until you make peace with yourself, you will never be content with what you have.”

Doris Mortman

I had a birthday a few weeks ago. In fact, I’ve had so many birthdays I am at an age that the child in me never thought I’d be alive to see. I’ve grown older and somewhere along the way, I’ve grown up.

When I tell you I hope you have a great time on your vacation because you deserve it – I mean it.

When I tell you I love what you’ve done with your home – I mean it.

When I tell you I am thrilled your new business is booming – I mean it.

And when I say I mean it, I really do.

I didn’t always.

I didn’t always mean it if you were traveling to a place I wanted to visit, your home was nicer than mine, or you had the courage to take a leap when I did not. Sometimes my good wishes were jaded with a hint of jealousy, a tinge of self- regret, or a dab of self-doubt. It wasn’t ever anything to do with you, it was always a measure of me and my accomplishments against some impossible standard. I never measured up.

And then . . . I broke the measuring stick. Snapped it right in two. Yes, it was a clean break and no, it didn’t happen overnight.

As soon as I realized it was gone, I breathed a sigh of relief.

And then. . . I brought out a new stick. Not the same kind of stick, but a stick nonetheless.

Surprised? Don’t be. I am a woman. I am not static. And I want more. Yes more. I want more time, love, and chances to make a difference. I am content with what I have but don’t confuse contentment with complacency. I want more of the success, confidence, or work arrangements of others because it reflects possibility and is of value to me and not because of a misguided young adult matter of justice.

Most of the time.

Sometimes I want what others have just because I do. I am content with what I have, but I am no angel.

A special shout out to @kelly_mitton for tweeting out the quote just when I needed it the most.

Photo credit iStock Photo

About the Author

Lisa Rosendahl

Lisa is an astute Human Resources leader with more than 18 years of professional human resources experience with expertise in leading people, inspiring commitment and managing change. A former Army officer, Lisa is also a wife, mother, speaker and writer and authors a personal blog at


Charee Klimek

I can completely relate to this post. It’s strange really, like coming full circle. In my younger days (see, I can say younger days without any problem) 😉

Sorry, I digress…In my younger days, there was no peace. I wanted what I couldn’t have. I worked my tail off to be successful to get what I wanted. And I got what I wanted. Spoiled my daughter, the whole bit. I was finally feel OK with being authentic about telling others I’m happy for things that they have – because I had what I wanted. That’s messed up thinking.

Thankfully, there comes a point in life when forces beyond ourselves help us see past the material and look deeper at what really matters. Some people are lucky and realize it early on. Others have to go through a process. Either way, in the end, all that counts is that we finally know what matters and that it’s important to us to stick to our beliefs.

So happy you showed that measuring stick who’s boss!


. Then I found it, then I lost it again. Thankfully, it’s back and hopefully to stay.

Lisa Rosendahl

Naomi, you are a true inspiration – the choices and compromises are the things that immediate, in-your-face kinds of things that send me into tailspins every now and then but keeping what most important to me within arms length helps (most of the time!)

Jennifer – next time you fall off the wagon, look to your left and I will be right there too 🙂

Jennifer Payne

Great post Lisa! Thank you so much for sharing…your message couldn’t be more timely for me. Most of the time I’ve learned to be content and appreciative of what I have, but sometimes I too struggle with that little twinge of envy of other people. Such a great reminder to not lose sight of what we do have…and that it’s okay to admit that we’re not perfect and fall off the wagon once in a while 🙂

Naomi Bloom

Great post. What you describe, the state of mind to which you aspire, has often been called “being comfortable in one’s own skin.” And I am that. It’s been quite a journey to get here, but a journey well worth the taking. I’ll be 65 next month, and everyone in my industry who cares to follow me knows that, but it’s important to remember what it took to get here. I see it as unbelievable good luck to have gotten this far with my skin, more or less, intact. What I may have accomplished personally and professionally along the way also took a ton of good luck, as it does for all of us. We can’t take credit for the happy accident of where and to whom you were born, or with what innate abilities. We can’t take credit for not having been killed in the Vietnam war (or all the other wars since), not having died from some dread disease, and not having been hit and maimed by another driver. All we can take credit for are the choices and compromises (including the choice to study hard, work hard, and forfeit immediate gratifications for longer term investments, personally and financially) we’ve made and how well we’ve responded to serendipity (the good luck that happens without any expectations or actions on our part) and shit (the bad luck that happens without any expectations or actions on our part). Many of my wonderful childhood friends weren’t lucky enough to make it this far, so it’s up to the rest of us to honor their memory with our own efforts. Yes, being comfortable in my own skin does sum up a life well-lived, and one which I hope will continue long enough for me to finish the journey — if my good luck, my mazel, holds.


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