Look for the Moon in the Morning

"What we call the secret of happiness is no more a secret than our willingness to choose life." -Leo Buscaglia

I'm a morning person. I'm sharpest in the "wee small hours of the morning..." as the song goes. So aging agrees with me. While my friends complain that now that they're older they're waking up at 4 and 5 a.m., I revel in this pattern that allows me to get a jump on the world. Because I work and live on the West Coast, I can start calling people on the East Coast at 5 a.m. and astound them that I'm up and at 'em so early. I can get in that morning walk with no excuses, and on winter mornings it's enthralling to see the moon just before dawn.

Between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m., I do much of my writing while watching the dawn break over Angel Island. (I live in Sausalito...heaven on earth.) It's peaceful in the morning, and the feeling of a new beginning is evident with the rising sun. It's a time to make lists of things to do and people to call.

Television is our modern-day gift to the morning as well. We can tune in to the world, learn what happened as we slept, do some exercise or yoga directed by some distant instructor. We can read that home-delivered paper in peace without constant interruption from family. The joy of maturity is especially sweet for those who had to put themselves second to others all their lives and who now can breathe the air of freedom and turn the focus on themselves. We are the lucky ones. Because we have reached the upper years intact, we can experience a sense of survival and gratitude.

Just as the morning allows us to start each day anew and do an inventory of our lives, maturity invites us to savor the day in light of our personal experience. Each of us has a story, complex and vivid. What we need now is to maintain a sense of purpose for each day of our lives and to extract the best from the simple things. A new beginning.

Rather than lie in bed and try anxiously to go back to sleep, get up and go. Resist the temptation to be comfortable or to give in to the belief that now that you're older you should take it easy. Unless your doctor has ordered this, chances are that your physical health, your mental health, and your relationships with people will benefit by your get-up-and-go. You'll feel better about yourself, and others will be drawn to you because people love to see older folks who are enjoying life. Everyone is looking for heroes, for examples of aging that they can aspire to. Why don't you get up tomorrow morning and become a hero for someone?

This essay is from Look for the Moon in the Morning, a collection of Leda Sanford's inspirational essays written especially for mature women.

Leda Sanford is known as a pioneer in the '70s advance of women in the magazine business. Her latest book is Pure Moxie, a spicy memoir of her personal journey from the suburbs to the top of the magazine field in the '60s and '70s women's liberation era. Leda's books are available on Amazon.com and online. More about Leda Sanford at www.puremoxiebook.com or www.ledasanford.com. Ms. Sanford is also an Advisory Board Member of Grand Magazine. To learn more about Grand Magazine