When I’m confused or frustrated, I turn to writing. Don’t miss my blog post on the Hummingbird Charm website!
Not too long ago, one of my employees thought that I was the mother of a twenty-something year -old fellow employee of hers. Of course, I balked at the idea until I realized that I AM old enough to be her mother. Gaaaaaah!
In my mind,that twenty-something year-old employee is still me. Then reality sets in and I realize that twenty years have gone by in the blink of an eye. One marriage, two children, two houses, two dogs, and one long and successful career have flown by like a hurricane and I’m twenty years older than when it all began.
It’s true that I no longer party until the wee hours of the night and that most nights I’m asleep before the evening news has concluded. I can no longer eat whatever I want or lose weight just by thinking about it. I have aches and pains that make me wonder what the hell happened to my body, and I no longer get carded at the bar, on the rare occasion that I’m in one. I’m now the old person at work, the experienced one, and am the senior person in most cases. My kids think that it I’m old and uncool because I don’t know who Fetty Wap is, and I agree with them most days.
I would be lying if I said that getting older didn’t suck sometimes, but I realize that it’s just part of life and I have no choice but to accept it. Fighting it is futile so I embrace my older self, appreciate the wisdom I’ve obtained, and accept that I’m going to have to visit my elliptical a whole helluva lot more than I’ve been.
Now that I’m no longer the young kid who is up-and-coming, do I ever worry about my place in this world?
In many ways, I think think that age is a state of mind. I’ve known seventy year-olds that are like forty-year olds and I’ve known thirty year-olds that remind me of eighty year-olds. When you choose to stop adapting, growing, and learning then you become less useful, less sought-after, and less valuable, no matter how old you are. I think that age matters less than state-of-mind. Does ageism exist in the world? Absolutely! It happens to those who are younger and those who are older and to say it doesn’t exist would be naive. Both think that they know more than the other, but each has something to teach the other. I now know who Fetty Wap is, and my kids learn from their old mom every day. I learn from my younger managers and employees and hopefully in turn, they learn from me. Because we co-exist and appreciate each other, the world is fuller and richer.
I’ve never felt less valuable because of my age, whether it was to my family, my job, or the world. In many ways, I have so much more to contribute now. I’m wiser, smarter, better organized, more patient, and more intuitive than I’ve ever been. I’m also kinder and better able to let go of things that have hindered me in the past, like toxic people and unnecessary anger. While I no longer have the body of a twenty year old, I am more comfortable in my own skin, yet still willing to improve myself. As with anything in life, age is about perspective and the willingness to have an open heart and an open mind.
There are times when I wish that I still got carded, but I wouldn’t trade my life now, for any of it. Even though I’m older, I wouldn’t want to learn all of those difficult lessons all over again or struggle through the growing pains. I’ve earned every laugh line and worry line that’s on my face, and I’m stronger for every trial and tribulation that I’ve endured. So, I say to Hell with ageism. Mine will never stop me or define me completely, and if I decide to write another book, get a tattoo, or dye my hair pink when I’m 70, then so be it. The world will just have to be prepared and deal with me! 😊😊😊
Yesterday, I was 26.
Well not really. I haven’t been 26 in… Never mind. That isn’t the point. I think a lot about getting older, especially on people’s birthday.
Today is my husband’s birthday. He’s as funny and handsome as ever. He gets better with age, in every way, though he staunchly disagrees. He was cute in his 20s and good-looking in his 30s. But I think he’s as hot as he’s everbeen. He’s no longer the 20 something year old boy that I fell in love with. Instead, he is truly a man, wiser than ever and comfortable in his own skin, which makes him incredibly attractive.
As I am aging, Mother Nature and I are definitely at odds. I’m wiser, as well. But as for the other stuff.. perhaps it only works for men? After all, I was more comfortable in my skin in my 20s than I am now. But I wonder if it’s the age that really matters, or some mistaken notion of what growing older gracefully really is?
I’ve spent nearly two decades celebrating my husband’s birthday with him. And even that has gone so quickly. My children are no longer babies and my puppy is now an old lady. As for me, I am at a crossroads. Either I can whine about getting older or just accept that my reckless youth is gone. I have this wonderful opportunity to embrace my mistakes and grow from my past. I have now have gift of hindsight, insight, and patience; all of these things missing when I was younger.
But let’s be honest. It can be depressing to get older. The crows feet, the slowing metabolism, and having things that sag that didn’t used to. Some days it just downright sucks. But it happens to all of us, and we have to accept it.
I look at my husband and I’m encouraged. He will always be a couple of years older than I am, but he makes aging look so good. He’s got the levity of a guy have his age, but the wisdom and perspective that only comes from experiencing life.
I think I want to be him when I finally grow up. 64 is just a stones throw away… my boys will be men, possibly with children of their own. And I’ll be much older than I am now. I hope that when I’m 64, that I still think of these years as my youth. I hope that I’m wiser, better, and that I’m no longer grappling with Mother Nature.
I hope that she’s been kind to me and that I’ve accepted her. And I hope that by then I’ve adapted a little of my husband’s hotness, as well as his levity, when I’m 64.
My children measure time, regularly.
They often remark on how fast the weekend has gone or how slow time goes when they are bored. They are more aware of time than I was at their age. Teaching them to “live in the moment” or “to be patient” have been every day lessons in our home, but ones worth repeating.
As 2013 is now finished, it’s the first time in many years that I can look back and feel peaceful conclusion. The year is over and with it is comes some much needed closure.
Writing two books and finishing them was a huge accomplishment and a lifelong ambition in 2013. I gained a sister-in-law, because closer to my family, and learned how to prioritize the important things in my life. I’ve watched my children grow another year older and seen my niece go another year cancer-free. I’ve grown emotionally and intellectually into a person that I finally feel proud of.
Another New Year means that I’ll be another year older also. I struggle against it like most people my age do. I want my twenty one year old body with the experienced mind that I have now. Somehow it doesn’t seem right to have wasted all of my beautiful youth on such stupidity, though I realize it was just meant to be that way. I realize that I have no choice but to accept it and age gracefully.
I’ve never been one to make NY resolutions. But this year, I am going to resolve to be healthier. It’s selfish really. I want to look better, feel better, and live longer. And while none of that guarantees that I won’t get hit by a bus tomorrow, I can just do my best.
2013 wasn’t the worst year that I’ve ever had, and it wasn’t the best. But there were a lot of beautiful moments that I’ll always treasure.
I know that I have a lot to look forward to, which is a beautiful thing. I am going into the year with a new perspective and excitement that I haven’t been able to muster for a while. Most importantly, I am counting every beautiful thing and person that I have in my life. I certainly haven’t done anything to deserve them, yet they are there.
I hope that anyone reading this has a wonderful 2014. And if life hasn’t been great, I hope that you find promise. Hope is sometimes all you need to pull you into a life that is worthwhile. Believe me, I know.
Much Love and Happy New Year!