I turned 50. Yeah I can’t believe it either, not because I didn’t think I would live to be 50 but because I couldn’t imagine that I would get old. Here’s the thing, I didn’t get old I just turned 50.
I have spent the better part of this year talking (at times with doom in my voice) about being 50. It felt like the end of the world. I was certain that I would wake up old and no one could convince me otherwise and now that it’s over I am so relieved. It feels like I can do anything. It does have me very curious about this idea of aging. You can’t stop it. If you are fortunate enough to age and still feel good in your body, and your mind keeps going, that in itself is a privilege.
You can get online right now and find millions of things that you can do not to look like you are aging – exercise, diet, creams, surgery, meditation, yoga… the list goes on. The whole thing is really in your head. When my grandmother was 65 she graduated from college, learned how to ride a bike, took tap and belly dancing lessons and traveled wherever she could get herself too. She never got old. She didn’t let her age get in her way and she was satisfied.
There are definite things that come with age. As a culture we tend to focus on the physical, however we also have also created a history. In that history there is probably some crap that sucks. Heartache, sickness, death, any or all of those things can happen to all of us and they most certainly will. Most of those things are not completely in our control. What we do have some control over is how these things affect us and what effect they will have on our current situation.
In an article from the American Psychological Association on Psychology and Aging forecasting life satisfaction across adulthood, research shows that there are some benefits to seeing a dark future. Oh wait let me explain… When we set our minds to believe that everything is always good then we are setting ourselves up to be sideswiped when its not. This is not to say you should not have a positive attitude as you age – trust me that helps a lot – all it means is that being realistic about what is coming your way and having an understanding of what you want your life to look like in spite of all that may and will happen to you is the key to having a satisfying life.
Be positive, be hopeful, dream and want more ABSOLUTELY. Be clear in your intentions and what you want and have a big bold amazing life. Also be balanced in your thoughts. Examine them and allow for all of your thoughts and feelings so that you feel completely satisfied and satiated in this life. It may sound counterintuitive at first – to allow for thoughts of a dark future but it does not take away from your other thoughts – it just allows for all of them. Having all of your feelings allows for balance and in balance (should you be able to find that) you can find satisfaction.
This is freedom and that my friends is all this getting older business is about – the freedom to do what you want when you want – play and have fun – take tap lessons, learn to belly dance – what ever it looks like to you – allow yourself to do it and live.