The other day I said to someone much younger than me "God I'm getting old" and they dutifully gave me the requisite "Oh please your only as old as you feel." I hate when people say that. I am also tired of pretending that physically everything the 20-year-old can do - I can do. Oh sure in theory it's totally doable & I may eventually even be better than them at it, but it is harder, much harder to do in your 40's/50's/60's than in your 20's. That is reality. That is aging and I am okay with it. I like being older I just kind of miss being younger as well.It's funny and slightly sad that I am writing about aging when, let's be serious, 43 is not really that old. I do a lot. I pole dance, take aerial classes, surf, ski etc...Go Gadget Go! But it's been a tough year, I find myself getting so tired and so many things have happened that shook my core mentally and physically that I feel old, way older than 43. An old soul maybe, whatever, it has been a very draining year. Plus I keep saying things and doing things I SWORE (when I was younger) I would never do! I carry around a huge purse like my mom did, it drove me nuts when she could never find anything in it, now I can't find anything in mine. And I find myself sounding older, just a week or so ago I had this "mature" moment with my husband - it went something like this: Hubby "honey do you have your glasses nearby? Can you tell me if there is an expiration date on these sausages? I don't have my glasses" Me "okay found my glasses, well I can't really see any dates on it - oh wait there is a date but it's a random date it doesn't say it's an expiration date and they smell fine" Hubby "yeah they seem fine" = just a hop skip and a jump to matching 80's color splashed track suits in OLDSVILLE. This compounded with multiple visits from parents and parent-in-laws all dealing with health, old age and retirement issues has really made me look to the future and the realities of aging.
Which is not to say that maturity, at least in years, doesn't have its perks. Things start to click, you start to know and trust yourself. You start to actually believe what you have been told by countless people before you - that you deserve it all and to be happy. Knowing yourself is a beautiful thing.
Taking action to obtain these goals and to be true to yourself is not always easy. Figuring out who you are sometimes means letting go of things, places and people who don't truly belong in your life. Figuring out who you are and truly acting on it can alienate your loved ones or really bring to light issues you might have just put up with in your youth. There is a reason why people say ignorance is bliss.
So just how do we stay afloat among a sea of change? How do I become set in my ways (because I am actually proud of the fact that I know my way), while still managing to take risks? How do I keep my body, soul & mind young, strong and afloat while I continue to age physically?
The best ideas I could come up with were these: I think that diet and exercise to keep our bodies strong is important, and while I will be the first to champion anyones goals or dreams physically, I think we need to realistically look at what our end goal is and plan accordingly. Not everyone has to be a competing athlete. Excercise and train for the health benefits and the love of the sport but don't over exert because as I can attest - recovery from an injury/surgery gets harder with age.
Love is key, of this I am sure. Give it out to those who deserve and earn it - stop giving it to people who are not worthy. I am not saying don't have sex for sex's sake - by all means - have at it! I am saying do not give your heart to someone who does not deserve it. Love and respect yourself enough to realize you deserve this.
Chase and live your dreams, even if you only live them on the weekends. Dreams and goals are important, I honestly believe the only way we truly fail at them is if we never try.
*(oh & yes and B12 nasal spray never hurts - look into this people, I swear this stuff does wonders).
It would be nice if there was a magic pill we could take to balance our lives out, but then we wouldn't have to truly live them. I wish knew how to proceed, to grow older without fighting it. You didn't really think I had the answers did you? I don't so I am just going to have to wing it and go with this...
You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair. ~Douglas MacArthur