I accept that I am older! Part 3 is about understanding the angst that merely the idea of aging brings to our lives. The key is finding contentment in where you’ve been, where you are and where you’re going. 😉
A friend of mine has been 30 for a few months, and she recently admitted it was weighing on her. My response was, “Shut up. I’m 32.” In essence… I’m older, so if you say you are struggling with being old that makes me EXTRA OLD. But, I almost immediately regretted the statement.
I can’t write off aging like “woe is me / woe is all of us.” That’s not my style. I had to acknowledge that I felt that way too, that turning the big 3-0 was tougher than I imagined, that I still wonder if I’m doing well enough, if I’m as wise as I should be.
You have to ask why. Why do we get all bent out of shape with age 30? What significance does it really hold? Isn’t age merely a number?
I suppose 30 is THE AGE we are fearful of as we all approach. It’s the age that children reference as “old.” Literature, movies and music present a skewed reality. Industry and the workplace are certainly agist. Science says the body starts to decay at age 30 and keeps us fearful of reproductive decline and disease.
Top of the heap… Age 30 may be the “official adulthood” of recent generations. It’s the benchmark we achieve and then review our stats.
- Domesticity – Partner, pets, kids, house?
- Ownership – Property, cars, boats, furniture?
- Liquidity – Travel, dining, apparel?
- Work – Steady job, real career?
- Fulfillment – Love, peace, joy?
Whoa, I did not mean to make matters worse right there. It’s just mind-blowing what all you start to measure about yourself, gauging if you have lived up to potential and if you are succeeding.
Anyway, the connotation means nothing. The real meaning of being a thirty-something is in the eye of the beholder. Take comfort in the rationale and positivity I am about the spread!
#1 A few of my own happy thoughts…
32 Years Young > I am taking great care of myself and have a goal to live to 100. I have 68 glorious years to go.
You Are As Young As You Feel > Yes, siree, I agree with this. It really shouldn’t matter what my birth certificate says or what I look like, if I feel like a spring chicken at heart.
Young As Your Heart Age > This quantifier has been all the rage in medicine today. “Heart age” refers to your body’s physical fitness. Movement is the fountain of youth.
#2 Some famous insights…
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.” — George Bernard Shaw
“Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been.” — David Bowie
“My face carries all my memories. Why would I erase them?” — Diane Von Furstenberg
#3 To end with another personal story, this one more heartening…
When I was 10 years old, I was over at my grandparents’ house. My Papaw and I had walked to take the trash can up to the road. Headed back toward the house, and gleefully young, I asked Papaw is he wanted to race. He said, “Sure, first one to the house wins!” On our marks… Get set… Go!
We took off full force. Papaw on the inside. Me on the outside. I had a great stride, and I cut over to tag the corner of the house. I startled Papaw, and he tripped and fell down. I was so ashamed I hurt my grandfather. He got up okay, brushed off. We discussed the “house” finish line in detail – he thinking we were to just run past the house and I thinking we needed to touch the house.
We hugged, and no harm done. He said, “I know I’m 65, but (pointing at head) I still feel 45.” That exchange has always stuck with me, and means a lot more as I get older.
*This photo is from my wedding two years ago, about two months before I visited the dermatologist.