|Being older and more experienced |
means you never have to explain
your fashion choice. Fabulous!
For me, as I start to notice little changes in body, mind, and attitude I cling to the hope that this is, indeed, the truth. So far, the research has supported this, but I still can't believe it could be possible. Perhaps your 40s is all about transitioning from youth to middle age? Although I still struggle with embracing my panus and my attention is always on the newest wrinkle on my face, I still feel like I should be in my twenties. The harsh reality, however, is being seen like a "mom" when these 20-somethings pass by.
I'm trying to age well through deep conditioning, moisturizing, learning what is more appropriate to wear "for my age" (that's what I hate most of all..that phrase "for my age" - I look good "for my age" - I am really fit "for my age") and of course eating well, sleeping well, and exercising.....but my neck is starting to sag and I'm finding myself standing in the mirror pulling my face back more often than not. I catch myself examining my hands more in awe of the change in skin texture; just waiting for that first age spot.
BUT...if I am to overlook the physical alterations, aging really is pretty exciting. I do believe if one is to make fun of aging, one needs to reinvent herself throughout the decades. Create a learning plan for yourself, learn a new skill, trade, or move into another profession. The worst thing I can do is fall into that belief system of age appropriateness. Saying "I'm too old to do that" will most certainly speed up the aging process.
For my 45th birthday, I have already planned to get another tattoo (to add to my collection) and learn to ride a motorcycle (something I've always wanted to learn). No, this isn't the beginnings of a mid-life crisis (at least I don't think so). I'm also going to start my graduate studies program in counselling and change my career at 50. Because of this, I"m looking forward and not backward (as much). I am enjoying a certain professional status in my 40s that my 20s and 30s never delivered. I no longer question my own opinions and decisions because I don't have enough knowledge or experience.
I have always thought it unfair that we begin our lives with a young body (without the experience, education, or developed brain to use it intelligently) and end with an old, wrinkled up body (but with the experience, wisdom, and education). BUT I'm starting to think it may serve us well if we are able to give in to it. Does aging provide us the opportunity to shrug off the vanity and step outside our egos enough to use this experience and knowledge to create a life beyond our expectations? Does the over identification of our youth and appearance get in the way of this self creation? I do feel that our egos and vanities (and the constant search for beauty, thinness, and youth) takes our attention away from self fulfillment and actualization. Our perverse interest in the lives of others takes our minds off our own lives.
Although it is hard in a society where youth and beauty are most valued, perhaps our 40s is about making that transition from vanity to self creation? Perhaps if we just let go of our perceived hold on age, and just trusted the process, we would find ourselves happier and younger? Just writing this blog today is making me feel more hopeful and positive about aging....
....as long as I don't find myself wearing elastic waist-band pants and a comfy, fleece button down paired with sensible shoes (not that there is anything wrong with that).