It is a humbling thought that from the moment we are born, we start to age.
I return to this post some years after writing it in my early 40s as I am now at the tail end of my last year at 49 and will endeavor to update the journey leading into 50. I have revised this post because it still rings true and I believe helpful at this transitional time of life. The forties they say are a challenging era for all the reasons I have reflected on here. "They say", the fifties get easier but I think because you stop giving a f****!
The lines on my face are a testament, a coming of age, I cannot say I am completely at ease with the aging process because like every female of forty-something I am just grappling with this loss thing. Though I really can't quite believe it myself that I am in fact 'middle aged' just not that sexy, is it?
On the other hand, I pass the baton over to my beautiful daughter, her scarless essence, vitality, beauty, excitement, and unconditional love, I nurture, protect and support her to shine her brightest.
As an adulting woman, I understand with each passing year what it must have been like for my mother, accidentally and prematurely taken to the afterworld, her adult life too short for reflection and correction.
Our spent youth diminishes before us and our offspring blossom in all their glory (we hope) and we bathe in their grace, wanting nothing less than everything to be safe, secure, blessed, and beautiful. For love to be kind, deep, long-lasting, and sincere, yet we know and quietly fear for the inescapability of that which lies ahead, the hero's journey. The twisting, turning, sometimes cruel cards dealt and destined to take us across a lifetime to develop our wiser grown-up selves.
We walk a path, perilous, yet precious, often we are oblivious of the gift bestowed upon us until challenged along the intrepid way.
As children, we longed with great urgency to be grown-up, to be free and easy. Isn't it ironic, that if we truly knew what lay ahead we may not wish away what we later yearn to return?
The passing of time endures upon us, once flights of fancy and romantic dreams grow into responsibilities, heavy, sticky, and complicated with age. As eloquently as George Bernard Shaw put it "Youth is surely wasted on the youth".
Over Forty takes a turn, a pause, a new perspective, and the cycle of life becomes apparent.
Our advanced culture celebrates youth, and fertility wrapped in deliciously sexy, sex and freedom, which filters age and aging. The shock of a slow deterioration of our mortal body toward the process of death is not a reality that we in the west care to comprehend, indoctrinated by the marketing machine of unobtainable ideals, however, many other cultures do embrace dying and as a part of daily existence, even ritual.
When we were young, older people were just older. It was not something that you'd care to think about, an innate selfish gene, a sort of ignorant bliss, an endless life sprawled, laid lavishly before us for the taking, limited concerns, self-satisfaction, satiation, and desire.
Turning into forty and depending on circumstance, conditioning, and well-being you might think about it, you think about your children, their future, the government and global warming, family members, how long they may live, will they get sick, and god will you get sick, and where you will live when you are old, will you end up alone in a home, forgotten and senile. Have you been kind, have I credited my karma bank account, should I have had more fun? You can understand the human need to numb with various modalities and bad habits.
Suddenly you find yourself in a calculation of years vs choices and how you can best make amend, course correct, and navigate toward some kind of happy ending and at best not a messy one.
Middle age may bring new unrecognizable feelings, new pressures of time passing, and regrets of past choices can become a heavy burden, even on the most optimistic soul, including the strong, the wise, and all-knowing, we humans are all fragile and all susceptible to bad habits, breakups, and breakdowns.
The good news is, it's not too late and it is never too early to start implementing better choices. A good place to start is with our body health. If you are in basic good health that's a great place to start however, it is time to start.
By valuing and prioritising our health and well-being by taking daily action and through repetition of daily healthy habits in our lifestyle.
When you step back and see the great and grand design of your life, you see that everything was meant to be and everything is in fact perfect. Great gifts are waiting in the transition from youth to adult, however, it takes a payment of youth to appreciate that.
May you recognise your own hero's journey, and live long healthy, and with grace.
“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”
― Joseph Campbell
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