I hate to break it to middle-aged women: 60 is not the new 50; 50 is not the new 40; 40 is not the new 30; and 29 isn’t 29 unless you’re, well, 29. In many parts of the world, people don’t live that long. We live that long and wish we hadn’t. Go figure!
The younger you are when you disconnect yourself from our society’s nonsense about age and appearance and sense of accomplishment, the more you’ll enjoy your life. If you listen to the media, there’s nothing good about being middle aged. However, I have loved maturing -- maybe because my mother always communicated positive messages about aging. She even enjoyed being in her 60s despite the fact she was very ill. And my dear friend Mrs. Eula cousins, who is 109 and, amazingly, has all of her wits about her, lives a very amazing life. (More about her in a later post.)
I do not miss the anxiety, uncertainty, insecurity, blah, blah, blah that I experienced during my 20s and 30s. I gladly accept peace of mind in exchange for gray hair. And I really appreciate the fact that I know myself better, feel more confident about my decisions, understand my strengths and limitations and am cool with them, enjoy the perspective that having lived for a long time brings and know that I’ve endured difficulty and survived so, really, how bad is the next thing likely to be? I appreciate having friends and acquaintances who have known me a long time. I’m not a mom, but I’m an auntie and love watching them grow up without having had to change diapers. (Just kidding!) I love saying no or giving someone a piece of my mind (nicely, of course) and having no second thoughts about it because I am not to proud to admit my mistakes and I am confident of my ability clean up after them.
But I do think that aging is easier when you don’t have a lot of regrets. Which brings me back to my previous posts about following your dreams. Even if you never do something dramatic like leave your job, as I did, chip away at and enjoy them over time. You’ll be surprised how much you can progress if you approach it little by little. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.