I was going to write a post about Valentine’s Day, but that will have to wait because I am hyper-focused on the fact that I will turn sixty in just a few days. Now, for those of you who have passed this milestone, you may be thinking it’s a piece of cake and are focused on other milestone ages like sixtyfive, seventy, or eighty. Those of you in the younger decades may feel that sixty is very far off and it feels improbable that you will one day be ‘that old.'
Well, I am here to say that time flies by very quickly and I am feeling somewhat self-absorbed, not my usual M.O., just ask anyone who knows me. But, I figure, I‘ve earned this delicious little jaunt down ‘It’s All About Chris Lane’, for a little while at least.
Sixty is looming so large that almost everything else in my life is obscured by it. It’s as if a beautiful sun-drenched mountain, on whose windy paths I have traversed up to this point in my life, is the image overlaid on all current life images.
I always read the obituaries, to see if someone I know has passed away so I can send condolences. Now, however, it seems that reading the obits has taken on a new intensity. I scan for ages more pointedly and when I find someone has died in their sixties, I wonder if they had achieved all they wanted to in their short life. I wonder how long I will live and how healthy I will be as I age.
This morning one of my clients said about someone they know, “He looks old, like he’s sixty. His hair is graying.” Gulp, I thought, sixty doesn’t seem that old to me. I began to wonder about the pictures we all have inside of us about what aging is supposed to look like.
I mean, I am sure that my mother was ‘really really old’ at sixty. Yet, I know, that at age eighty-nine, she still looks terrific.
When I am able to pull myself away from this morbid focus on aging and decay, I realize that I am very happy with who I am and where I am in my life right now.
Like many women, I have worked hard to be less of a caretaker and to put more focus on my wants and needs. Believe me, it’s a lot easier to do this when the kids are adults and focused on their own lives. I feel a real joy in having time for me.
And that is the beauty of aging, the expanse of the years to come, uncluttered with old issues, kids pulling at me, career demands. The years ahead seem to be a vast canvas, waiting for the unique brushstrokes of my older self.
Perhaps the true gift in aging is letting ourselves be kinder to who we are now and who we once were. My birthday wish for everyone is that we all find peace, happiness, and our true selves as we age.
May your older, wiser self be with you always, to guide, mentor, and love you to the future you are meant to have.
Let me know how you feel about aging by taking the poll below.