How Do You Feel About Getting Older?

Well, my response is, “I’m only 8! I don’t think about that!” ;)

With the exception of making big plans for my 9th birthday, I barely look ahead. This is something that I always see people talking about though, so every once in a while I bring it up.

There seems to be three types of people;

The ones who want to grow old gracefully
The ones who try to fight it every step of the way
and the ones who don’t even notice

If you were to ask people straight out, ‘How do you feel about getting older?’ nobody seems to want to admit they hate the idea. But what they do say pretty much translates into that.

For the record, I don’t ask this too often because who cares, really and what, do you really think some skin product ad is going to stop your next birthday from coming?…but I think it can prompt us to take a look at some deeper issues.

Middle age is perhaps more of a hurdle than old age. I guess people want to be new wine or fine wine, but nobody seems to like the process of making wine which happens in between.

If you have ever had someone walk in the room when you are renovating, you feel the need to explain that it’s going to get better. Some kind of paranoia kicks in where you think they will react to your exposed drywall in way that makes them shake their head and leave. The same paranoia happens with middle age. We don’t want friends to see us with no make-up because they will never believe we are good for anything at this point. That is the mindset, but I hate it. It was Barbara Hershey who said, “I’m not afraid of aging but more afraid of people’s reaction to my aging.” Sad, right?

Surgery and make-up and all the things we do are to ensure people think we are still young. We hope to somehow jump about 40 years into full maturity without anyone noticing. People seem to love the lines in the faces of old people but they better be good and deep with lots of character like the old woman in Titanic. If you don’t look all majestic and wise like her, you better go have your skin tucked into your scalp an inch to fool everyone into thinking you are perpetually 20.

Like the process of wine-making, everyone wants to be there when you build your cellar and when taste-testing happens.

For many people Middle Age threatens the relationship. It wouldn’t take the hottest man in people magazine to steal one’s wife, it might just take a man with 10 pounds less around the middle. If you are 45, a woman who is 35 could pose a threat to your marriage. The deeper people go into middle age, the more paranoid they can get.

Then there are the people who just feel like their relationship is lackluster because they themselves are aging. You may have no plans to leave your partner, but you sure are bored. For many people, they just don’t feel healthy enough, energetic enough or have been so brow-beaten; they aren’t able to find the excitement of their youth.

I think it’s vitally important to remember that life offers different chapters at different stages. My concern is that we are again distracted by our past that we don’t see our present day. A 45 year old person doesn’t have to do 20 year old things to feel alive. In fact, most people that age will tell you they have no interest in going out on the town. I don’t believe the goal when you are 45 is to stay as young as possible or even stay young in the mind…but at 45 years old, you should be experiencing whatever is going on with you at that time. You’ll hear people say, ‘Age is just a number’ with the intent on ignoring it. I have managed to ignore numbers in life as I have mentioned before. Your number represents your experience! Your experience means you have a certain amount of right to speak with some authority!

You can inspire others or you can make others scared of aging. That is the choice we have. The problem is that we believe the way to inspire others is to ‘do young things’ so they’ll say, “Gosh she’s so fit for 45!” I don’t believe that is the way to inspire. A good way to inspire people is to wear a smile. You can inspire by being super-loving, non-judgmental and compassionate. You can inspire by being a friend and a good family member. You can inspire by being genuine and thoughtful. You can inspire by being confident with who you are no matter the number attached to it.

I personally don’t think a lot about getting older, but I am digging my mellow state. When I work on music or art, it’s not mellow. That’s not my young spirit either, it’s my inner child yes, but I only make that reference because I liken it to childhood discovery, not age. I’m not going to put sparkles and stars and Hello Kitty pics all over my page to make me feel younger, I have no interest in getting younger. I have a GREAT interest though, in DISCOVERY. To me, the more I age, the more focused on discovering I am becoming. This is super fun to me!

Truthfully, I don’t even drink wine. It seems like you have to sit still for that. ;)

Loving today, whatever day it is…sometime in December, sometime in the early 2000s,
Karen :)

I have wandered all my life, and I have also traveled; the difference between the two being this, that we wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.” ~Hilaire Belloc

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