Another year older! It's better than the alternative. When I was younger I used to think by the time I was 50 I would feel old. The arrogance of youth is feeling you own youth and assuming you have all the time in the world before you have to think about aging . But time moves fast. My grandmother was right. She always said stay young as long as you can because time moves fast when you are older. I always find it amusing when 20 somethings or maybe even 30 somethings try to attack older people by insulting their age. Honey, if you are lucky at some point you will be older to the next generation and growing older should be respected and not trifled with. Growing older is an honor. Growing older WELL, is an accomplishment.
When I was in my 20's I never thought about being 30 until I was 28. In my 30's I never thought about being 40 until I reach 35. Once I was well into my 40's I worried about what was ahead of me as I inched closer to the half-century mark. I will share with you I actually didn't know how I felt about 50. I knew it was better than the alternative, but nevertheless still staring down an empty hole. While most celebrate milestones and top of the decade birthdays I slid into 50 with very little fanfare. If we ignore it maybe it doesn't happen. Well, aging doesn't work that way and if we are lucky to move from one year into the next ignoring it doesn't work. Ignore it as much as you like, but it's still going to happen.
But in the past four years I discovered nothing magically happens when you turn 50 that drastically changes life as you know it or want it to be. Age fairies don't sneak into your bedroom in the middle of the night while you're sleeping waving their magical wands bestowing on you wrinkles, grey hair and a bouffant covered in a bonnet. No age fairies sprinkling their dusty dust around instantly changing your hip wardrobe into a wardrobe of drab and frumpy clothing, gorgeous shoes into orthopedics, and that slinky silky little number you went to bed in changed into plaid flannels with long sleeves and ruffles. None of that happens! Who you are doesn't instantly change. What you like doesn't instantly change. OK....OK!!! I know some things will change. Maybe instead of leaping out of bed we now roll out of bed. Some crawl out of bed. The point is we are still getting out of bed. One way or another. Still rolling!
So 4 years later I celebrated turning 54 and that hole in front of me is now full of light. I am now armed with the knowledge that time and age do not define my life. They are only tools of measurements. The word "life" is a description of changes and activities prior to death. The word "age" is a noun for the length of time a person lives. Now, I may only be able to control certain factors for the length of time I live (i.e. exercise, eating right, health habits and choices) but I have absolute control over the activities I pursue during the remaining time I have left in front of me. Age alone cannot stop you from living a full life. Maybe I'm not staying out dancing til 4am anymore but the thought of that I find mentally exhausting. Actually when they announced the reopening of dance clubs I actually said to myself "people still go to discotheques?"
My interests have changed. No, correction. My interests have not changed but they have been altered. Even though I no longer troll the clubs till 4am, I still enjoy music and dancing. They are very much a part of my life, even if my only dance partner is the vacuum cleaner. All the interests I had in my 20's I still explore. As I've gotten older I've even developed new interests. I think it's very important to keep an active mind. There are moments when the knee hurts a bit, and if I sit in the same position for any amount of time I feel stiff. Those moments only serve to remind me how important it is to keep moving. Or as my orthopedist states "keeping everything loosey-goosey." But there are also moments when I feel like a giggling school girl as I sit and laugh and gossip with my girlfriends. Moments when I still blush when I'm told I look beautiful (Yes, it still happens).
So as we get older, because it is better than the alternative. we have to ask ourselves are we going to age, or are we going to grow old? Are we going to stay actively engaged with life? Are we going to keep delving into our favorite activities and/or exploring new things? Are we going to stay connected to our family and friends and continue loving and laughing? Are we going to keep the mind and body moving and spry? The answer for me is an unequivocal yes! I am going to stay actively involved so that as I age, I make sure I am aging WELL. No fairy is going to wave her wand at me to serve me dusty dust. I hold that wand and my wand is filled with glitter and rhinestones! I'm going to keep that wand full and I'm going to keep on ROLLING!