Only five minutes
Ready. Set. Go......
As a matter of fact, I was in a conversation with a relative yesterday and she had not remembered that this next birthday of mine was going to be the big 5-0 and she quickly told me I had better get going and enjoy these last seven months of my forties as I would never get them back. Well, just slam the door on my face, I thought. So I spent most of the evening thinking about this milestone that I have spent so much time fretting about. All of a sudden, I felt, I have gotten not older, but old. After all, I spent most of my young life thinking fifty and over was just what old people were. Now I am that person....and how did that happen? Suddenly, several things began to become clear to me and these are things that I have just not thought about before.
For each and every second I have spent dreading this next birthday, was time wasted on enjoying the moment. Time I can not get back. Time that could have been better spent on happy thoughts and memories. Because honestly, looking back over the last year, there are not too many stand out memories to overshadow all the thoughts of gloom and doom that is sure to be coming. Talk about a wow moment.
I do know, older is harder. My younger days were spent ripping and running at both ends of the clock. Today, I can barely make it through the day and am worn out. Is it really physical or mostly mental? I think with all the dread in my mind....must be a little of both. Older requires more work on our parts. Work that needs to be done to keep in shape, work in choosing the right foods to eat, work in maintaining what we have instead of letting it waste away. Work that I clearly have just simply not done and must start doing if I just would like to maintain at least what I have today. Ideally, I'd much prefer to fall back to the days of ripping and running and never feeling an ache or pain but I know that is just not realistic. Accepting that fact is clearly something different and a motivator to improve for myself.
Older also requires a lot of acceptance of the things we can not change. Again, not easy for me. One of the big things I have trouble with is the fact my eyes are not as they used to be. It is rather a major inconvenience to remember to carry eye glasses every where I go or guess what?? I can not see......see well. Most times than not, I can not see very well because I fight what is for today. Oh, how I wish when I was younger I had appreciated my good eyesight. I never, ever dreamed there would come a time in my life that I could not see well without glasses. Thus, I fight not wearing them, as I long for when I did not need them. Accepting and embracing this part of being older is not easy for me.
Older has left me longing for things that used to be, and I have completely lost focus on what is. I thought about lost time, time spent worrying over things I can not control. Time spent wishing for things that were, instead of embracing the things that are. Too much time fretting instead of actually living. That is really the only thing I can control. I need to change the way I view rounding that bend in the road that has the big old 5-0 lights flashing in my face. Older does not have to be gloom and doom at a dead end in the road, but instead a growth of opportunity to make the very most of what is left of the journey.
Talk about a swift kick in the backside.....I may have to tell myself that as long as I am seeing the next birthday, I am still here...no matter the number and that is a good thing! Famous words by the way, of my Aunt LaVoice who turned 82 yesterday......she certainly does not spend any time worrying about her age.....she inspires me to get with the program and stop worrying over something I can not change.
Although realistically, I long for our younger days, when I had a body that had unlimited energy and could keep up with the energizer bunny. True joy comes in realizing the fact that older is not something I can avoid, only embrace and accept. In doing that, I will lose the dread and gloom and focus on the possibilities of lasting memories being made in the journey ahead of me.
I am not going to deny the fact I may wear sunglasses as that big old 5-0 sign comes flashing into view in a few months. I know it is coming and I have to see it, but maybe I can block out the glare just a little bit!....Stop.