The great things about growing old
I suppose you could say that I have recently become obsessed with growing old or aging. I constantly hear friends sigh, and say, ‘Oh my god, I’m turning 50 …’ They say it with an air of shock that it has apparently happened overnight, and with a sense of disappointment, foreboding and fear.
I don’t get it! For me, I am turning the big ‘5 – 0’ in 5 months & I’m excited! I am ‘coming of age’, not growing old. It is actually a time for a reality check! Firstly, we have been dying and aging since we were born … one would think we could get a grip on this phenomenon by now. Secondly, it is just another transition in life – why is it labelled a ‘crisis’. To me, it is transformation time.
I am finally at a stage in my life where I know what I want and I am consciously working towards getting it. I’ll admit, it is not always easy but understanding the necessity of persistence and perseverance, I keep on going. Every step in the ‘right’ direction is an achievement to be celebrated. I am at peace with myself and my health is great. My finances are a bit of a worry, as chasing the dollar has not been important to me, up until now. And even now, I’m not chasing the dollar – I am living my passion and getting financially rewarded for it. That’s why I am excited – I still have a lifetime ahead of me to really enjoy. When I am doing what I love and it won’t feel work.
People say ‘I wish I knew what I know now, when I was 20, I would have done things differently’. What I say is, ‘you now know what you know, because you were once 20 – so utilise that wisdom and get on with the life you still have ahead of you’. I know I have a lifetime left to live and more knowledge, wisdom and experiences to draw from than ever before … so why is the future anything other than bright. I am set on focussing on what I can do. I refuse to live in fear of aging & death.
At 50, I am the ‘meat in the sandwich’ between generations and that’s OK. I love spending time with my 94 year old grandmother – her dementia has taken her to a pleasant place. I have reached a place of contentment and forgiveness with my father. He chose work over family when I was growing up, so we never got to know each other. And now his Parkinson’s Disease has developed into a nasty dementia with paranoid delusions. He is only 68 and ‘living’ in an aged care facility. My children and I will never get to know him, which is really sad, but that is how it is. On the other hand, I am in awe of my mum. After mum and dad divorced, she chose to get on with life and grow. She has recently set off on a 5 month road trip. These two opposing situations are a testament to where the right mindset and living your passion can take you.
I watch my kids growing and learning in their own way. I know that what ever they choose to do, they will learn from, sometimes it might take a while, but I need to allow them to do that. They will create their own path, just right for them … and they are doing an absolutely awesome job. I am very proud of them all.
And now that my they are older, I am choosing to spend time and money on myself, guilt free. I am more confident, but also aware of what I can still do to improve my situation. I now have a knowing that even if I get it ‘wrong’ it is only something to learn from and to do ‘it’ another way to make ‘it’ work better. I know that with the right strategy anything can be achieved. I am working on being the change I want to see in the world, rather than a contributing bystander to everything that isn’t working.
I know that happiness is a choice and not an outcome and that I don’t need much to be happy. I am grateful for all I have. I know my future is bright because I know where I’ve come from. I am full of belief of endless possibility. I love to be of service and know that I can not truly be of service to others unless I am at service to myself first.
I know I don’t know all that I can know and know that there will always be more that I don’t know than I do know – and it doesn’t matter. I’ll choose to learn what I want to know when it suits me.
If I don’t get around to the house work because I am out having a life – who cares. I live the life that I want, not what others expect of me. I do things because I want to, not out of obligation. I embrace change. I love learning. I enjoy quiet time. I enjoy my own company. I am never bored – I can always find something to amuse me.
I am authentic, genuine. I don’t bow to peer pressure. I am OK with catching up with old friends for a drink at the pub and drinking warm lemon water. It is very amusing that they find it difficult to ask for it over the bar.
I now get that life does not just happen to us … we create our life and future. I understand my mind and that we get what we focus on. Who I am is the result of the choices I have made and where I now choose to go is a result of who I am.
My overall mantra is ‘anti-aging from the inside, so I can rest in peace with no regrets’. Through my new business, ‘Bucket List Coaching’, I will be sharing this with others, so they too can live to their fullest potential. With a change in attitude toward growing old I aim to do my best to revolutionise aged care.
Mark Twaine said – ‘in 20 years you will be disappointed about the things that you have not done, not the things that you have done’. So get out there and enjoy life!