Tomorrow is my birthday. It is not a decade birthday but I am so close. In 12 months, I will hit another landmark. I am actually excited about it. You see, I don't mind aging. I am good with it. In fact most of my mentors have always been older. I have always pictured myself as an older artist, living life and loving it.
Recently, I saw Jane Fonda speak about aging. I have never been a Jane Fonda fan, so to speak, but what she said made a whole lot of sense to me. She spoke of a "longevity revolution". That is to say, we now live longer than any generation in history. In fact, we almost live another adult life because we have tagged on another 30 years or so. However, many of us still have the perception of the old paradigm. We live through youth, we live through middle age, then, we die. This isn't true anymore. Now, we get to live a new life as older adults. This doesn't have to be a bad thing at all. Back to my birthday: Other people seem more concerned with my age than I am. I get constant reminders from younger people that I am OLD. This is their problem, not mine.
Actually, I think it is more about their own perceptions of aging. Just as Jane states, when you are looking at aging from the outside, you have certain perceptions. However, when you are experiencing it, things look very differently. I have aged and I am just fine with it. My goodness, I have had a life! Other baby boomers out there might agree. We have lived during times of great history. Even my own history of accomplishment, failures, and successes has been mind blowing to me. I am almost at the door of the "third act". I have thought long and hard about this. I agree with Jane. Just recently, I have realized that fear is subsiding. I am not afraid to get old because I know I am just the same Sheree as I was before. I just have lots more wrinkles. BTW They don't "hurt". LOL
I love Jane's analogy about entropy. Yes, life is about birth and decay, but at least our human spirit is safe. Our spirit can be tamped down by life and stress. However ennui isn't a given at all. In reality, many of us (myself included) start to review our lives and see things very differently. We change our relationship to our past. Just like Maya Angelou said "When we know better, we do better." This is so true. It is important to "circle back" and see where we have been and where we are going next. This is what I am doing in this next year. As I approach my third act, I want to make things right in my mind and spirit.
I too want to become WHOLE.