I'm 58 years old. There. I said it.
I love and hate being this age, but let me tell you why: I love that I am finally comfortable in my own skin, something I couldn't say with any integrity when I was in my 20s or 30s. But I hate that I'm not able to do all the things that came so easily to me when I was younger.
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Attitude is everything. We've all met those people who complain about everything. It's unattractive at any age, but it feels so terribly stereotypical as one gets older. I want to be the one with the big smile on my face. I want to always look for the love, for the abundance, for the good in people and circumstances. It seems silly to grow old and still be concerned about being judged on my looks.
Be compassionate. My favorite quote is from Theodore Roosevelt when he says, "Comparison is the thief of joy." We don't know what path anyone else has walked. Let's learn to be gracious to everyone. An added benefit is that being compassionate tends to make you more attractive to everyone.
Embrace change. You may be one of those people who can still run marathons into their 80s, but chances are that the majority of us will just be able to go for long walks. That's okay. Knowing that we won't be as young and flexible as we once were should be liberating. Change is inevitable. It's better to roll with the punches than to try to punch back. I have just recently taken up yoga and I think I'm much more flexible and stronger than I was in my 30s.
Continue to grow. I have raised four lovely people to adulthood. My youngest son is starting his senior year of high school. As my four kids have grown and moved on, so have I. I started blogging when I was 51. I now work at the local community theater using my talents and skills to paint sets and design costumes. I volunteer at our local church food pantry. I'm not done contributing to life and my community or to my family. Not by a long shot. I've spent many years raising my young family. I'm quite proud of my kids, but their lives are not what defines me. Finding meaningful things to do, helps keep me vibrant and engaged.
Mind over makeup. Believe me when I tell you that the thing people will remember about you when they meet you is not how you looked, but how you made them feel. That is true at any age. With that in mind, I try to be warm and compassionate. I try to be deliberate in engaging others, both young and old. I laugh out loud. I'm not concerned as much with the wrinkles around my eyes anymore. After all, there are a lot of good times tucked away in those laugh lines.
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