Good Morning Everyone,
How many times have those of us who are in our harvest cycle of our lives proclaimed how glad we are that we are not such and such an age. I personally am enjoying the journey associated with growing older and being a fully matured adult. I like what is happening to me even though I am noticing significant physical changes. I feel more trustful of myself because I believe I am better equipped to face challenges during this phase of my existence than I ever have before.
Every day is a new opportunity to be the beneficiary of a new identity and to live life as it is meant to be lived, recognizing the value of its nowness. We create a new persona that is formed from what we experienced just the day before. It is all about breakthroughs – new ways of seeing and showing up in the world. We are all works in progress with the capacity for original thought. As we move forward from one day to the next we mature on many levels, progressing toward our immanence. If we chose to, we can become more authoritative, more courageous and more philosophical. It is up to us. The novelist, Ursula LeGuin wrote, “As we age we become different from everyone else; we tell the truth.”
With our realizations our thinking evolves and our behavior slowly begins to change. I find that I am more alert to the here-and-now than I used to be. When I encounter situations that I used to dismiss because they made me feel very uncomfortable, I now stop and take the time to explore their meaning.
Random incidents become part of a chain of events that lead me to explore their connection to other events that are occurring in my life. I am more determined to ask why rather than pass up the challenge of learning something new. I have become more inventive about solutions to my problems and I feel that I have a greater understanding of why they happen to me. When I examine these situations and my response to them more closely, they tell me who I am now and, who I am becoming.
Growing older has taught me that the more I stand up to my fears, the better prepared I will be to take on the next threatening situation I am presented with. If I ask for help, I take guidance from advisors only and do not seek them out to take on my weight of responsibility. I have learned to seek counsel when necessary, but not to become too dependent on others.
Every day when I arise, I take a look at what I accomplished the day before and I ask myself what impact it has made on my world today. The recognition of my victories and failures, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem to others, gives me the confidence to continue to reshape and rework my life. Nothing I do at this age is routine or mundane. I find different approaches and applications to practically everything I am engaged in everyday. My creativity increases as I find new mediums to apply it to. I rely more heavily on my originality.
I listen more these days, so much more that when someone is speaking to me on the telephone, they stop when they realize I am silent and question if I am still on the line. I cannot recall the last time I had a conversation that I felt, wasted my time. There is always a pearl of wisdom to be had from what someone else chooses to share with me. I am always open to exciting new ways of doing things.
Now that I am mature, I am more focused and have stopped merely coasting along. I am always aware of where I am headed even when I am not immediately going in that direction at the moment. I can tell from speaking with others who are so much younger that I am resonating to a different rhythm than they are at their early phase in life. Most of my acts of rebellion are behind me now. Oh, I have occasional bursts of spirit that shake everyone up once in a while, but by and large, I have settled down without settling for the notion that because I am older the parties are over.
To my surprise I am embracing my strands of white hair that glisten in the light like they have been sprinkled with angel dust. I have earned them – they are my badges of honor. I stopped wearing trendy costumes and have opted for a new definition of style based on my preferences for comfort and color. I am more aware of how my appearance affects others and how useless it is to try to keep up with some worn out, version of me from years past. I allow my authenticity to propel me to make style and clothing selections that narrow the gap between how I am perceived and who I truly am. I am moving beyond my second adolescents and into my second adulthood.
Talk of others, about who they are, what they own, and, where they are going to get more for themselves, bores me. I know that everything outside of ourselves eventually changes, even if we do not want it too. I am into what’s next? Mainly, because I am more aware that with the losses in life come some golden opportunities. I am grateful that I still have sudden spurts of nostalgia – (romantic remembrances) that cast an unrealistic glow on the years I have lived and lost and that are now behind me. These visions come to mind with a peaceful potency. I recognize that regardless of the pain or joy of my most meaningful moments, they are gone and there is no turning back.
Not so unlike other Baby-boomers, I am blazing new trails for myself and for others – these days. We all seem to be searching for something that we have yet to discover enough of – innumerable ways to find a sense of purposefulness, to make our mark and to leave our own, individual legacy behind.
It’s clear that I am more vulnerable at this time in my life, but I have also never felt more powerful and self-contained. I have no illusions about the road I am traveling on. It is not paved with gold, nor, is it lined with the broken promises given to me by others. At this period of time, I have had to reconcile my defeats, most of which I feel I have or can still overcome should I choose to do so. My road now, is merely a scenic pathway that I have decided to walk down rather than run. According to John Randolph Price, author of the book “Superbeings” a guide to finding your higher self, “the dying of our old consciousness is only the beginning of our self-mastery and of our rebirth – bringing a new understanding of the cosmic power within us all.”
Copyright©2010 All right reserved – Victoria L. Rayner
Suggested Readings on the Subject and Other Related Topics:
Suzanne Braun Levine’s book on Inventing the Rest of Our Lives, 2005 (editor of Ms magazine and currently contributing editor of More magazine)
Reader’s Digest – The Joy of Nature, How to Observe and Appreciate the Great Outdoors
“Life Positive” A Complete Guide to Holistic Living – A website definitely worth saving on favorites – article: A Life Without Fear
Expert Aging Advice Website
Conscious Aging, an online article to explore a subject to rarely discussed – living and dying.
A Storehouse of knowledge, wisdom – an optimal healing system, all self-contained within our bodies
Aging Stigmas in the Gay Community
Aging in a Safe Environment
Ten entertaining films for persons 50 plus…
Potential Career Opportunities for Mature Workers
AARP article – Better days ahead for Older Workers
California’s Senior Community Service Employment Program
National Data Base for Resources Related to Employment after Retirement