The sound of this music had me dancing in my chair. As I watched the couples gliding across the floor, their moves telling a story of love, heartache, failure, and succeed, I imagined myself on that dance floor telling my own story. One full of death, struggle, survival, joy, and liberty.
All of us have a story to tell and I will share a few of mine. But first, let us go back to the dance. I was enthralled. For a period of time I had been taken to a different world, one where dancing and music intertwined and the spoken word isn’t needed. I’ve always loved to dance to see a Tango show up close and personal was exciting. However, to see it where Tango originated, Argentina, on my 40th birthday was remarkable.
My husband joined me as we ventured the gorgeous city of Buenos Aires and celebrated by 40th birthday all week long. Why such a party? Why not? I deserved to mark the 40 years I have been on this earth. Somehow as women we began to envision getting older as a scary event, like a doomsday. Some started lying about their age or refusing to admit it. The notion of approaching still another decade may make a man or a woman cringe with fear.
Getting older became synonymous with dying. As women continue to live longer, they have to start to change their mindset and learn how to use their age as a tool in rediscovering a different part of themselves that maybe has been shelved because of any number of reasons, such as; getting wives or mothers; focusing on our careers; or health constraints. Reaching a milestone birthday should be a period of reflection- what’s happened, where are you at now, and where would you need to be in one, three, five, or ten decades.
How have you changed as a person, as a girl? For me, having to take care of the death of my mother at 21yrs old definitely changed how I viewed myself back then. It was a time when most 21yr olds are relishing in young adulthood, I was grieving. I had been mourning not just my mom, but of a time of my life I would not have the ability to live with abandon. Looking back, I could see how it was the catalyst of how I decided to view life.
Keep in mind
The assumption being that life is brief. We have all heard that saying. For people who have experienced the death of a loved one, this fact is more prominent. During this period I made a great deal of mistakes and suffered the consequences of bad decisions. However, it started to form the person I am now because I learned from these mistakes and as the years passed, obtained valuable lessons.
My twenties was all about neglecting, surviving, and fighting. In my thirties I discovered psychological freedom, and I am in my forties, I understand myself. I am conscious of what I need and I’m not afraid to voice it. I’m confident in my ability to survive confrontations, mature enough to admit my mistakes, and smart enough to know when to proceed. My development is ongoing. I might know who I am, nevertheless, I can continue to grow.
I meditate, practice yoga, and write as a means to break through any blockages which keeps me stuck. Through these mediums, I know more about myself everyday. What do you do to find out on your own? Whatever your age is, think of what that means to you. How do you specify your age? If you lie about your age, are not you denying your rightful place at the point of your life? You earned every wrinkle, stretch mark, or scar.
Use this to recognize the strength you have within you. If you’re a mom and have a girl, how is your perception old affecting her? If you’ve got a niece or younger sister, how are your perspectives possibly affecting how she thinks of aging and women? They see and hear everything, even if you think they do not. Collectively, we must start to change the idea of girls getting old and men getting distinguished.
There are several powerful, accomplished women who have defied time and used their era as a tool as opposed to a hazard. With age comes knowledge, confidence, maturity – I could go on and on. The point is, you have to start to change your thinking from I’m getting older to I embody youth, wisdom, and energy. At 42, I feel grateful that I managed to graduate from school, survive the death of my mom, have a prosperous social work career, get married, give birth to a healthy child, and start a company.
Keep in mind
These massive accomplishments were accompanied by anxiety, despair, anger, fear, uncertainty, happiness, and bliss. These adventures are a part of me. I wouldn’t trade 1 challenge for anything on earth. Our experiences and conclusions guide us where we’re supposed to go – our route stretches out before us. Our strength comes from past and present experiences, good and bad – like a stone pounded by the waves, we’re weathered and shaped, and powerful beyond measure.
As you start to uncover the motives behind your fear of aging, you’ll discover you will adopt your age rather than avoiding it. You have to concede to the aging process, to be able to reap the benefits of the bounty that life offers. I can honestly say I have not had any problems with my age. I entered every decade with reverence.
Well I’m grateful for these reasons: I’ve not only lived another year but 42 of these; I’ve had my health and my life is filled with love and career satisfaction. I welcome the everyday challenges, and I have always been grateful for waking up every morning having the ability to see, hear, walk, and speak. As you get older, it is about coming into consciousness of who you truly are, your authentic self.
It’s about acceptance and letting go. I’d rather not relive my twenties; in my thirties I reveled in each adventure; and in my forties I concentrate on accepting people as they are, forgiveness, and self-care. Forget for a moment how old you are. When you consider your ideal life, what does that look like? Do you think that it is likely to achieve that? Well, I am here to inform you that it’s possible – there are always opportunities for you to accomplish things you thought you could not – if you remain open to serendipity.
You can find that high school or college diploma, you can change careers – not from rocket science into a career as a ballerina, as you envisioned as a kid, but you could surely find a way to utilize your strengths in a completely new industry.
What’s your passion? What brings you joy and happiness? My son makes me laugh every single day, and I enjoy settling down with a great book in my deck. Sometimes I get lost in the moment. Time should be your focus, not age. How are you going to use your time on this earth? Are you really going to perseverate about your age, or take it and truly live? Make the most of the fact that you’re still alive! Use any chance you have to eventually take that program, ask that guy out, or to treat yourself. Refocus your focus on living for now. I’m not suggesting that you neglect your duties, but to insert caring for yourself into your everyday routine. Start to check off all the items on your bucket list. We don’t know what the future holds or how long we’ve been given, so choose wisely and remember – numbers are only numbers – it is just when we put meaning to something that it becomes more than what it is.