When I'm 64 or 62
For many years, people would look at me in shock when it was revealed that I was mother of a 37-year-old. Those days and those comments are gone now. Every woman my age knows of what I am about to speak. The day when you notice, no one noticing and people simply ignoring you and calling you ma’am.
Well, this isn’t as bad as it sounds. The beauty of being ignored is the freedom to move stealth-fully through the world watching and observing human behavior while those you are watching don’t even know you’re there. Humans and the youthful are fascinating and being free to watch them up close and personal is a sheer joy. The other thing that 62ish affords you is the freedom is say pretty much anything you want. I feel certain this must grow with time and age.
There is another side of it though and we must move through this one more slowly. There is the possibility, depending upon who you are, and what you believe, that you could feel less viable, less relevant, less meaningful to the world. But this is only if the way in which you measure yourself is according to standards of American culture. Should one choose to embrace the years and all the life lived with a sense of awe, wonder and appreciation, one would land feeling grounded, valuable and absolutely irreplaceable. We Americans have a lot to learn about caring for and revering our elders as the wisdom keepers.
In many workshops that I have taught, I will walk the perimeter of the room holding a baby doll and ask participants to say whatever comes to mind to that baby. Of course, all the comments are about love, welcome and how beautiful and perfect it is, accepting that baby as it is presented. My next comment to them is always this, “When did you stop deserving to hear all the same statements that you just offered to this imaginary baby? When did you start deserving less?” Always, every participate stops to ponder and often come to realize that they have not been loving themselves as much as they innately deserve.
So, in the same vain, what was the exact day, age, time when who you are, became less valuable? Was it because you are not aware of the newest app on our phone or the current fashion or anything else that the youth around us would use to label us as “Old”?
The undeniable gift of aging: Wisdom, and wisdom comes with experience. Which experiences exactly? The ones that remind to let go, forgive, not to compare or hold a grudge. The wisdom of patience, making important decisions a bit more mindfully, checking one’s resources or bank accounts before making a decision to invest in something that is questionable. At 62 taking time for family becomes more valuable then going to the newest chic restaurant. (Do they say chic anymore?) From here I remember that spending quiet time with my husband or time in prayer and meditation is more meaningful then to compete to be first at something.
Maturing or sage-ing as some like to call it, is a beautiful thing, filled with its own qualities that the young have not yet earned the right to witness. May you embrace your years with great love and the model the way for our younger followers. They are on their way here anyway, whether they want to or not. Life is interesting that way. I only now earned the right to write this article. And for this right, I feel blessed and extremely happy.