If you ask me how old I feel, I’ll tell you “40.”
Why? Because I didn’t start to feel my uniqueness, my strengths, my true self, until I hit my fourth decade. Now, I am almost at level 7.0 (that’s a story for another day). As I turn 69, I have a degree of gravitas, of self-confidence, of utter joy in being-ness that utterly eluded me in my 20s and 30s.
You’d think that with increasing age would come increasing misery. After all, isn’t that what TV ads and the like would have us believe?
Depression, anxiety, fear, insecurity and not to mention the worry of cognitive decline, debilitating physical changes. We are bombarded with these gloomy messages almost daily.
You know that awful moment when you’re standing in the middle of the living room, wondering, “Why am I here?” No, not the existential “Why am I here?” as in your reason for living, but the more ordinary “Why did I just walk into this room?”
You look around yourself at work. Every new hire is well under the age of 30 and the number of co-workers in their 50s and 60s seems to be rapidly vanishing. As you get into your 60s, you can’t help but wonder, “Am I next?”
When we were kids growing up, my sister was the cute one. She had it all. The button nose, the big beautiful hazel eyes, long lashes, rosebud mouth and the capper, freckles. She had THE most adorable spray of freckles across her nose – which she hated and I loved! I would have given anything for those freckles. Anything to break up the monotony of my pasty white face.