I read a quote this past week that has challenged my thinking. I love those. They stick with you, like gum on your boot. Annoying, but yet beckoning my attention.
The quote simple reads, “Aging is Inevitable, Growing Old is Optional.”
I have felt “old” of late. Not sure what it is. A mourning perhaps of my youth. All the signs that point to what society says is the “down side of the hill.” But, is it really? Or does it just become that because some in society says that it is so? And, is there really just one hill. Or are there groups of hills that mark each milestone? I guess I believe there are more than one.
I look around and see my sheros – women of all ages. And, some that are 40 act as if they are 80 and some that are 80 act as if they are 40. I want to belong to the latter group. Those women defying societies “norms”, celebrating their age without succumbing to being old.
We like to equate being old with being wise, but in truth it isn’t being old that makes one so, it is time and learning from past experiences that brings about wisdom. Why, as women, do we sometimes fail to see our later years as our best years?
I want to be a part of that group of women who laugh in the face of the optional, while brilliantly living in the inevitable. I want to dress my age, put away my childish selfishness, embrace this stage of life that brings with it daughters and grandbabies. I want to be comfortable in my own skin, celebrate my curves, laugh with good solid life friends, and worry less about regrets. Lay down the “coulda -shoulda -wouldas” and just be grateful for the journey.
So while I have been sidelined for just a little while, or as some have said, “a little easier to handle” as my ass has been safely positioned on the sofa, it is only fair to warn some that I have made a HUGE life decision, I AM OPTING OUT of being old, while fully embracing my age.
It may not look to you like I am living the norm. But, I have always been okay with that. I have always been okay with knowing that I am just slightly off center. But, I like it there, less traffic, less people to bump into, less drama, less… or rather.. I should say, more.. more freedom to be me.
I don’t know exactly what 52 is supposed to look like. But, when I look around me, I see some wearing it better than others. I see some wearing 80 and completely rocking it. My wish for myself is that, that will be me.
An old cowgirl, still willing to try. Still willing to don the wide brimmed hat and lashes. Willing to find herself, and God on the back of a horse, blazing new trails as they approach. Imparting wisdom though how I live my life, not just by the words I choose to say and write.
The rocking chair has its place. I can picture it on the front porch, at the end of a busy fulfilling day, grandbabies at my feet and in my arms as my kids and the ones they love stroll down the lane hand in hand…. and I will wear those moments like a crown – a testament of passing of time and traditions.
But, for being OLD..I am opting out!