Sunday, April 3, 2011

Middle Age Reconsidered

Here I am, almost 46, decidedly middle-aged.  It’s easy to think of the disadvantages of middle age: the wrinkles and grey hairs that keep sprouting, the “spread” that never seems to stop, the weird muscle aches in places that I was previously unaware of having muscles.  Today, however, I want to look at the silver lining of middle age.  So:

It’s good to be middle-aged because:

1.      I was never cool, and I don’t have to try or pretend to be anymore. 

2.      The world is no longer full of unending possibilities—but I have found the kinds of things that I am good at and that make me happy, so I don’t have the same need for endless possibilities.

3.      That said, when I try new things (knitting, for example), I have no pressure to be “really great” at it.  I can let go of big goals and just do what I can because I enjoy it.  I read somewhere that this is what happens when you try something after you turn 40, and I think it’s true.  This actually frees me to try more new things than ever before!

4.      Having young kids at middle age is exhausting.  However, I am also old enough that I no longer care about appearances, so I am able to give myself over to the magic and silliness of childhood fairly frequently.  

5.      I have built a home and traditions that I love; beats the heck out of the insecurity of my 20s.

6.      My work and my heart are in better alignment now than they were when I was young.

7.      I know what I like and no longer care about trends…yet I am still open to new experiences.

8.      I notice the beauty in the world around me more than I ever used to do.

9.      Gratitude and contentment come more readily to me than they did 20 years ago.

10.   I have far more fabulous, eclectic jewelry.  (Hey, not everything should be deep.)

What do you love about getting older?

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