For me, one of the problems with getting older and becoming a “person of age” is that I can no longer rely on my perky butt and cute young looks to get me through. My butt has regrettably succumbed to gravity and my face has received the marks of the growing number of my years. Those laugh lines have taken up permanent residence even when I am not laughing. Ouch!
Coming to accept this change in my personhood and perspective is a challenge. These are years for which I have no clear cultural “guideposts” to direct me. A new journey presents itself. The question now is: “So where do I go from here?”
The essence of the above question, I believe, rests in that remarkably small, but astoundingly large, little word “I.” The journey now must be personal and inner-directed as I have more or less accomplished all of the “outside” work that was supposed to make me happy.
Looking in the mirror and seeing not the vibrant young adult we all seem to carry inside, but an aging “someone else,” can be unnerving. That time-old question of “Who am I?” presents itself with stark power. And, if we are truly honest with ourselves, continuing to do the same things that worked twenty years ago in the hopes of wresting satisfaction from them really no longer works.
As my butt has fallen, it is time for my spirit to rise to the occasion. I have come to the immutable truth that I am now walking through the final third of my life on this earth and this path must essentially be walked alone. And for the journey to have weight and substance there is work to be done on the inside.
So, there are questions to be asked of myself, and quietly answered. How do I want to live these next thirty or so years? How do I want to show up in my life? What will bring me true joy and satisfaction now that my youth has passed and my physical energy begins to decline? Where shall I turn my mind and heart? What are the things I have never tried or always wanted to do? How can I participate in this wonderful gift of life and be truly engaged in living?
It is interesting for me to realize that rather than be terrified of the changes, I find this all rather exciting and extremely interesting. I get to create myself in the image of my own choosing. There are no more times of “must be” and “must do.”
The crux of the matter, though, seems to be whether we are willing enough and brave enough to be the caller of the shots in this new game. So, I invite you to step up to the plate, set your stance and settle your hips. Look off to the horizon with your heart in your hands and call your shot!