It’s cold out today. Last night was so chilly I actually pulled my fleece lounge pants on. This wouldn’t be so surprising if it wasn’t still early in August, the supposed “dog days of summer”.
I was thinking about this as I was making a cup of tea to warm up, and it occurred to me that I had already been pining the “near end” of summer way back in July. I catch myself doing this each year, already ringing my hands over the loss of the precious heat and inevitable slide into fall, even though the season might be just weeks old. As much as I love fall, look forward to picking apples and making pumpkin pies, I never really shake off the notion of it as “an end”.
And this is why I still have not learned to embrace being 51. It feels like my autumn. My hair is more than touched with frost, and there are plenty of the tiny but ever-marching betrayals of my body as it sheds the gifts of youth and becomes something I no longer recognize as myself.
Why does aging come with so much grief? Why do we dread it? Go to such lengths to hide it and push it off? And how do we turn this wasted angst into something more productive that helps us learn to love this very moment where we are right now?
Take stock of what’s ahead, not what’s behind you. Create new rituals.
Instead of dreading birthdays, embrace them as an invitation to be audacious.
A friend gifted me with something rather incredible for my 50th birthday. Knowing the great trepidation that I had been approaching it with, he went out and bought this bodacious pink satin coat with a high, jewel-encrusted collar and bodice, and faux fur trimming and trailing right down to that deliciously wicked train. It had belonged to a drag queen in Vegas, and now it was to be my sassy new birthday gear.
Screw 50! I would not go gently into that good night. I would march straight down main street claiming my birth right to live out loud. I was going to make a spectacle of myself, in a good way, of course, and love every damned minute of it. (Go ahead and watch “P.S. I Love You” … you’ll get it 😉 ) What did I have to lose but my pride, and at the end of the day, what is that honestly worth anyway? Certainly not the price we pay through our stifled lives and a lifetime of missed opportunities.
False starts are still starts.
Truth be told, I had, on that birthday, started to become seriously ill, a bout that landed me back in the hospital septic and nearly dead several months later, and tied down with two separate I.V.s and a homecare nurse for months more.
The queen parade got delayed, as it did this year as well, but the notion of false starts is a whole other topic (and believe me, we’ll get into that!) and the power of that coat is still something I look forward to with an intoxicating zest.
And won’t I have a story to tell? … all decked out in a Cher impersonator’s cherished garb. Now there’s an adventure!
Baby steps, toots!
What about here: what are the things you miss most about being a kid?
Before we were programmed to “behave” we had no need to surpress our playful selves, and it’s no surprise that we did some of our best learning here, and were likely much happier human beings.
And if we’re going to go out and have great, big, awesome adventures, don’t you think uncorking that vital life-spring of joy is a pretty magical place to start?
When was the last time you jumped in a puddle? Climbed on a swing? Screamed your head off on a rollercoaster at the fair? Cut down your own Christmas tree? Picked apples at an orchard? Ate maple sap poured into the snow as candy at a sugar bush? Walked through a local haunted house on Hallowe’en? Threw a good old fashioned pajama party with your best friend, mud masks, chick flicks and all?
Start small. Park your pride. Decant joy. Pour so much of it into your days that it overflows all over every darned thing in it’s wake.
Yes, age is just a number, and a pretty awesome one to boot!
Here’s why …
The cool thing is you get to spend them on any damned thing you want!
What exactly -do- you want to do with your wild and precious life, girl? This is your time! It’s the part where you get to be selfish and suck the marrow out of life.
Start a Pinterest board to create your own “rewards catalogue”, pinning pictures of the adventures you want to have, then c’mon back here where we can help each other figure out how to make it happen! Need some ideas? We’ve started to share some of our own over here. (Why not add the #EstrogenArmy hashtag to the things you pin on your own board to make it easy to share ideas with sister adventure divas?)
The eye candy you’ve been pinning got you excited? Open your journal and start brainstorming ways to claim those rewards! Already a member here at our web site? Are you logged in? Now look way up. See that menu item at the top called “Your Journal“? Go ahead and click on it and choose Create a New Page in Your Journal.
Haven’t done your super cool Adventure Diva secret handshake yet? What are you waiting for? Sign up and get your adventure on!
What’s the most unexpected, outrageous and fun-tastic thing -you’ve- ever done to kick age right in the butt?
How did you face down the age demon and turned it into your secret weapon?
Sharing is a great way to inspire each other!