I am at the point in my life where I am classified as “middle-aged”, that sort of nebulous chronological group of years, defined as somewhere between one’s 40’s and 60’s, depending on the source.
Middle age – that time when you finally get your head together – then your body starts falling apart. - Author Unknown
From this perspective, things still look pretty good. I still firmly view my glass as half full, and I believe there is still more beverage in the bottle. I have my health, most of my mental faculties (I do suffer occasional lapses), I can support myself, I have my family and my friends – who are like family.
On the other hand, I am fighting gravity and slowly losing, grey hairs are stealthy but steadily advancing. I have to work really hard to retain any vestige of my “girlish” figure and sometimes it takes me a while to figure technology-related things out (mostly because my patience in these particular circumstances, is in short supply). This helps explain my fascination and involvement in Social Media, which provokes, stimulates, informs and connects, while, at times, it also frustrates.
So, while far from being an expert, I feel I am not unqualified to opine on the subject.
We live in deeds, not years: In thoughts not breaths; In feelings, not in figures on a dial. We should count time by heart throbs. He most lives who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best. – Aristotle
My advice on how to deal with encroaching maturity? Embrace it!
I am not saying to throw in the towel, give up and let everything go to hell, I’m advocating finding a way to accept what you are not willing to change and put the effort into the things that are important to you – pick your battles. Because whether you want it to or not, it is inevitably going to happen. You are going to get older. It is happening even as you read this.
Stay connected. Use all of the means that you have at your disposal to remain aware and informed. We are living in a time of burgeoning connectivity which allows us to know, learn and be alert to what is developing in the world around you. It is important to stay relevant.
Do what gives you pleasure. This is something you have earned. You have paid your dues, raised (for the most part) your family, established your reputation and your credibility. Reap the benefits.
Expand your network. Talk to different people. Find a way to meet new friends. Join a club. Participate in Social Media. Read, read, read.
Strive to have no regrets. What’s in the past is in the past. Deal with it the best you can and move on. Carrying past mistakes or “could have” and “should have’s” around with you is unproductive. Mourn your lost youth on your own time. No one wants to hear about your glory days unless it’s a hilarious funny story (one not at the expense of others). If you have lessons that you believe are valuable to pass on, turn them into stories or anecdotes that your listeners will find interesting.
Start something new. Nothing is more energizing that staring a new project, taking up a new activity, learning about a new subject. It stimulates you, gives you something to focus on and talk about, making you interesting to those around you. All of us have a list of things we wish we had time for: paint, write a book, take up cycling, read every book ever published on the Crusades. Start it now. Make time for it.
Take care of yourself. Eat well, exercise and get enough sleep. Then, make enough time for the things you enjoy. You’ve sacrificed to raise your family, struggled to get where you are at work. You have compromised to achieve work/life balance. Now is the time when a little self-indulgence is permitted, even encouraged – it’s good for us.
Watch out for ruts. Sometimes we get into the habit of doing things, to the point where we no longer do them because they are important or have value, but just because we’ve always done them. Change it up. Skip a workout at the gym to take a walk in the park, try a restaurant in a new area of town, have brunch with friends instead of dinner. If the original way is still enjoyable, great, if not, move on. Discipline is good, routine for the sake of it, not so much.
Don’t overcompensate. While there is nothing wrong with wearing up-to-the minute clothes and accessories, being fashion forward and sporting the latest hairstyles and facial hair looks, make sure they suit and allow you to genuine. Now is the time to be true to yourself, because you should be closer than ever to knowing, and being comfortable, with whom you are. Pause and reflect regularly. Consider what is happening in your life. Evaluate the good and the not so good. It’s a chance to keep what works and discard or change what doesn’t.
They (the days) come and go like muffled and veiled figures sent from a distant friendly party; but they say nothing, and if we do not use the gifts they bring, they carry them as silently away. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Live your life, be active not passive. Face up to the fact that today is the youngest you’ll ever be. Since one can only go forward, I move we do so with grace, appreciation and resolve. Make life happen, don’t just let life happen.
The good thing about humans is we have no stale date, we’re good until we expire!