The Aging Dilemna at Each Stage

Ink & Metallic Pen on Watercolor Paper – Words: Betty Friedan

If we are fortunate we will all pass through different stages of aging, everything from blissful youth to middle age then finally move into our golden years. It can be tough facing the realities of advanced years and the peace and problems that gift provides. Aging is not for sissies, it can be troublesome, daunting and even very discouraging.

A friend talked with me for a long time about moving into her fifties, facing menopause and working to understand who she wanted to be at this stage in her life. Just because she could do it and was good at doing it, did that means she was obligated to do it moving forward? Did she dare think about doing something else? And if she dared to do something different and failed how would that impact her years moving forward? I understood how she felt as I am about seven years ahead of her in that process. And I am convinced that aging well is a process.

Aging means facing our strengths, weaknesses, untapped potential and moving full force towards the opportunities life presents. Aging means being willing for things to change even if they do not change the way we wanted or expected. And aging means being able to reinvent, reinvest and regenerate our energy, ideas and individuality to make our future years as exciting as our past. We need to forgive, forget, and forge ahead with excitement enough to be who we want. Having made it thus far gives us a bit of a right to do things our own way and not care what anyone else think.

My friend’s birthday is coming up soon. It may not feel like it yet every birthday is a gift, even if it comes with more laugh lines, wrinkles and boring stories to tell a captive audience. We are never too old or too young to think and act how we want. What we do today sets a foundation for our future which none of us knows how long that will be. So three cheers for the new stages we all face and the energy mixed with lots of courage to see it through.

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