I don’t know about you Bec, but my feelings of how old, or young, I am swings back and forth like a pendulum.
At times, my aches and pains betray my youthful outlook- I may feel old, but at least my heart is young, I tell myself.
Nobody ever tells you that you never actually feel like you have this adulting thing sorted.
That despite getting older, you’ll still be the same young soul navigating the ebbs and flows of all types of lived experiences, good and bad.
Or maybe they did and I was too busy knowing everything to care to listen.
But then I attempt to navigate the use of a new app on my phone and I am hollering for help from my tech savvy 12-year-old; the pendulum hastily swings the opposite way and I’m left feeling old and useless.
I catch glimpses of music videos and scoff at the gratuitous depiction of sex and violence.
I wear clothes for comfort, not fashion.
I’m paying to have blonde highlights in my hair to blend with the grey, and the reflection in the mirror isn’t reflecting what I once used to look like.
Next minute I’m conversing with a colleague about superannuation and impending retirement and the pendulum swings to a realisation I am not as close to the end of my days as I usually muse.
I’m watching reels of Prince Philip and the escapades throughout his 99-year life, the historical events he lived throughout, and his lasting relationship with Elizabeth and the family they created.
I still have a lifetime to live.
Presently I’m reading Eddie Jaku’s The Happiest Man on Earth.
Eddie, a Holocaust survivor, is 101 years old.
He has lived to tell a tale of hope, love and gratitude, with a warm wisdom that gently nudges you to appreciate your own life’s journey.
I tell myself to hurry up and make my life count.
Because it will go in the blink of an eye.
That is the line we are all given when we start a family, a blink of an eye.
It’s true though isn’t it?
You only have to browse through photos of your growing children to be aggressively accosted by the passage of time, reminding you to be present in each moment.
Reminding you that we are ageing so quickly that we need to stop worrying and start enjoying.
And whether you are 20, 40, 60, 80 or 100, I guess everything feels like you are still figuring things out, that there’s still more to come.
I’m enjoying seeing and experiencing the world from my children’s perspective, especially since they know everything; I’ve already relinquished my hold on being A.K. (all knowing), it’s quite liberating and somewhat amusing.
I’m enjoying swiping right on the Tinder accounts of my younger colleagues (not my date to attend so it’s lots more fun) and I’m going to have a crack at videoing my dog and putting it to a Tik Tok (I like the ‘I’m a happy dog’ ones).
The pendulum will inevitably still swing between feeling young and feeling old, but I’ve decided to jump on, lift my feet up and get it moving faster so I can enjoy the wind race through the growing hair in my ears.
How about you Bec? You’re a couple of years younger than me, what’s your personal perspective on this whole ageing business?
“So I can enjoy the wind race through the growing hair in my ears”, haha Nat, that’s a good one.
I think you’ve covered this topic pretty well, although I believe my pendulum is a bit sticky; I feel older than I am more times than I care to admit these days, especially after a particularly hard workout!
It’s a fact of life; something that’s a given and we have little hope of stopping it in its path.
If we’re lucky we’ll enjoy a full and rich life, filled with family, love, laughter and experiences.
My kids are growing into young people, almost-teens, and wanna-be adults right before my eyes.
And you’re absolutely right, it does go ‘in the blink of an eye’.
I mean, where did the last 15 years go?
It’s interesting that we spend most of our childhood waiting and wishing to grow up when really it’s the least complicated stage of our lives.
I hope I’m teaching my girls to appreciate this time when their problems are small and their lives are mostly carefree.
But is it a losing battle when the world around them is continually changing and moving at such dizzying speeds?
Even our language and every day phrases urge young people to hurry up and age.
Stop acting like a child.
When you’re my age….
I look at my parents now, who are in their early 70s, and wish I hadn’t spent so much pointless time worrying about the little things or arguing about those that we had no hope of changing.
Here’s a fun fact, hindsight is always a leveller, and you really only get it with age!!!
I lament that we don’t live closer to immediate family but now appreciate the time we do spend together.
Memory making is the new catch-cry in my household!
People say age is just a number and you’re only as old as you feel.
And they are right.
We only have to look at social media to see someone in their 60s running a marathon or achieving another amazing feat.
And did you see the recent TicToc video of an 81-year-old grandmother killing it in a push-up challenge? Impressive.
We have the power to shape our lives, to live them to the fullest, and AGE is really just a three-letter-word that we shouldn’t let get in the way.
So get out there, live your life the way that makes you happy and stop worrying about the numbers.
I’m going to try and take my own advice, although I’m pretty sure I won’t be tackling any marathons in the near future!