Today is my birthday.
It's not a *big* birthday (one of those round numbered ones). Nevertheless it got me thinking about aging and like every other woman I have some angst around the inevitable. It's normal. (Cue: This is where you say, Helene, you look great for 68.)
Not everyone holds to the belief that age brings wisdom, power and it's own beauty. Age is accompanied by perplexing paradoxes, indignities and epiphanies. I'm coming to terms with the fact that I'm not in my second half of life, but my last third. I'm realizing that not everyone I love will be here forever and neither will I.
Since turning 50, then 60 (and remarkably soon 70) I know what it's like to experience some of the *joyful* experiences of getting older. Things like waking up in the middle of the night with a non-negotiable need to pee. Now. I also wonder how those stray eyebrows got onto my chin and why I can't read fine-print anymore (or even remember where my glasses are or which pair I should wear). There are even more *joyful* aspects like sagging skin, age spots and an ever-expanding waistline.
I like me. I have a happy life. I've finally figured out who I want to be when I grow up and there's still so much more that I want to do.
Today, as I celebrate my complexity, uniqueness, past and potential, I also acknowledge the feelings that accompany the universal experience of growing older and how easy it is to feel invisible and succumb to the scourge of ageism.
I believe age is not only about decline, but also growth and possibility.
I'm becoming more of ME.