If you think aging is bad, consider the alternative. - Every older volunteer with whom I ever worked
I turned forty-seven in October.
I'm still in that phase where I have to stop and think before I can say my age with confidence.
What surprises me is that I can say my age with confidence. Forty-seven. Forty-seven. Four decades plus seven years. Staring down fifty and not freaking out. I'm looking at the future as an opportunity, not a slow-fade.
When I was offered the opportunity to write this post in conjunction with Olay's 60th anniversary, they asked "Are you daring enough to shout your age to the world?"
Not one to exactly shout, unless I'm trying to get my children's attention, I'm more inclined to stage whisper "How did we reach the age of forty-seven already?" to my husband. He, by the way, is as fit as he's been in most of our years together and I like to think we're both aging gracefully - him because of all the running he's doing, me because I'm smart enough to use Olay as part of my skin care routine.
The point is we've spent the last twenty-five years busy with the busyness of life - working, raising kids, getting by.
Now we can look ahead. I'm sure our best years lie ahead of us.
Our bucket list keeps growing. We've got traveling to do. Races to run. Books to write and art to make. I look ahead and see less time with the vacuum cleaner and more time with a book in my hand. Less time worrying, more time to challenge what's possible.
Based on heredity, I've reached my mid-point. The last forty-seven years are a mixture of pleasure and sorrow, pride and regret, frustration and wonder. The things I've achieved weren't necessarily planned and the things I didn't achieve haunt me in the wee small hours when I can't sleep. Okay, that's a lie. I'm always asleep in the wee hours. The haunting happens when I'm behind the wheel of the car, but that doesn't sound nearly as romantic or safe, does it?
I mean, they don't make those little signs you can suction to your car window that read "Caution: Ruminating driver on board."
I look ahead and think I have two choices: I can continue to bump along on the currents and let life happen or I can set some goals and go after them like I didn't when I was busy doing the opposite of what I'd planned to do with my life.
In my planning, I sometimes skip ahead to the part where I'm in my seventies, my eighties. Contrary to what they may think, my daughters and I will dress in velour tracksuits of complimentary colors. Our hands manicured, our jewelry understated so that it doesn't clash with our reading glasses we wear on chains around our necks. We'll go places together and they'll roll their eyes at me as I try to decide whether to have the Matzo ball soup or the martini.
And after I've ordered both, we'll laugh, the lines around our eyes creasing with the sheer pleasure of being alive and together.
Olay is encouraging and rewarding women for checking items off their bucket list. What's on yours?
How do you celebrate your age? Let me know in a comment below for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card courtesy of Olay.
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