A funny thing happens once you turn 40…you start realizing how old you are.
Sometimes it “hits” me that I am 43 years old, and it can be a little jarring.
Not that 43 is ancient by any stretch, but in my mind I stopped aging at around 34, so when I look in the mirror and see a new line or a place that is a little bit farther south than it used to be, it always take me a bit by surprise.
It forces me to acknowledge the truth: I am now middle-aged.
I don’t dwell on it for too long though. Worrying about it won’t stop the clock and I know that ultimately, I am the one who defines my age. I am the one who gets to decide what 43 means to Lisa Scott, and I have decided it really doesn’t mean a whole lot. It’s just a statistic.
I am 5 ‘ 4″, my hair is brown, my eyes are green, I am 43.
I refuse to allow my “age stat” to have more significance than any of my other “stats”.
As cliché as it sounds, age really is just a number.
Life does not have to start slowing down once you hit 40.
Life does not have to start slowing down at any age. You are never too old to find inspiration, learn something new, start a new career, or even completely re-invent yourself. Your life is yours to do whatever you want with, anytime you want to do it.
We are all born. We are all going to die. And life is what happens in between. It doesn’t matter where at in the “in between” part you are….alive is alive. And you wouldn’t still be alive unless you were meant to be living!
I am more self-confident, wiser, and in better shape now than I have ever been in my life. The last 10 years of my life have been an emotional and personal growth spurt for me. I have been paying attention throughout my life and have learned from a great MANY mistakes. I am not going to waste all that wisdom and personal growth by spending the rest of my life in a slow, depressing transition to becoming “old”.
I am going to use all that wisdom and knowledge to be awesome!
Despite my health phobic, pessimistic nature, I plan on living to be a hundred and that means I haven’t even started the second half of my life yet. Why would I start slowing down now? My bucket list is long! I have things to do! I know that the happiest day of my life is yet to come and I love knowing when I go to bed at night that tomorrow could be “the day”. To be realistic, I have 5 young kids so I know that in all likelihood tomorrow will not be “the day”. But I always have that spark of hope! Being 43 can’t take that from me!
Don’t lose YOUR spark! Don’t let it burn out. As I was just telling my daughter earlier today, life is not about whether the spotlight is shining on you. It’s about the light that comes from you……your spirit, the energy that you`put out into the world. A well fed soul will shine….and nothing feeds a soul more than staying true to yourself, trying new things, and finding something to be passionate about. Age has no power over any of that!
Learning and trying new things and keeping the mindset of an “explorer” in this life of yours – this is what tells your brain and your mind that you are still growing and evolving and that there is still work to be done!
It sends the message that you still have a lot of living to do! I believe very strongly that when you slow down your life and start thinking and living as if you are “nearing the end”, your brain senses that and starts “packing up the boxes” to prepare for “closing down”. It no longer thinks it has a purpose. A soul that isn’t fed will starve to death.
I am not going to let that happen.
People always say “Live like you are dying.”, but I think you should live like you are living! If you are at a really fun party that you know is ending at 11:00, then from 10:30 on, all you do is wish the party wasn’t ending soon. Isn’t it always better to go to a party with no “end time” and just have a blast until they kick you out?!
What feeds your soul?
Last year I started this blog that I always said I was going to start, and I am kicking myself now for not having done it sooner. For the last 10 years, my identity has been that of a mom, and while being a mom is the greatest gift I have ever been given, it feels so nice to be doing something for myself….something that makes me feel like ME . My soul feels very satisfied because of it.
I am also trying to teach myself French, sign language and the piano because I love to learn and someday I want to be like Phil at the end of the movie “Groundhog Day”. I plan to learn the guitar, where every country in the world is on the map, and everything there is to know about Charles Dickens. Then I am going to learn to garden and how to Irish Dance. I may even go back to school someday. I might be 70 when I do it. I don’t care. You are never too old to learn something new and be something new.
These are all things I am passionate about – things that I love or that I am excited to try someday! These are ways that I feed my introvert soul and keep my light shining! (We introverts are an exciting lot, aren’t we?)
Whether I live to be 45 or 105, if my mind held up to the end, you can bet there will be a notebook on my nightstand with all of my short-term and long-term goals.
As much as it is within my power, I will not let my light die before I do.
Don’t treat your age like the time on a slow-moving stopwatch that is constantly reminding you of how much closer you are to the finish line. How depressing is that?
It’s not only depressing, its oppressing!
No matter what your age, live as if you are going to live forever and do things that make you happy and feel energized and passionate about life. If you don’t have anything in your life that makes you feel that way, then go find it!
I’m not saying you have to have fifty irons in the fire like I do, but find at least one thing in your life that keeps your passion for life alive. There is always something out there to be passionate about no matter what physical limitations age may bring your way. Don’t be afraid to go look for it. Always have a dream. Always be in the middle of a plan of some kind. Always have goals and aspirations. Don’t do what’s expected of somebody “your age”. Just do you and leave your age out of it. Period.
Betty White’s 94th birthday was yesterday and she inspired me to write this post. She is such an amazing example of somebody who has never let her age define her or limit her.
I also found inspiration in this article about people who became very successful in life, but not until middle age. Some of the names may surprise you!
Photo Credits: Photos Courtesy of Pixabay Public Domain