Class of 1980. I am now 53. Soon to be 54. If I live to be 107, I am currently middle aged. I am past middle age. Here some of the ups and downs I have discovered from this season of life.
1) Down: What of my hair is not turning gray is jumping ship.
Up: I really don’t care very much. What makes us who we are is far deeper than appearance.
2) Up: My proverbial skin is thicker. Down: My literal skin has stuff that has to be burned off it each year. It is a good thing 264 days a year to not be worrying about criticism. The dermatologist blow torch to the epidermis day on the 365th is rough.
3) Up: I am established. Down: I must not become establishment. The second you lose the fire in your belly is the second your best days are behind you. You have to stay hungry!
4) Down: I have lost a step…or two. Up: You see a lot of things you used to miss when you lose a step or two. You can’t smell the roses at a 24/7/365 all-out sprint. And not only that, you get more efficient and smarter to compensate.
5) Down: The demands upon my time are immense. Up: Since I can’t do everything and can’t be everywhere, more great people have come along side of me. I am mortal. It is inconvenient. One is too limited a number to accomplish very much at all. How we spend our time and on whom we invest our time are the most important decisions of this season.
6. Down: There have been disappointments. Up: Disappointment has made me keenly appreciative of what I do have. When you realize you deserve nothing, you begin to appreciate everything! Thanksgiving is the antidote to entitlement.
7. Down: I recognize my mortality. Up: I have tapped into a humaneness that guides every aspect of my life. Realizing we don’t have all the time in the world, makes finishing well an ever more important goal. People with less money, must invest more wisely; it works the same with time.
This is really a pretty good stretch of highway. There is actually a symmetry to it. For example, the second you begin to look older, your eyesight begins to dim.
Fear not. Keep smiling. Keep loving. Keep growing. Keep faith alive in your heart.
Life is good!