It is an interesting cultural dynamic that when people have the very most to offer they are often escorted off the dance floor of life and into a gallery for those who are no longer relevant.
With another birthday rapidly approaching I suppose I am more sensitive to my age than usual. Having had a career that was particularly and practically governed by age and aging I watch with growing fascination the physical changes that seem to be occurring with increasing rapidity. What once was there is now mysteriously done here. The New York race-pace has slowed to a Florida careful-crawl. There is one thing I now know for sure: I will not die young.
Oh yes, I know. I can here the meta-chatter of many that are on my list. “Age is simply a state of mind.” “Your thoughts can change your physical reality.” “You are as young as you feel. “
Well yes, and no. Do our thoughts, feelings, and perceptions play a role in our state of being and in how we age? I believe this to be so. I also believe that there is a richness that comes from embracing and experiencing fully what it is like to be in an aging body with all of its creaks, leaks, and ever fascinating changes. I thought when I was younger that by this time in my incarnation I would be actively involved in dying, nipping-tucking, and seeking in every way to appear years younger than my actual digit. I am relieved to no longer live under the weight of that pressure. There is great freedom for me in allowing nature to cycle through me in a non-resisted and honest way. I don’t have to identify with my age or with the maladies that are currently visiting me. Neither do I have to pretend they shouldn’t be happening. Due to family circumstances I missed part of what being a child and adolescent is all about. Even in early adulthood I struggled to maintain a frozen youthfulness that was mandatory in my chosen field at the time. That struggle only amped up as I approached and then entered into my thirties. Such an exhausting and futile fight! All that trying to be young only left me feeling tired and old. I find now that I finally want to be all that I already am. That includes the majesty of my Divine heritage and the unpredictability of this human adventure. I want to stay present to my periodic symptoms and what it is like to see my father staring back at me from the mirror. The pretense and posturing of false youth is frankly boring compared to the authentic presence that comes from easy and embraced aging. As cliché as it may sound I have earned every gray hair on my head, and I have no intention of hiding it under hard to maintain L’Oreal.
So it is true that I no longer glide effortlessly over a dance floor, and my Grande jetes are surely over. I am also clear, however, that I have more to offer than at any other point in my life. I will not be escorted off to the geriatric observation deck. I am still very much in the arena. My reverence for every aspect of life is what makes me relevant. My body may droop a bit but my Divinity is still very much in place. I guess I am just becoming a geezer for G-awed, and I am quite content to be just what I am.