It’s a number that can mean so many things. A number on a sports shirt, number of people in a room or just the number. Sixty. Or age. My birthday is coming up in the next few days and yep that’s the number I’ll hit. Don’t know how I feel about being that age. There are many who don’t want anyone to know how old they are but I sort of wear it as a badge.
I have tried to make sure I have taken care of myself the best way I know how. When you’re younger you don’t think about what it’s like when you’re sixty. You think you may possibly have reached your full potential in your career. You have worked hard and been rewarded. And you have missed out. You have had to learn how to roll with the punches that life gives you. And sometimes those punches hit hard right in the gut.
But you bounce back and know that the only choice is to figure it out. To try to put the pieces back together, be thankful for the lesson and move one. Or not. I have not moved on in some things. What I thought I have forgotten or at least let go of from my past will unexpectedly raise it’s ugly head when I least expect it. It will come up as impatience or anger or defiance. I will dig my heels in and refuse to admit that I still don’t have it all figured out.
And now I am more frustrated than I am angry. I still am affected by what people think of me and how I have behaved in the past. There are times when it has not been my finest hour. They say you mellow with age and let some things go that would have been monumental only a few years ago. I don’t know if I have mellowed as much as I have become more insightful. I step back more and look at how I could have handled it differently. I still have my steadfast beliefs in what I think is the most respectful way to handle situations but I am a far cry from sainthood. I still screw up a lot and let my emotions get the best of me.
And that’s where the child I seemed to have never found sneaks into my heart and I find myself more weepy than usual. I don’t know if it is from sadness of not having discovered things even at this age or whether I’m weepy about just not knowing how. I don’t really know what direction I need to go even after all this time. The word surrender keeps whispering in my head and I’m wondering if that means it’s time for me to focus on me. To uncover the wonder of what it’s like to completely trust in that higher power my Catholic upbringing has taught me to go to when I’m in need of help.
I think back of my mother at this age. I remember having a hard time understanding what she was trying to tell me about how people will treat you and how you will treat people. I have to say that there are times when I feel like the outsider who didn’t get the joke. Or wasn’t let in on the joke so I could feel included. It’s no one’s fault. It’s the gap that happens when life experiences are the only way to explain the punchline. And you have to be with other people who seem to have the same life experiences. Or I should say age experience. I will never be able to “hang” with my son’s friends for any length of time because our life experiences are different. We can share with each other what we think but will never be able to fully understand how each other feels in their age appropriate skin.
And with that I quote something a dear friend said to me when we were discussing how to finally surrender and let that higher power guide you. “An open mind sees the way. A conscious mind finds the way”.
So here I am ready to move into my sixtieth year of life. Get ready conscious mind. I am determined to find my way.