Hands in the air if you’re getting older.
If you’re still breathing, I’m going to need you to take a moment to high-five yerself.
YAY – you’re getting older! Lucky you!
Aging Fact: it’s kinda like being in the front seat on the wildest roller coaster you can imagine, right?!
HANDS IN THE RIDE AT ALL TIMES!
Also, did anyone else (other than me) roll their eyes at my headline?
The quick and easy guide to aging gracefully?!
Does anyone do that?
Is it like slipping into comfy jammies and all is right with the world?
Or, is it more like trying to sleep on a sweltering summer night when the a/c has failed ya?
Get ready for some OMT! smack-down wisdom…
The guide in a nutshell: DON’T DIE!
See? Quick and easy!
Oh, I slay me.
Let’s discuss how we’re dealing with getting older.
If you have read my Perimenopause Can SUCK It series, you know that aging, gracefully or not, is full of challenges.
And, with each year you add to your glorious I’m-this-many tally, the challenges can grow.
Aging is not quick, nor easy, and certainly not graceful – luckily it does have moments of pure joy.
Or, what’s the point.
I wish I could point you to a stack of books that would get us through these creakier days, but I can’t.
There is no guide to getting older.
Aging is like a full-on Wild Wild West movie.
Horses are trampling bad guys, folks are hot and sweaty, and firearms are going off in every other scene, at the mere hint of misbehavior.
When you mention aging in a world that loves a skewed-to-youngans pop culture, it’s almost like telling someone to, “Shut up!”
The subject matter can feel harsh, like the glaring summer sun, piercing through your windshield like a laser beam, late in afternoon.
YER BLINDIN’ ME, DUDE!
Yet, for me, getting older has always felt like a welcomed friend, as I have come to fully understand and embrace the gift of one more day, each day that I awake.
Doesn’t always feel like a gift, especially in the middle of the hard, but welcomed in the face of the dead-as-a-doorknob alternative.
The possibility that my life can end, that your life can end – at the cliched “any moment” – came to live within my bones when I lost my best friend, years and years ago.
When you lose anyone of any importance to you, the person you count on, the one that knows you deeply and loves you still, the one who sees your flaws, yet champions your entirety – when you lose that physical presence, the invisible cloak of loss comes to rest upon you and refuses to be removed from your soul.
Once deep loss touches you, it changes you – you see life for what it is, not for what pop culture insists it is.
I’m starting a new series on aging – hopefully filled with grace (not sure what the name of this new series will be yet ) – and I wanted to give you the opportunity to weigh in.
When you are burdened by the worst of aging, it’s not easy, but that’s alright.
We are in this life together.
I don’t care if you’re in your 20s or in your 80s, wisdom on aging abounds within each of us, at every age.
That’s the gold I’m panning for – that’s what I’m after.
As a person of faith, I am called to believe this glorious body of mine is simply a vessel that houses my soul for my short stay here on Earth.
Blink and it’s done.
One day, I’ll exit my aged body (I can say that truthfully, as I have lived to a considerable age already) and enter into a new life.
With each day that passes, I remind myself that the body I move through life now is not forever.
I try to treat it with respect with proper nutrition, exercise and rest…but some days I cuss its decline.
I just wanna run like I’m 12 again!
I wanna climb trees!
I wanna do a lay up, after running full court, without fear of throwing out my back or gasping for life!
I wanna eat an entire pizza, chase it with a tub of ice cream, and not gain one stinkin’ ounce (true story. I ate like a horse in my youth).
Yeah, all of that.
This new series will be filled with humor-based truth, yet truth nonetheless.
I want to know what you think about getting older.
Are you afraid?
Happily unaware that you are fluffing off skin dust as I write?
Have you entered each new decade happily?
Is there only joy and grace for your march towards the grave?
What? Too soon?
Is it possible to experience healthy aging?
I am dying (Oh, Ho!) to know about your experiences.
Of course, healthy can be a state of mind, so there’s that part.
Lots of people live with chronic illnesses and still experience a healthy attitude and grace towards getting older, even as their physical body gives them the finger.
My suspicion is that you are a mix of being happy to still be alive and kicking, juxtaposed with wondering what the hell is the next evil surprise your body has in store for you.
* Uncontrollable farts?
* Deep lines that appear overnight?
* More hair in the drain than you’d like?
I know – I KNOW!– you keep going back to the fart thing, wondering if that’s true.
Because you come here, in part, for the truth, and I’m not gonna let you down.
Yes, it’s true.
You’re out shopping, and you take a simple step forward – POOT!
You’re enjoying a dinner party and you shift in your chair – POOT!
You’re laughing and it’s funny enough to need punctuation – POOT!
Oh, baby – hang on (or clench, if you must)!
Special Note: Kegels can also help with this issue.
The bottom line is this: You aren’t alone in this aging weirdness. We have each other.
No matter what age you are, you’re older than last year.
Every year, age throws us something new to deal with or think about.
And that’s okay.
Because, as I’ve stated, as I believe, we aren’t alone.
Each and every person still sucking in air, has an experience worthy of sharing with those behind them.
Friend don’t let friends uncontrollably fart alone.
We can take comfort in the shared human experience.
Oh, and you have me.
I hope when you read my words, wherever they are, you laugh your behind off – or think until it hurts – or cry public tears. I hope your life is expanded in some way.
Not because of the singular stories about life’s joys and ridiculous twists, but because you recognize the collective us in the words.
I’m compelled to shine the light on the threads that connect us, instead of the vast gulf that divides us.
We are stronger together, no matter how terrifying the flying debris appears or how soft the landing cushion feels.
We are stronger knowing we aren’t alone.
By sharing our stories, our highs, our lows, our truth, we define how to age; we allow others to see, by the light we offer, that aging is many things – all the things – fear loses its power.
For that, we need no quick and easy guide.
For that, we simply live.
Right now – in the sacred space you occupy, in the best way you can, no matter what anyone tells you.
I know my community.
You guys are the absolute best and I love ya.
I can’t wait to read your thoughts and learn from you.
Get to it, my babies.
Leave a comment – share the post with others – let’s get to our truths on aging.