There’s something to be said about growing older and how perspectives change. When I was in my 20’s I kept hearing those in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s saying their season of life was simply, “the best”. Of course, I found that hard to believe. Feeling youthful, looking youthful and being youthful was definitely where I felt the pinnacle of life hovered.
It wasn’t until I entered my 30’s, I realized I still felt like the same person I was in my 20’s. Okay, so I had a few more body aches, but mentally I was just as sharp. My face still looked the same, perhaps a few very fine lines blossomed slightly during the latter years – even so, I was still youthful.
Overall, in my 30’s I struggled a bit less than in my 20’s. Although I still longed for the approval of my peers, it wasn’t as dire if someone didn’t think I was “cool”. I dressed the way I wanted, explored life a little farther and I was more carefree.
I enjoyed playing with my young son just as much as I enjoyed many of the new experiences that came my way. Single-motherhood didn’t hold me back or define me. I simply had different priorities and more time constraints.
Now in my mid-40’s, I can finally see the wisdom of those who felt their 30’s or 40’s were “the best”. There is a certain sense of accomplishment that occurs at this stage of life. All of those day-to-day things I now recognize as hurdles, looking back, every instance I overcame was truly a blessing.
Moreover, I realize how naive I was in my 20’s and even my 30’s. In some sense, I think it was for the best. Had I realized the scope of possibility at that time, I wouldn’t have been ready for it. Fear, could have turned my life upside down. Instead, I powered through whatever obstacles life threw at me in those years.
My 40’s are very similar in respect to the scope of possibilities. However, I now recognize both the positive and the negative aspects much more clearly. Fear, is more of an adjustment, if you will. Because I can now relate to life passing by, seeing my face grow older and having a child leave the nest…the definition of fear has become something I need overcome or accept.
Fear of my son growing up, going to college and forgetting about his dear old mother…I survived that. Fear of looking older, feeling older and seeing the same in my parents…I’m surviving that too. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of risking it all, fear of taking the harder road…I’m still kicking, I’m surviving! Fear of being 50…now that one, that one I’m still working on.
In any case, I’m really enjoying my 40’s and I’m liking who I am even more. Those with more life experience may still detect some naivety, but I’m okay with that. I’m comfortable in my own skin and I don’t need the approval of the masses. Don’t get me wrong, I could do with less body pains, saggy skin and now prominent wrinkles. But, overall, being 40-something is amazing!