I don't remember my dreams much. Usually, I remember the essence and feelings, and any memory of the dream quickly fades as I awake. However, I remember the dream I had three days ago, and it’s still with me. I dreamt that I told someone my actual age, and they said, "Wow! I thought you were in your 40's! You look great for your age!" I remember feeling indignant and annoyed as I thought to myself, "Most people think I am in my 30's!" And then I heard a voice from the ethers say, "WTF! You are over 50! Why are you feeling that way about what was said?!" Wow! Talk about some baggage to unpack. I bet Freud would have a lot to say about my dream!
Lucky for me, I have my inner wisdom to help me understand what's been rolling around my head the last few days.
I often receive comments that I look younger than my age. Once, someone told me that I sounded younger, too. I suppose I took it in as my truth, and that is what created indignation in the dream. However, my lesson was to accept aging with grace and fully accept me.
I thought I had accepted all of me as is. But, it is just like the universe to point out that there are still parts of me that I do not fully embrace. This time it’s regarding my fears about getting older.
I noticed I have fears surrounding aging that I didn't have ten years ago, such as what will happen if I no longer have my daytime job? The thought of competing for a position with the younger generation is frightening. I also noticed that my body no longer bounces back from an injury like when I was younger. And forget about staying up all night at a party; I would probably need three days to recoup! I am a zombie the next day if I stay up past midnight.
However, in the spirit of accepting this facet of myself, I know there are benefits to being over 50, and it isn't AARP:
We tend to be happier and have a more joie de vivre mindset.
We tend to focus on our inner selves and can quickly move from a place of compassion, focusing on others with kindness.
We can find joy in all the simple things.
We have infinite wisdom.
Age comes with a plethora of life experiences which makes us a fountain of knowledge and insights.
I don’t hide or lie about my age, but I don’t scream it from the rooftops either. So why am I uncomfortable with people knowing my actual age? I asked myself this question and realized it was for superficial reasons. None of which has any basis in the reality of my life. So, I decided to do something radical (at least for me) on my actual birthdate.
While on vacation, we spent my birthday morning on the beach, and I decided to celebrate by wearing a two-piece bathing suit. My inner critic told me, “people my age do not wear two pieces, especially not in leopard print!” I told my inner critic to pipe down, “I am woman; hear me roar!”
I was nervous but met myself where I was in the moment and said to myself, “You are going to rock this bathing suit, even if it’s just your my mind!" As I dressed, I looked at myself in the mirror and thanked my body for supporting me all these years. I felt the acceptance of myself, where I am, and who I am in my life, but I also saw a radiance shine through.
When I walked on the beach in my two-piece bathing suit, I noticed other people radiating a warm glow, and some had eyes that were shining bright with their inner light. I smiled, knowing that perhaps, they experienced an inner acceptance just as I did.
Regardless of how you feel about aging, I leave you with this quote. It may be someone else's words but it's an invitation for you to grow old with me and just be you!
"The most important thing I can tell you about aging is this: If you really feel that you want to have an off-the-shoulder blouse and some big beads and thong sandals and a dirndl skirt and a magnolia in your hair, do it.
Even if you're wrinkled."
― Maya Angelou
Be Well, Be Radiant and Be Fabulously YOU!