Our neighbour here in Spain is called Jo. She is a really nice young woman from Scotland who told me one day that her parents were coming over to Spain for a visit. A few days later I saw a man sitting on her balcony. I waved to him, he waved back and in the few seconds it took me to observe him I remember thinking that he and I were of the same age. And then I realized: this man must be Jo’s father. It then took about one millisecond for the next realization to hit me: Jo, a fully grown-up woman who is capable of renting a house in Spain, could have been my daughter.
When I ate lunch with a colleague at work in Sweden last year I talked about the IT crisis that occurred in the late 90’s and about how I experienced this with a husband working in IT. She looked at me and said: the IT crisis yes, I was taught about that in school.
The Spice Girls had their first hit Wannabe….
22 years ago.
Madonna has a milestone birthday in august this year….
She turns 60.
Oh. My. God.
I am getting old!
I have moved a generation.
When did that happen??
Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.
Apparently this is not a John Lennon quote but something that writer and cartoonist Allen Saunders said in the 50’s but that’s a bit besides the point.
The point is that I can’t believe that life flies by so fast. Me, the one who seriously feels like in her late 20’s/early 30’s is actually 40+ now. Having teenagers is a constant reminder of my age, as you other teenage parents surely will recognize. My teenagers are the first to remind me how old and outdated I am by laughing at me sometimes for not getting it. Like when I don’t understand certain features of Instagram for example.
Growing older, I think it’s just the way it is: a part of life and if we are fortunate, we get to experience the years passing by as we move from one generation into the other. I’m so incredibly grateful for experiencing life’s different phases so far because to me every phase comes with new insights, wisdom and experiences. Talking about experiences: if my oldest kid has a baby when he is the same age as I was when I gave birth to him, I will be a grandma when I’m 50. Right now this is just too weird for me to fully grasp but I rely on growing into that phase as well when the time comes.
Even though I realize that I’m growing older, I know that ultimately age is just a number. Over the past couple of years I have met several people of whom I seriously thought they were in their early 50’s only to learn that they were over the age of 70. I really believe that some people are old at 18 and some are young at 90.
The picture of this blog post says: Time is precious. To me this is so true! Time is not over there, it’s here and now and to me it is very precious. Living here and now is the best way for me to fully embrace growing older. It doesn’t matter that I’m now old enough to be the parent of a grown-up or that I have experienced a time of which younger people only have heard about in school. I don’t have to deny my age or pretend to be younger than I am. What truly matters to me is living my life to the fullest, every day. As Oprah Winfrey says:
Of course I want to look my best. I want to feel strong and vibrant. But I know for sure that the pathway to your best life isn’t the route of denial. It’s owning every moment. Staking a claim in right now. And, with gratitude, embracing the age you are.
Photo: Harry Sandhu – unsplash.com