There are so many negatives related to aging, everything ranging from our physical appearance to our general health status is negatively impacted by aging. I think it’s good to find something positive regarding getting older, and embrace it among the sea of negatives that are out there.
I’m 35-years old. (Ouch, that honestly stings to say, because wow, I’m really getting seasoned to say the least. And “35” is a pretty high number. Oh wait, I’m supposed to be discussing the positive side of aging.)
So, only recently have I realized that I truly get better with age in many ways. I can finally understand what Oprah meant when she said, “Life begins at 40.” I was about 15-years old when I heard her say that (I’ve been an Oprah fan for a long time), and I could never understand where she was coming from. I truly thought it was something women said just to make themselves feel better about getting older. Of course I also thought I knew everything at that age.
Now that I’m 35 (ouch, am I really this old?), I can truly say that I get better with age because:
I’m very satisfied with the many things I painfully obsessed over in my teens, 20’s, and even early 30’s. Things such as hair length, hair type, weight (I was either too thin or too heavy), complexion or skin tone, my hands, my knees, my feet, you name it, there would be some point that I would wish I looked “better” in a particular area. I realize how insignificant those things are in the grand scheme of LIFE despite the emphasis that society places on them. Those things do not contribute to what’s most important in life: Health, strong sense of self, strong spirituality, health, and loving, healthy relationships.
I’m okay with being quiet and introverted and realize that I’m never going to change, and why should I have to? I used to desperately wish I could be the popular, social butterfly who loves to party. I’m actually a bit of a wall flower, and that’s really okay. I can make my impact in other ways besides being the life of the party.
Becoming a wife and mother, and experiencing, living, and growing in these roles are gifts that make aging a worthwhile treasure .
I’m realizing I had a void in my life before becoming a mom and that’s partly why I was so drawn to working with kids. Now, I’m like a different person when it comes to other people’s kids. I’m somewhat selfish now, in the sense that I realize how micro my time and life is, and I want all my nurturing and patience to go to my kids/family kids.
That’s actually why I knew it was time to try and have my own, because I kept getting heartbroken and sickened with stress from other people’s abused, neglected, traumatized kids that came into my life. I remember being pregnant and still crying over all these kids I couldn’t help. I always wondered why I would cross paths with such hurting and suffering children, yet I wouldn’t be able to help them out of their situation. It felt like torture, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to have my own child if I didn’t step back for a while.
Now that I have my own little angel, I’m like, wow, I owe everything to her. I can’t let other parents’ mistakes tear me down and I bring that home to my child. I don’t see how youth workers and teachers with their own children not bring that stuff home. I accept the fact that I have a very obsessive, high strung personality and if it’s anything I can’t solve or conquer it runs me crazy(er) and eats me alive. I don’t see how teachers/counselors/youth workers of troubled children turn it all off when it’s time to deal with their own kids.
I’m finally so at peace. I don’t feel like I failed all those other kids in past. The group of 5th grade, inner city, troubled students where I had to quit, though I loved them (probably too much), since having my own child I no longer feel like I failed them or any other kids I couldn’t help. I must have tried so hard, too hard, because I had a void because I wasn’t a mom. It’s amazing how you can look back and put the pieces of the puzzle together. I would like to use my love for education in a different way, not just with kids. I actually enjoyed working with elderly people, to my surprise. I learned so much about living life, growing old, and death.
——————— Art Credit: I believe it is called “A Mother’s Love by Kolonji.” http://imgfave.com