Too old to be young and too young to be old.

I remember a beautiful line from ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’.
‘I am too old to be young and too young to be old. ‘

Welcome to mid-life.
Our young years are well behind us on the path that is life, and we are nowhere near ready to hang up our boots and enter into the final phase.
Ageing is an interesting process, and there are those that embrace it allowing it to have minimal impact on their lives
And there are those that seem to plunder into it with aches, pains and stories around it that impact on their lives dramatically.

So how do we be the first?

How do we age gracefully, or even disgracefully if that energizes you more?

I mean, what is old?

Is it retirement?

I don’t believe so.
For a start, people are retiring at all kinds of ages and stages now. It is not uncommon to see stories of people in their forties, giving it all up and heading out on a big adventure, and it is also not uncommon to hear of people working well into their seventies.
I like the idea of both options – loving what I do so much that I don’t want to stop it while having big adventures on the way.

Is it a particular age?
My mum is 84, and while I don’t see her as old, I can certainly see aspects of being ‘elderly’ creeping in.
There are many examples of 90- year old’s doing marathons, studying and accomplishing all sorts of things usually associated with youth.

So at 56, I am not old.

But I am also, not young.

I am 56.

The average life expectancy for the top 20 countries is 82, with women being 84.5 years and men 80 years.
I am not that far above halfway, and I intend to live a long time.
So how do we sit in the space of being too old to be young and too young to be old.
Here are some of my thoughts. They are based on nothing other than my experience and my observations of wonderful mid-lifers.

• Don’t try to be young. Be a fabulous mid-lifer. Be Middilicious. They are so powerful and so undervalued. By being an excellent 56-year old, I stand in my power rather than trying to be a 26-year-old.

• Find an ageing role model. I am so inspired by women like Dame Judi Dench, Helen Mirren and Joanna Lumley. They are beautiful in every sense of the word and don’t let their age define who they are or what they do.

• Be you. It is now time to step out of the act you have played for most of your life and step into being you.

• Find who you is? Make that your mission. Finding who you actually are.

• Do it lightly. Midlife is a time to trust that not many things in life are not really that serious.

• Find time in your life to do things that feed your soul rather than get you somewhere.

• Learn something new – actually, learn many new things. It challenges our brain and makes life so much more interesting.

• Stop telling yourself you are old and using it as a way to describe yourself.

Age will only be accepted when we stand up for that happening.
And that can only start with ourselves and accepting that while ageing can be challenging the alternative is not great 😊

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