By Lana J Thomas/Divine Caroline
Much to my dismay, I am rapidly approaching my fifty-fourth birthday. I have to admit it does not bring me much comfort to know that I am nearing the winter of my life even though I am certain there is life after death. I can sum up my consternation in the words of a country western song I heard recently that made me smile at myself. The songwriter, I apologize is unknown to me but he sings, “Everybody wanna go to heaven, nobody wanna go now.”
If I examine if it is just my apprehension about growing older and coming to terms with the awareness of truths, like our cat does not sit on my lap more frequently than other family members because he likes me more, but rather he sits on me because I am softer than everyone else. . . then is my chagrin just a state of mind or does the truth of the state of my body cause my thoughts to turn to the worst with regard to age?
The truth is, growing old is not always pretty, so in a world that focuses everything on beauty and youthfulness, how can one remain in a state of mind that is conducive to seeing all things, even sagging breasts and butts, as acceptable and still beautiful? How can one successfully maintain a youthful state of mind when everything around that one dictates that only youth and beauty are significant? Simply answered, “One can only do so with great difficulty, if at all.”
It may be easy for the eternally youthful like Sally Fields who never seemed to have aged over the years, but for those who did not inherit the fountain of youth in their genes and those who see their gingerly labeled “laugh lines” have become deep wrinkles, then it seems a battle not worth fighting on a psychological level. It can even border on living a lie when one is faced with the truth each and every time they look in a mirror. In my opinion, we expend a tremendous amount of energy trying to maintain a state of mind that thinks youthfully in order to appear youthful when such energy may be better expended on more meaningful ventures.
So is age a state of mind or can one grow older even faster just trying to formulate a habitual thought life of thinking/staying young?