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Monday, September 20, 2010

It happened when I wasn't looking

One day I still considered myself as in my young years, knowing the dreaded Big M was just ahead.  It seemed ahead though, not something to worry myself with until Boom!   It hit, I rolled with it, it was over and then the next thing I know I have droops I never saw before, dips where there shouldn't be, OMG rolls where none had existed before, and my body just seemed to take a gravity plunge downward.    Who was I, who am I, where did the person I know go and how could I disappear turning into someone else before my very eyes?  

One day I'm 55 and on top of the world, and then the axis shifts and I've slipped from my vantage point having aged when I wasn't looking.  How did it happen, and so suddenly, so dramatically, so determinedly?   How am I to relate to myself, define myself, wear my identity when I don't know who I am or what happened.  I spent the next 4 years reading, researching, trying to learn, and coming to grips with my new reality, my sense of identity.  

It happens to everyone, that process of aging.  It happens to every woman, that cycling of life from girl, to young woman, to woman, to mother, to mature woman, to _____________  (fill in the blank with some nice name for this era of a woman's life).

Kicking this blog off, bemoaning what was, and also ready to embrace what is, mid-life in this era when people live longer.  I'm 59 years old as of my birthday this summer past.  Next year I will be 60.  Hearing that number astounds me because my mind doesn't realize I've come that far in years.  My mind thinks I'm still 40,30 or 20, or younger and can remember when I thought anyone age 60 must be coming on the end of their time here on earth.

I've decided to join other Mid-Life bloggers to try to grapple with my new reality, my identity, my sense of self and look forward to the years ahead with enthusiasm, anticipation - of course- and also with practical aspects of retirement years stage of life.  Retirement used to mean from career, work, employment, and seemed to symbolize having reached 55 years old, the age of  Senior Discounts, Social Security, Retirement Travel.  Times have changed, socio-economic landscape has changed, and the Great Era of Baby Boomers are now at retirement age.  I join with the massive swell of the generation of Baby Boomers who are facing the same uncertainties that I face as we move into aging gracefully or not so gracefully.