You can say what you’d like about middle age. But for me it has been an eye-opening, exciting time of life. If I were to describe all that I have learned since age 40, the memory capacity on my computer would fail me.
It is true that I have had some dramatic life changes along the way, including the loss of both my parents, the end of a two decades-long marriage, the beginning of a wonderful new life with my soul mate, and the spectacle of my only child going alternative on me for a while and then returning to the real world with a vengeance and drive to succeed.
I can lament about the thickening of my middle, the graying of my hair, the ache in my right knee, and the wrinkles around my eyes, all of which can be masked cosmetically or medicinally.
But the greatest midlife gift of all is the ‘I-don’t-give-a-damn’ factor when it comes to how others see me. Middle age for me brought with it a comfort and acceptance of self that is difficult to describe. It is knowing that I can focus on new dreams with greater depth while leaving behind all the shallower ones. It’s a grasp on how much I DON’T know about my spiritual side, but will spend the rest of my days exploring.
But most of all, it is the reigniting of my passion for life. Being able to write a real-life book for other women (in the past, all my books were real estate related) is an indescribably gratifying feeling. Using words to evoke memory, emotion or action while in the service of others is becoming an addiction for me, whether in the form of giving seminars, writing my book or creating my Examiner columns.
You may surmise by now that my glass has always been half full, no matter what life has thrown at me. That outlook, however, is not borne of DNA, self-help books or Tony Robbins seminars. It is, rather, a kind of muscle memory that was formed over the years when I made a conscious decision to focus on the positive instead of the negative no matter how bleak things appeared on the surface. It was helped along by a concerted effort to find meaning in some of the most trivial events and conversations and permit them to push me forward to new realities.
There is no such thing as a ‘status quo.’ There is each new day, unique in its ability to inspire, progress and teach. And it is that one-day-at-a-time approach that is so very liberating.