Thursday, October 13, 2011

Rain and Roses



Aging is confusing for we baby boomers, though I should say we are not the first, nor will we be the last, generation to find it bewildering. Maybe especially now it's challenging because our society is virulently ageist, also because we mature so early and age so late at this moment in evolution. It's easy to think, during the mid-40s, that somehow we will escape what is inevitable. Then we turn 50 and see that oh yeah, we're going to grow old - or die before that happens. One or the other, there is no third choice. In affluent 21st century America, we age quickly during the decade of the fifties.

My affection for the process of aging goes against the grain for many people of all ages. Youth is revered, old age despised. I don't understand. Every age has its challenges and problems, also its blessings. In late middle age (I think that's where I would place myself), we are liberated from so many concerns that were Terribly Important earlier in life. The hormonal imperative of young adulthood to be partnered, the biological clock ticking away, etc. all become nothing more than a vague memory after menopause (men have their own version of menopause, you know).

We're free, too, of the sense that we must ACHIEVE, climb ever higher on the ladder of success, whatever the hell that is. Earlier in life it seems necessary to be important in some way. What was THAT all about? Hmmm... I don't remember, though I know my ambitions around being a High Priestess were very acute. I would go for the jugular if I thought someone was about to surpass me in the hierarchy of priestessing. For heaven's sake.

I've been thinking recently that when I turn 60, there are a whole bunch of things I'm not going to do anymore. For instance, I've heard people talk about their weight for most of my life. I'm so over it. I was thinking, after 60, when anyone begins to complain about their weight, I'll stop 'em cold - nicely - and explain that I don't want to hear it. I'll smile, change the subject, and will not apologize. From then on, I will never ever again have to listen to that crap. Free at last!

Last night I realized a meteor could hit the planet or I could suddenly drop dead from something or another before I reach 60. In other words, what am I waiting for? As of today, October 13, 2011, if you're worried about your weight, tell someone else, please. Life is short and I don't want to hear it.

Late middle age is a wonderful time of life! There is a late bloom at this age, similar to the roses in DC, also the bulb flowers who - in the midst of the midatlantic autumn - bloom as if it were spring. I'm not a fan of the muggy, hot early fall we experience here, but I do like the metaphor of the late blooming rose, oh yeah.

Life is good - at every age, believe me, at every age. L'chaim. And Shalom.

23 comments:

Carolina Linthead said...

Such exquisite colors! One longs to dance among the rustling leaves, inhaling deeply the wafting fragrance of late blooming roses.

Carolina Linthead said...

P.S. LOVE your shoes!

Angela said...

Let`s meet and climb trees together, Reya! I found a good one near here today, with many branches and was up before I could even tie Paco. Then some cyclists passed by, and I just turned my head. Giggle. If they had known I was 63?
Believe me, life is full of fun even past 60. I wonder what we`ll be up to at 70?
How is your head feeling today after all those Last Word Cocktails of last night at THE PARTY?

jeanette from everton terrace said...

Okay, must remember not to discuss weight with you. Now about aging, the interesting thing about you not caring about it all is that you look about 15 years younger than you are! Seriously, when you mentioned your age at dinner, my husband and daughter were shocked. Perhaps, not caring let's your inner peace come through and you glow :)

lacochran's evil twin said...

You don't want to hear about my weight? But what else should I obsess about? ;)

The Bug said...

Well I know I'm tired of worrying about my weight. I think I'll quit thinking about it too - & consider my HEALTH instead :) Now, where IS that apple?

Reya Mellicker said...

Now what I'm supposed to say to you, Jeanette is "THANK YOU!" Because in our society looking "younger" is a compliment. But what does age 58 look like anyway? Everyone ages differently. I'll email you a picture of me at around age 28 or 29. Then you will see that I indeed look my age, and I'm proud of it!!

Laura, hello! You can obsess about whatever you like, but if it's your weight you're worried about, just tell someone else, ok?

Ah Michael you must still be intoxicated from the ball. Who isn't?

Angela I blanked out, missed most of the party. Next year I will not mix whacky tabacky with Last Word cocktails. No way.

Reya Mellicker said...

Bug - or that homemade burrito??

steven said...

reya thanks for this. i'm fifty four and as each day passes i feel both joy and sorrow at the arrival and the leaving behind that is part and parcel of growing older. today i let go of something symbolic to me that would likely not translate out into anything that makes sense in a written or oral discussion, but it was an acceptance that i don't need to climb, to be better, louder, bigger, faster, wiser, cooler, more loved . . . ya know the mores reya! this happens with ease . . . not . . . it's a little tear each time but letting them all go feels good after some time and space has passed. you're so good in speaking the unspoken. steven

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks Steven. But at every age these same conditions apply. We are wiser now and more in contact with the feelings, but they are the same feelings - right?

Delwyn said...

Hi Reya
the hues of your fallen leaves are beautiful, like aging...a little wrinkled and mis-shapen but wabi sabi gorgeous.

Pam said...

Angela's comment made me laugh. I still have at 58, a wild desire to climb trees. I have osteoporosis now,(bones of an 80 year old -sheesh) - including a tiny new bone fracture, and my goals of parachuting out of a plane and tree climbing have had to be curtailed. The only thing that's stopping me is common sense and the staff in emergency saying - "You're 58, you knew you had osteoporosis and you fell out of a tree you climbed for the hell of it - lady what were you thinking -pass the plaster".
So maybe I'll watch you and Angela climb the trees and cheer you on.
I can still however, dance among the rustling leaves and leave those high-achieving years to others. Great post.

Val said...

whatever age you are life has its challenges thats for sure! i agree with you entirely Reya - its great to be here x

Reya Mellicker said...

Pass the plaster - ha!

I don't climb trees, never did as I am a firm believer in gravity and I can only imagine plumeting when I've imagined the act. Angela must climb trees for all of us!

Angela was your dog surprised when you climbed the tree?

Angela said...

Well yes, I think he was wondering where I had suddenly disappeared to. But I let him run free just IN CASE my courage would leave me and I`d not dare to climb down. Then he could run off and get help. Like Lassie, you see. Knocking at somebody`s door, pointing at the wood`s edge, with an old crow hanging up in the branches. hahaha.
If he were as smart as a crow (they are supposed to count till seven!), then i could ask him next time to take a picture of me. That would make a good blog post.

Reya Mellicker said...

It surely would! And yeah crows are VERY smart. If they had opposable thumbs they would rule the world.

Cyndy said...

I wish I had a tree near me that was big enough to for me to climb. One of my favorite spots to read a book when I was a kid was way up high in the old weeping willow in our back yard. I must have been VERY small then.

karen said...

Hi Reya. I've been away from blogging so much the past few months, but I always take time to go back and read every single one of your posts! I am usually way too late to leave comments, but I have been following all the progress - moving your practice, and everything you've been doing lately. I thought of you at the equinox, knowing how you long for autumn! Just felt like saying hello today, as I am not too late here for once! Looking forward to seeing a photo soon(?) of that curtain of leaves dropping away in front of the capitol dome..

As for aging, I have just passed 40 and i have an almost ten years old husband, so I'm really feeling quite comfortable with the whole thing!

warm summery weekend greetings from Africa..

Reya Mellicker said...

Karen it's so good to "see" you here!! Happy summer!

Gary said...

Life is good at every age. It is good to remember that and enjoy the ride.

ellen abbott said...

How did I miss this post?!

You are so right and I've always been a late bloomer. Always late to the party of life and usually dressed inappropriately.

When I turned 50 I did a similar thing. I decided I no longer had to tolerate mean people be they strangers or relatives under whatever guise...keeping the peace, getting ahead, protecting loved ones. Whatever.

Life is too short at this point .

Reya Mellicker said...

It surely is!

Mary Ellen said...

Great way to appreciate what is in any event inevitable. Maturity rocks!