Learn the art of letting go and changing your focus
Some time ago, I wrote about a mid-life crisis. Today, I have passed sixty and can’t call it a mid-life crisis anymore. It is a senior life stage and I would not call it a crisis.
This is a period of calm and consolidation. I looked back at all the days when I l lived in angst. When younger, we used to worry about how people think about us. We worried about school and friends and gossips. Looking back, none of those have mattered. Those were the days when just acne alone would ruin the day.
Your friends called and you would feign some illness to tie over this healing period. Young people fret when they have not the right clothes to wear. “ What am I going to do?!” A young person would pine.
Granted, being younger means having more vigor and appearing simply photogenic from every angle of your digital camera. It is just the blessings of youth. However, in hindsight, I would not trade autonomy, wisdom, self-confidence, achievements, authority acquired as one grows older for youth though a precocious one may have both.
I doubt many will reverse the hands of time and go back to our young and reckless ways. I recall myself taking unnecessary risks due to my own folly but thanks to Providence, I am still alive. Then, it was poor foresight.
Honestly, who would want to be a teenager again? A period where you search for identity, was impulsive and irrational in nature? Of course, there are exceptions but few. Any foolish stuff is just part of growing up and provides fodder for laughter in later life.
Mid-life is a relief from the inevitable trials and errors of being young. It is a time of great insight acquired with time and experience. Hopefully, one mellows with age and realized that anger, a characteristic feature of younger people is self-defeating. Those who still have wrath in them will realize much later that it is a futile response.
Getting older is a time of liberation!. The empty syndrome is a myth. When your children have flown from the coop, you realized that you have succeeded in strengthening the wings of your kids and they have not remained as dependents.
That would be a failure of parenting. A hindrance to their unlimited progress sheltered by parents. You will still be the wind beneath their wings when an adverse situation arises. And a great lesson can be had.
With the children gone, the house became quiet and the empty space became breathing space. You have precious time on your hands — for reflection, for learning a new skill, and for self-renewal.
During my parents’ time, they lived solely for us, the children, and had no ventures of their own. Our vicissitudes in life became theirs. We were a huge bother. They have never really lived theirs as they were too concerned about ours. I did not want my senior years to end up this way though I am very grateful for what they have done.
When we decided that the children live on their own at the ripe old age of 30, it was difficult at first. Maternal instincts were still there. Friends asked if I was not worried about their coping — their food, laundry, bills, etc.
A preposterous worry — they coped better than we feared.
On the plus side, I developed an interest in writing and discovered the joys of reading and gaining more knowledge. You may even launch a second career to challenge yourself. That is because the focus was now on me.
As a senior, time becomes a precious commodity that money cannot buy. You do things that count and are meaningful. Life becomes purposeful for yourself.
I have learned and acquired more skills since my kids set up their own homes. That was growth for them as they managed their careers, living costs, and human relationships. No interferences from their parents to tell them what to do when they run into problems. They matured fast.
Meanwhile, as a senior with time on my hands, my possibilities are limitless. I continue to venture into life’s ever-changing scenarios and meet the demands of each day on my own terms and effort.
I have picked up courses related to technology — website creation, set-up of an e-commerce site, writing, reading, socializing (which was left on the back-burner for years), yoga, creative interests like photo-shopping and photography, etc.
Growing old need not be a bore. We need to let go and turn the focus on ourselves. The young would deal with their problems in their own intelligent ways.
Life as I see it now is a wonderful period of calm, creativity, and cheer.Summer Lotus
Interested in life, curious about everything. Challenge seeker, die-hard enthusiast. Just trying to get better each day.