People say that the ‘teenage’ years are the awkward ones. The hormones rage, life is full of learning, experiences are new and exciting, days stretch out ahead and life is all about you, you, you: what you are going to do, who you know, who you are in love with, and who you don’t like; so begins the glorious obsession with I which has led me here.
Personally, I think the ‘third age’ is the more challenging one. By this point, you realise you are no longer centre stage, what you think doesn’t matter, your world has shrunk, and the only new experiences are arthritis, stiff bones, if you are lucky. Love is less of an option. You grouch a lot more! And, I’d say that generally you have become disillusioned about the possibility of a fair and free society!
Sometimes, I like the idea of slowing down, being more reflective, enjoying wisdom, and passing on the struggles of the world to others, but it is not that easy. I still go to war with myself, leaping from one irrational conclusion to the next. I prevaricate more, and my thought patterns have become increasingly abstract. I am also more impatient. And, I forget things! My back and hips hurt. I get tired. And, I don’t have as many solutions as I used to. In fact, as I get older, I seem to know less. Doesn’t that sound a lot more challenging that being constantly in love, managing hormones and planning how to change the world? But, one thing I have learned is that there are no absolutes and the whole point about change is the process.
The bright side is that I have time for writing, to swim, do workshops, cook, read, watch TV, go to exhibitions, theatre, visit my mother in London, get involved in local stuff (Cavan Women’s Network are trying to get more women into politics – so still trying for the fair and free society!)
So why do I feel disgruntled about getting old? Well, I’m not going to be. I have just decided I am going to be more relaxed and to stop obsessing like a young teenager! I am a beautiful, life loving, committed, passionate, caring, engaged older woman. It does help to say it, write it down.
Now, let me tell you about the really bad dose I have just had….the face that felt it would explode, the sore eyes, the stuffed ears, the captured chest..