The Peak Stage
When did living our best years become about ignoring how we got here?
We’ve crossed the threshold and stepped into our Golden Years. We’re about to embark on our grandest adventure. This is often the rhetoric associated with aging, at every milestone really.
And yet, as we are told to make the most of these years, a louder voice weighs in. It urges us to reverse, wherever and whenever possible this thing called aging. Just pick up a magazine, watch a commercial, walk through a cosmetic department. It’s all there reminding us that getting older is great, but denial is better.
I’d like to ask you to consider a different perspective: that perhaps – this stage of our lives is not better or worse than any other.
That's just maybe all the experiences, the roads traveled, the missteps, the ups and the downs that got us here are the real gifts we are told to embrace.
Not the preponderance of ‘experts’ selling us on the idea that time is running out, so we’d better make the most of it - by defying it.
As Mitch Albom poignantly notes in The Timekeeper:
"Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. Man alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out."
For many of us, these years have ushered us through significant changes. We’ve raised children and sent them off to college, endured taking care of aging parents, struggled through illness, divorce, established new careers, new relationships.
A continual flow of beginnings and endings. How we navigate the transitions is a result of we processed each of these challenges along the way.
The question looms large… What next?
I like to think of my own life as one long upward climb. Turning 50 opened new doors, it never felt like the downhill slide I’d been warned about. Turning 60 presented a new appreciation for where I am, who I’ve become and what I can look forward to.
I’m ready to keep living, venturing up the mountain – this is my PEAK stage. Mastering the art of living life’s moments as they come, with an open mind and heart.
Think about it… We are armed with the beauty of experience and knowledge. Now we have the opportunity to express ourselves in ways we’d never imagined.
What does that image conjure up for you? What new roads might you wander? Will you travel, take up new hobby, sport, return to school, the list goes on.
Life goes on. Your one beautiful life. It’s your story to write as you dream.
Define it as you will, as you live your peak stage…