When you've hit the age bracket where you ladies look in the mirror and say, "Mirror, mirror on the wall, I am my mother after all," you know you've hit the "Mid-Yikes Crisis" era!
Don't run away screaming, "I've lost my youth," or fear you've past your prime. Now is the time when you can have more fun, more meaning and more passion than you've ever imagined.
First, turn a deaf ear to the media on the subject of aging. Oh, I know that time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician. However, the media emphasizes youthful appearances and the reduction of fine wrinkles - yada, yada, yada - as it reaches its slimy fingers into your pocketbook to take yet another paycheck for anti-aging creams!
Did you know that the only way a night cream can be called anti-aging is when it has sunscreen in it? Yep, that's right, that's how low they can go, by advertising something to block the sun while you sleep at night! And no, I'm not kidding, but wish I were!
I love what George Burns said: "Retirement at 65 is ridiculous. When I was 65, I still had pimples!" There's a big difference between being young and being youthful.
Mark Twain said, "When your friends begin to flatter you on how young you look, it's a sure sign you're getting old." However, midlife can actually be a time to really get started and give life all you've got.
Instead of aging on autopilot, you can reach beyond the stereotype images you may have about what's possible at this time in your life. Give yourself permission to stretch forward and embrace what can be!
In our youth-obsessed society, we tend to forget the wonderful parts of maturing. If you're feeling "youthfully challenged" with the stresses of aging, decide to bring some enchantment into your life. It's time to recapture your sense of adventure! Let go of the weight of past stressors and embrace the lightheartedness of youth. Rewrite the script of your life to include simple pleasures and innocent indulgences.
Mentoring and sharing your wisdom gleaned from your years is a sure-fire way of recapturing youth by investing in the young. Recapture your dreams at this age by doing what you meant to do earlier.
We all feel and know the old adage, "Life happens while we're making plans." Did you want to write a book, or start a business, build a house, begin an exercise regimen? Then now is the time for your goals, aspirations and plans to start. God is the God of second chances.
Maybe you do not feel you were a great dad/mom, husband/wife, son, or brother/sister/friend. Then, begin today "being" that person. No matter what did or didn't happen in your past, the present remains an endless wellspring of exhilarating possibilities. Begin to appreciate your age be becoming a sage and sharing your wisdom.
Something my daughter and I spoke of this week was the fact that life is not all about us. She faced a crisis of someone else on her own birthday, and I felt badly about that and expressed that to her.
To that Kristin said, "It's not all about me."
Wow! And the student becomes the teacher. I felt badly for her, but she saw it as an investment of her life into the life of someone else. What a great way to spend her birthday!
You know, whenever we encounter a truly selfish person, misery abounds. Heartache is the result of the "Me Generation" that I grew up in. It is simply not all about us, and if we live to reflect that it is all about us, then what a waste.
However, as we begin again to seek to "be" the right kind of person for God, then He gives us back the life we craved: one with fulfillment, joy, hope and peace.
Great Truths for your Mid-Yikes Crisis:
n "Women have hormonal ups and downs as they age, but men buy motorcycles."
n "Age is something that doesn't matter unless you are a cheese."
n "Getting old is not for sissies." (Bette Davis)
n "Nature gives you the face you have at 20; it's up to you to merit the face you have at 50." (Coco Chanel).
n "Be content with what you have." (Hebrews 13:5)
n "Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional."
n "An archeologist is the best husband a woman can have; the older she gets, the more interested he is in her." (Agatha Christie)
n "Forget health food. I need all the preservatives I can get."
n "You know you're getting old when you get the same rush from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster."
Here is a great, (tongue in cheek here), exercise if you think you are getting flabby:
This is great for middle life and seniors, but young people try it at your own risk. Three days a week is a good start.
Begin by standing straight with a 5-pound potato sack in each hand. Extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute and then relax.
After a few weeks, move up to 10-pound sacks and then 50-pound sacks.
Eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-pound potato sack in each hand and hold your arms horizontally, straight out from your sides, for more than a full minute.
After you've reached a reasonable level of confidence at the 100-pound-sack level, start putting a couple of potatoes in each of the sacks, but be careful not to overdo it.
(Kimberly Short Wolfe, MA, is a counselor and chaplain for Mountain Hospice. She is also a homeschool mom. To contact her, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or call 304-823-3922, ext. 136.