When I was 12, my family threw a birthday party for my uncle who was turning 40. The room was filled with black balloons and everyone teased him about being "over the hill." Except me. The way I saw it, he had one foot in the grave. 40? Might as well be dead. Now, I'm 55. Inside, I still feel 12. But I am noticing the skin and bodies and movements of 75-year-olds and older. Reflecting on the ever-faster-moving hands of the clock, here's what I've decided: We are just too old.
We are too old to complain about our health
My high school girlfriends and I make it a point to get together every few years. Our last rendezvous was a week ago. We look pretty fabulous, you know, for 55. However, we did dip into story-topping old-age laments. The knees and the backs and the hips. Sheesh. Enough already. We are too old for that nonsense. We are all going to die and everybody has some kind of lump or knot or ache and it's just boring. When we put the kibosh on that conversation we were free to discuss the mind-blowing, amazing, exciting things that we were doing. Careers and families and babies and traveling. Books we've read and may yet write. Adventures shared and planned. And, we "pinky-swore" that we would help each other transition from this life to the next.
We are too old for "beefs"
Every family seems to have a secret or two or three. Sometimes those secrets devolve into a "beef" between those who hold the secret. Years go by and the two of them refuse to speak. Drama runs like a river through every wedding, Thanksgiving dinner and funeral. Maybe they have to keep the cause of the beef secret because it's so inane. Really, even if it involves killing a man, there is always a way toward forgiveness and redemption. Perhaps you are nursing a wound that you've kept open for decades. I encourage you to let it heal. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. Because when you release the beef, you are that much lighter and a whole lot freer. And scars can be pretty sexy.
We are too old to waste any more time
My pal Earl Lutz is 91 years old. He shakes his head when I suggest that 55 is a lot of years. He and his wife, since deceased, started a company that makes a delicious, spicy sauce...based on her recipe. I was enlisted to help Earl put a business plan together. At our first phone meeting, I asked Earl about his hopes and dreams for the company. I was a blown away when he laid out his concept for a billion dollar business. That's billion. With a B. Earl moves fast. He plans for beyond his lifetime and doesn't commit to calendar appointments beyond a few weeks. The guy is living, every moment of everyday. He's just too old not to.
What music do you still have inside you? Time to play it, amigo. Last Friday, Bruce Jenner shared his story and his decision to transition. At 65, he was tired of living a lie, and being less than who he truly is. He could've held on to his secret and carried it into the sunset. But, he is just too old. So, he laid claim to his truth. Atta boy, Bruce. We don't have to understand or judge. We have our own choices to make. It's time to make them because we are just too old for anything else.