At 48, I'm not even middle-aged.
No, I'm not in denial, because the women in my family live to be as old as the Great Basin Bristlecone Pine in the Southwest United States. Said tree is 5,063 years old.
And that's how old my grandmother was when she passed. Give or take 4,964 years. My grandma was in mint condition when she left us. In fact, her Spirit Fire was so intense that I still feel her with me today.
(My beautiful grandmother in college circa 1930.)
So, when I think about all the things I need to do in order to age as beautifully as my grandmother did (she took up waterskiing on one ski at the age of 59. She drove capably till the age of 96), one of them is to commune with all powers greater than myself (and no, I don't eat hemp and wear Birkenstocks while perusing the "Former Lives" aisle at the Bodhi Tree bookstore. I'm more of a leopard-print lingerie type of gal).
My higher powers are:
Nature, which I worship by attempting to paddle board off of Catalina Island, enjoying the brisk, fresh, cold salty water every time I fall in (Fortunately, I wasn't eaten by a massive oar fish).
The Breath in my own body when I'm holding the plank pose in Pilates, feeling the strength of my core and its connection to my breath.
Being present in The Moment when I braid my daughter's hair; strong, rough and thick as ropes in my hands.
The delicious Taste of a perfectly aged Pinot Noir I drink as I prepare Dijon-rosemary rack-of-lamb.
The Pleasure I feel when my husband rubs my back or kisses my lips.
The Humility I feel when I face a disappointment or a rejection and have to be patient with myself as it passes through me like a storm heading for the coast.
Aging well is all about our spirit and how it informs our attitudes, our health, our relationships and our minds.
I'm far from perfect, frequently fumbling the ball in the end zone, but each day I get up and try again. That, in and of itself, will inform the way I handle getting older.
What do you do to prepare yourself for being happy and healthy when you're all grown up? (Which, if you look at my 99-year old grandmother's trajectory, is around 95).
(Me, still feeling young and frisky at 48. I plan to take up Surma Stick Fighting at the half century mark!)