Oy Ingrid. How I wish more of this were true for more of us.
I would largely agree with you that these things are possible, but not guaranteed (wrinkles are, wisdom isn’t). I used to think- foolishly- that by turning fifty, so much of what you list here would simply BE.
Ain’t true. what I have noticed is that the determining factor has far more to do with whether you and I are willing to do the hard personal work of development. To wit I write for a Sixty plus women’s website and I am often righteously horrified at the puerile picking at one another, the angst about weight, the anxiety about what others think, the constant worries about weight and looks and makeup.
While I most certainly understand, as I sit here in Moshi, Tanzania, at 67, no makeup, dirty fingernails, my greying hair pulled into a tight bun, all I can think of is what an effing waste of time and energy about nuthin. I’ve just ridden a fine horse in the Maasai Mara, gone rhino tracking near the base of Mt. Kenya, and have plenty more ahead of me. Just getting started this year.
As we age, there is a massive opportunity to be more relevant because as you say we stop foaming at the mouth about stuff that is, and always was, meaningless. I did myself, my hand is up, guilty as charged. However at what point do we leave the real baggage of youth and insecurity at the damned door and march out on our own terms?
That’s not driven by age, for I’ve met some effing amazing thirty year olds. It’s driven by perspective, courage and a willingness to call crap on what we’re told is important.
I love your list. Wish more folks over fifty fit that profile. I know plenty, but plenty more are still drinking the Koolaid. It is indeed a waste. But it’s more so if we don’t put that Koolaid down, call it what it is, and self determine.
Many are called, few hear, and even fewer take up the challenge. Thanks for the reminder of what’s possible, perhaps not guaranteed, but what we most certainly can hope to achieve as we mature.