The current adage that "age is just a number," is a self-serving, reality-numbing piece of pop culture idiocy that we have foisted on ourselves. The sad part is that so many of us buy into this piece of nonsense.
What are we doing? It seems we are grabbing onto a feeling of "youth" at any cost simply because we see "youth" as better. But is it? I believe we are really only glorifying a wrinkle-free, firm-jawed, perky-buttocked, idealized vision of the youthful body.
Is there truly no difference between the mind, heart and spirit of an untried 25-year-old and a fairly seasoned 50-something? You bet your not-so-perfect bottom there is!
By the time we hit our late 40s and start moving through our 50s and 60s we have put some mileage on our vision of life. Life has happened. And, more often than not, it certainly has not been the game we planned to play. But we have learned (hopefully) to play the cards we were dealt and accept how they have fallen.
Living life on life's terms requires guts, some solid experience and, oh please, a sense of humor. The girl or boy that was the love of our life left us or we left them. The beautiful babies that were to complete our family, became teenagers. Dear God, what was I thinking? Who are these people? Can I give them back?
The untried dreams of youth became the reality of working harder than we ever thought possible; striving, failing and getting up again -- and again. The career we dreamed of and worked towards may have dissolved in our hands. Our health or the health of a loved one may have wobbled mightily.
By the time we are walking through our fifth or sixth decade of life, most of us have hit a wall or two -- and those walls can hurt. But we've learned that life only defeats us if we allow it to. We get wiser, more resilient and more understanding. We now know that we don't always get what we want. What we do get, though, is the result of effort, courage and getting up each morning to do the right thing with a smile of love for ourselves and our fellow man.
So those "laugh" lines around our eyes and that not-quite-so-firm jaw are the outer badges of inner battles won and witnessed.
Age is so much more than just a number! With age come wisdom, courage, humility, compassion, patience and heart-healing laughter. We have earned every line on our faces because they reflect the passions of willing hearts and souls that have done some real living and are so much the richer for it.