http://dailypost.wordpress.com/category/writing-challenges/golden years We are all born to die. That is a given. Not one of us has an agenda, handed to us at birth, that maps our future. So why our obsession with age. Looking back with regret is fruitless, since we cannot change what has been. Looking forward, in trepidation, serves no purpose. Mourning the physical loss of youth is pointless, for each day that has passed has gone forever, and no matter how many creams, and potions, and patches we apply, we will never recapture that freshness. Life should always be about now. About finding joy in what we have. Celebrating what we have become.
I am not advocating lack of responsibility. Our actions define our lives, and resonate on those around us. In particular, our children. If we choose to bring them into the world, then it is our role to nurture them, and to encourage them to spread their wings. To let them discover the boundless opportunities this life can offer. And learn from our mistakes, and theirs. But they have a life of their own, and we should not lose sight of ours, and become a vague shadow as a result.
We all have a period in our life that defines us, those golden years that we revisit over and again. A certain song, a perfume, a quote from a book or film can transport us there instantly. A point in time when life seemed to be perfect, when we ruled the world. Often, our appearance reflects this, a haircut that has barely changed, a style of dressing we never grew away from, the way we speak. Our comfort zone, a place in which escape when the world seems a little bit too mad. For me, it was my late teens, a heady, intoxicating mix of love, and laughter, and music. When I decided to ignore the demons that had dominated my life, my lack of beauty, and grace, and took on the persona of the kick ass bitch. It was short lived, but wonderful, and I have never forgotten a single moment. So in my head, I am the eternal teenager.
Age, to me, can be measured in the eyes. They really do reflect the soul. The spark that burns bright in an octogenarian, defying the ravages of time, compared to the flatness in the beautiful young woman you spoke to today. I don’t notice lines, or wrinkles, or jowls, only smiles, and wit, and laughter, the most wonderful gift of all. Because without it, there is no point to life. And laughter is ageless, forging bonds between different generations, a common spark that can unite even the most disparate of people. A face bathed in laughter is instantly more youthful than one artificially plumped and smoothed of expression.
Of course there are constant reminders of the passing of time. Long gone is my ability, or indeed willingness, to stay up all night. The bed that I fought so long to stay out of as a child, is now a blissful haven. The small boy that I once carried on my hip, now has to bend to kiss my cheek. My attitudes have subtly changed, a cupboard full of food being far more important than a new pair of shoes, an evening spent eating with a few close friends more appealing than a nightclub and an excess of alcohol. I would rather remain single than accept second best for the sake of having a partner. And I am now totally honest about my feelings, even when I know others may not be happy with what I have to say. But some things don’t change. I still play my music far too loudly, music which my sons tell me I am too old to have on my playlist. I had my first tattoo four years ago. And then a second, and a third, and then a fourth, just because I was told I shouldn’t! I still stick my tongue out, or make rude gestures behind the back of some-one who has annoyed me. My hair will never be grey, or bland, or long! I will always prefer jeans and boots to heels and frocks. I will always prefer motorbikes to cars. And I will never, ever play bingo, or discuss soap characters as if they were real people!
Every year is a golden year. It may be your last. So just do what you were born to do. Live, really live, before you die.