“Age is only a number we count until we’re old enough to know it doesn’t count.” (Katrina Mayer)
I’ve always heard that age is nothing but a number. But, in just under a year from now, I’ll be the big 5-0, which presently, I find myself getting particularly bothered by, especially when my partner Chris jokes about it with me or with others we’re spending time with. Why does this bother me so much when age probably really is nothing but a number? Because at almost 50, I feel like I haven’t accomplished much in this life other than getting clean and sober from alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes 26 years ago.
While I know that sober specific achievement is nothing to balk at and something I continue to be thankful to God for, I honestly believe my issue with my age is really because I’m not happy with me right now. I tend to believe that the greater the happiness a person has within themselves, the greater the acceptance they will have with all their circumstances of life, including their age. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find that within ever since all my major health issues began back in April of 2010. Prior to that, when I was able to be far more active in my life in plenty of ways, I definitely felt happiness within. But with each passing year since I was 39, I have done my best just to survive through a number of mind and body health issues, each making it so very difficult to see the looming 5-0 with anything but dread. While I have no problem accepting anyone else’s age with grace and unconditional love, and even find great appreciation and attraction in those far older than I, I can’t seem to get there within myself. That has become all the more apparent since turning 49 a few weeks ago. Maybe this is that mid-life crisis people always talk about when they reach this age? I’m not sure, but I had a lot of dreams for where I wanted my life to be at by the time I reached 50. Sadly, those dreams feel so far away presently, as all my energy continues to go into just coping with my health limitations and doing the best I can to make it through each day. Frankly, I know if I could just find peace and joy within regardless of my health or any circumstances of life, it wouldn’t matter whether I was 49, 50, 61, or 80.
In my soul, I ultimately know what matters isn’t my age at all, or how I look, or even with any of my life’s achievements. I think what truly matters is just being a good person, a loving person, a caring person, a kind person, a giving person, and well I think you get the point. Except, I’ve struggled with them all the more my mind and body is plagued with one health issue after another. Because of that, anger has often got the best of me lately, something I’ve been disappointed within myself, which is working directly against the very thing I want, that being to accept whatever age I’m at.
It really is ironic how I can look at someone else far older than I, who feels the same way as I do about their age, and offer them the very compassion and love they are struggling to offer themselves, yet I can’t seem to offer that to myself! I know all of this is my ego working against me, something I’ve seen quite a bit of in my writing as of late. While deep down, I know age truly is nothing but a number and that it doesn’t matter in the overall grand scheme of life how old any of us are. I just pray for that part of me to overcome my ego that continues to tell me the lie that I’m a failure at almost 50.
Dear God, I know that age is nothing but a number, especially to You. Please help me find peace and joy within, no matter what my circumstances in life are or will ever be, as I know in doing so, I won’t be dreading turning the big 5-0, or any other age for that matter.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson