What Scares Me?

Getting older scares me.  I would guess most people have a fear or two connected with aging.  I asked a few friends about getting older and their responses varied about as much as their personalities.  One friend feared being a burden to relatives because she has no children to care for her.  Another friend worried about her financial situation and whether she had saved enough money to allow her to live comfortably in her retirement years.  A third friend was worried about being unattractive and a fourth was concerned about the loss of possibility. 

As I listened to these smart, articulate and intelligent women, I really took a long, close look at my fears.  I share all the concerns above but I fear the loss of possibility the most.  I believe if you don’t like something, make a change.  Hate your job, go back to school.  Husband is abusive, show him the door.  Don’t like the weather in Iowa, move someplace warmer.  You see my philosophy.  Life is short, find ways to be happy.  Possibility has always led me down the path of life. Recently, I have let my age stop me from thinking about what the future holds. 

In our youth we are filled with the hopes and dreams “growing up” into adulthood. The experience of aging in our formative years is stimulated by our sense of broadening and expanding into self reliance.  Youthful exuberance gives us an illusion of boundless and unlimited future.   Does my future have a limit now?  Is my shelf life shortened now that I am 50? 

I mentioned to a co-worker that I was thinking about going back to college for my Master’s Degree after my girls were finished with high school.  Her response was—“Why would you?”  She followed up with “Won’t your retire soon?”   I followed up with some comments about personal development and such.  But she had me thinking.  Aging comes with boundaries and obstacles that we did not have or recognize in our youth.

Regardless of age, we all deal with the same  impermanence of life.   Your life can change and expand at any age. It can also end at any age with an unexpected accident or illness.  Many famous, successful people have found satisfying careers in middle age.  Joy Behar was a school teacher and launched her comedy career after the age of 40.   Charles Darwin was 50 years old before he published On the Origin of the Species in 1859, the book that espoused the theory for which he best known today. Colonel Harland Sanders founded the Kentucky Fried Chicken company at age 65.

  1. Answer to my own question–“Yes, Barb, you can still can go back to college and finish your Master’s degree or learn to paint or run a marathon.  The possibility is still alive as long as you are.”

The List…

  • Write a monthly thank you to someone who has had a big impact on my life
  • Give blood
  • Spend an entire day completing random acts of kindness
  • Grant a wish from my mom’s bucket list
  • Get real with money
  • Say no and mean it and feel no guilt
  • Ask for help with no guilt or delay
  • Allow myself to be photographed more often
  • Spend a weekend at the monastery
  • Learn about other religions
  • Join my church as a member
  • Lose 20 pounds
  • Belly Dancing Class
  • Pole Dancing Class
  • Body Cleanse and Detox
  • Reflexology
  • Acupuncture
  • Tai Chi
  • Learn to Bartend
  • Learn to Grill
  • Take an Improv Class
  • Ziplining
  • Rock Climbing
  • Hot Air Ballooning
  • Disc Golf
  • Laser Tag
  • Paint Ball
  • Big Repairs on the house this year
  • Get a tattoo
  • Have a reading by psychic
  • Go to the rodeo
  • Grape Stomping–yes like the time Lucy and Ethel made wine
  • Tandem biking
  • Compete in an event at the State Fair
  • Drive a convertible
  • Work for a flower shop and deliver flowers for a day
  • Write a blog
  • Read a new book each week
  • Read all the books that my book club selects
  • Film Festival
  • Music Festival
  • Get a passport–the plan to travel out of the country begins..
  • Road Trip alone…Thelma and Louise with no Louise…
  • Train Trip
  • Stephen Colbert Show
  • Independent Bookstore Tour around the Midwest
  • Facial
  • Visit with a cosmetologist for a makeup makeover
  • Join AARP
  • Have a colonoscopy

The items that have been marked through are completed items.


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