When I was 22 and got my first full time job (post college), I gained nine pounds in three months. The first thought that came to me? “I guess I’m getting old…” Did I mention I was 22?
When I was in my early thirties and I started feeling stiff and began hobbling when I got out of bed in the morning, I thought “damn, aging sucks.”
When my shoulder was cranky and then crankier for a decade, I was sure the years were just creeping up on me. That this was just the way it goes.
Then in my early forties, insomnia slid in and with it brain fog, lack of focus, some despair and anxiety….once again, I blasted and lamented and railed against the ‘aging’ process.
I was wrong in every single one of those instances and my immediate finger pointing at Father Time prevented me ⏤ over and over again ⏤ from getting to the bottom of my real issues.
The real issue at 22? My refusal to acknowledge that the endless desktop bowls of M&Ms and break room doughnuts that come with office life had got the best of me. Age had little or nothing to do with it.
The real issue in my early thirties? My crap diet and stress levels had inflammation pummeling my body. Now almost 20 years later, those ‘old age’ aches and pains are almost non-existent because I’ve cleaned up my act. (Or at least I have moved in a better direction.)
That shoulder issue? Had I not blamed age for so many years, I would have had it looked at sooner. Turns out I had a calcium deposit sitting in the joint. It took 5 minutes for them to remove it using a needle under ultrasound. But my stubbornness cost me ten years of my favorite activities.
My insomnia was also something that needed time, attention, awareness, trial, error, patience, love…what it did not need was me writing it off to getting older.
Maybe you can relate? The next time you find yourself cursing age, be willing to pause. Poke around under the hood a bit. Ask yourself the hard and brutally honest questions. Be willing to go to the places that scare the hell out of you.
Because here is some irony...I’m finding the actual process of getting older unexpectedly beautiful and really damn freeing. It’s not a villain, it’s not an excuse. And if something hurts, I need to find the real cause. From there, from truth, I stand a fighting chance.
This is the first of a four-part segment on this topic. We'll dive into some specific action plans. I'll share what worked for me, what did not work, and offer clear suggestions. If you wish to receive the remaining three segments,
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Kathleen is the owner of The Studio and teaches meditation on Saturday mornings at 7:45am and Flow Yoga on Tuesdays at 5:15pm.