THESE GOLDEN YEARS
I'm pretty sure Taylor Swift wasn't referring to Midlifers when she wrote "State of Grace", but a little snippet of the lyrics rang true to me about this stage of life. It is a golden age - time to take a breath and discover the people we've become, different to who we were and hopefully better versions of our younger selves.
It is a really good time to be alive - all the hard work of raising decent, caring human beings is largely behind me. There is time to slow down a little and smell the roses, work less, take a stroll, drink uninterrupted cups of coffee with friends, see the latest movies and even travel a little. There is time to talk and re-connect with my husband and focus on the shared history and commitment we have with each other. There's time to chat with my children, to visit them, and even time to be excited about the grandbabies as they start to arrive.
It is a time for getting the balance right - how much time to spend working, how much time to give to those "grown and flown" children, how much time to give to friends and family. It's about putting my needs closer to the front of the queue and not feeling guilty about that. It's about cutting myself some slack and acknowledging that I have managed to get a lot of things right (and a few wrong along the way). There have been so many upheavals, but predominantly most things have turned out alright in the end.
That is what my life is for me now - real, I don't want to be a product of the First World I live in - I want to be true to myself, true to my belief in God, true to my marriage vows, true to my role as the mother of two adult children, true to my role as a mother-in-law (that one's always a bit tricky isn't it?), and true to my new role as a Nan to my lovely grandbaby. I also want to be a true and loyal friend to the friends who have stuck by me through thick and thin over the years.
I can look at myself in the mirror and know that I am 'real' - that I may not be perfect but I am authentic to my values and the person I present to the world isn't wearing a mask (most of the time!).
So Taylor, in all her 20 something years of wisdom managed to touch a chord in this midlifer's heart and made me stop and think and appreciate that "the golden age" I'm in isn't too bad after all. Getting older might suck in some areas but it has its blessings too.