Author: Marianne Glaeser, published by ThankGodi
Is that me?
I resist my first impulse to delete the dreadful selfie. No, this is not just the unfavourable light… I sit down and risk a closer look.
Of course I always “knew” – but it’s an entirely different story to shift from knowledge to the actual experience. It’s just like waking up in a different movie – a horror movie to be precise, pitilessly revealing the laws of our fleeting nature. No, there is just no preparation for that…
Wasn’t it just yesterday that I found myself shaking my head, laughing about the fuss some of my 45+ year old friends made over what to do or not to do in order to keep young, fit, and crisp??
Wow – it just took this one crucial instant that directed me to join their club – this one photograph I saw of myself that made it so very clear: no matter how young I may feel inside, physically I too had passed the peak.
The discrepancy between my timeless inner experiencing and a body that decides to age – this is the challenge midlife presents me with. I am transitioning from “crescent” to “descent” and as this metaphor strongly implies, there is an end to this journey. What a scary perspective! It’s been so easy to distract myself from this fact as long as I was moving upwards. Besides, I didn’t even know how big the plateau up there might be.
Well, I do know now, as my ‘crucial instant’-photo clearly marked the edge of my highland, directing my line of sight towards a less appealing reality.
No wonder people are dreading this time of life! In a culture that idealizes youth and beauty, the midlife experience is reduced to what we are loosing in terms of looks and physical fitness.
But this can’t be it – right?