Aging concerns every one of us, even if we would rather deny the fact. As part of creation and made up from the original stardust, each form of life lives and dies.
Ah, but we're different—we're special, made in the image of God. We have a soul.
Yet do we know other forms of life are not similar? Can we prove otherwise?
I'd prefer to give every living creature the benefit of doubt, hoping to see my beloved pets in heaven again when I die.
But I diverse. I want to share my thoughts on the stage before I leave this plane.
I started off so young—like everyone else. As a teenager, I never considered the possibility of aging. I'd remain beautiful forever with smooth skin, a flawless complexion, long legs and a ready smile. I flaunted death by riding on motorbikes with boys, much to my mother's vexation.
On through the years of motherhood, I remained young with my children. When they left home, I separated from their father and left the country, ready for adventure. Not as callously as that. I needed to shake off oppression and decided to take my chances elsewhere. I achieved my aim alone. Heart quivering, I travelled to a new country where I knew no one. Within a week, I'd settled on a job as a nanny—accepting comfort and security from the family I worked with.
Then I met my present husband and began a new stage of life, like a tree sending out a new, strong trunk while the other withered. I felt young and vital again while I established a new role. I worked in catering through almost twenty years until injury forced retirement.
I maintained a youthful approach to life while embroidering, writing poetry and finally creating songs. Full of enthusiasm and with a positive attitude, I turned to writing a novel based on my life. The project soon changed as my character took me in unexpected directions. I discovered the joy of writing and created a whole new world. Finally, two separate publishers accepted my work, one of which I created one with my writing partner, Edith Parzefall. In my own mind, even though I'd turned seventy, I was the same vital woman.
Now we come to the topical subject. Aging and self-image.
For the first book launch, my local newspaper wrote an article and sent a photographer to capture me at my desk. Overjoyed, I waited for the picture to appear online at their website.
When I looked at my photograph, the awful truth sunk in. I'd aged while I wasn't paying attention. That person in the mirror looked the same to me, but the one in the article looked like an old woman.
Okay—I can accept my aging just like everyone else. Only natural. Don't make a fuss. Smile and think of the publicity. But self-doubt crept in. I didn't look like the person I knew myself to be. I rallied with the idea that people weren't buying the image of me, they were buying my book—something I'd created with my mind. Yet I'd lost joy. The spark had fizzled out.
I'll go on writing. Creating stories gives me a reason for living. I only hope self-belief will return after the staggering blow of reality.
#Tree images from: FREEIMAGES.co.uk