When I first got my assignment to write about “Aging Gracefully,” I thought I would have to revolt. I didn’t think “graceful” was the right word to describe the way I see myself today. Then I looked up the word “gracefully” and felt so much more comfortable with that descriptor.
Gracefully means lithely, beautifully, delightfully, graciously, harmoniously, skillfully and smoothly. It means to bend easily and remain flexible like a ballet dancer. I loved the image of aging with such grace and flexibility!
Then I thought back to when my world started changing quickly in my late 40s, how unprepared I felt for any real change.
But isn’t that when it always happens? I was shocked and so confused, feeling that I just could not handle so much at once.
Why is it that our worst breakdowns lead to our best breakthroughs? Perhaps because it is only when our back is flat up against the wall, that we are forced to acknowledge our own strength of character and heightened resilience.
In that supremely memorable moment of desperation and panic, I finally learned how much flexibility would be required for me to negotiate the rest of my life. This was not the end, it was only the beginning of so many important changes which I would need to embrace to survive my own midlife challenges.
Now I know myself so much better. I know how strong I am, after weathering a number of difficult storms. I know the delight of feeling confident that I will be able to weather further storms as I get to know myself on ever deeper levels.
I have learned how to live more intuitively and skillfully with this person who is full of flaws but still so worth being.
I have learned to love fiercely the absolutely imperfect person that I am.
To learn more about mastering difficult life transitions you might enjoy my books: Midlife Magic: Becoming The Person You Are Inside! and my new one: Find Your Reason to be Here: The Search for Meaning in Midlife.
To find a new faith in love try: How to Believe In Love Again.