I look in the mirror and see new lines on my face, a bit of drooping in places that never drooped before. I could wallow in self-pity and mourn the loss of my youth. Instead, I choose to celebrate my years and experience.
I reflect on the rich, crazy and wonderful times I experienced in my life – being a hippie in the ‘60s; being a denizen of CBGB’s and part of the burgeoning punk rock scene in NYC in the ‘70s; coming into my own in the ensuing years; experiencing life as an entertainment lawyer, and giving it up to follow my dream to become a psychotherapist.
Here are some tips I have learned for embracing aging and letting go of grieving the loss of youth:
- Know that wisdom comes from life experience, not from reading about it.
- Appreciate yourself and what you have learned.
- Celebrate your accomplishments.
- Acknowledge your imperfections without judgment. No one is perfect, young and old alike.
- Accept your limitations. So what if you can no longer run a four- minute mile?
- Embrace patience.
- Have compassion for yourself, and for all others on this path called human existence.
- Celebrate impermanence. After all, if things were permanent, nothing whatsoever would be possible.
- Relish interdependence.
- Reinforce your personal sense of spirituality through the beauty of nature, the arts and life’s little miracles.
- Share your gifts and experience with others, and teach them what you have learned through life’s trials and triumphs.
- Enjoy the quiet times.
- Create a list of things you’d like to accomplish, and set about doing them. It’s not too late.
- Have a sense of honest humility about the things you’d like to accomplish but know that you may not be able to. It’s OK.
- Don’t dwell on regrets. Again, nobody is perfect. Acknowledge what you’ve learned from mistakes along the way.
- Maintain a sense of humor and perspective, and laugh often.