• Caroline Donough

Reflection


I think I've reached what's commonly referred to as "a contemplative stage in life" - a phase that's synonymous with... *cringe*... getting old - something that most young people feel apprehensive about. Hey, I get it. It wasn't that long ago that I, too, was a young person. Carefree. Invincible (or so I thought). My whole life ahead of me. The idea of getting old seemed alien and light years away.

Yet, here I am now - in my 40s. Not that I'm old by any means, let's get that straight. Just older.

So I was thinking that today, instead of writing food reviews or sharing EA tips, I'd write random. I feel like yakking a bit anyway, and you're more than welcome to join in if you like.

You know what's interesting about this whole concept of "getting older"? Well for starters, there's the physical manifestation of it. You don't feel it happening. I know I didn't. It's a slow and gradual process. So slow and gradual, in fact, that you don't really notice it for a long time. Years! It kind of just creeps up on you one day. The majority of us will only become aware of it once we see wrinkles taking permanent residence on our faces. I know, right? Those pesky crow's feet and laugh lines. Ugh. But you know what? Unless you're involved in the beauty or entertainment industry, your circle of friends probably won't give two hoots about your wrinkles, anyway.

Speaking of which, I actually think that a few lines and wrinkles on the face make a person look more attractive. It's true, I do. I think they add character and realness, and I think that anyone who wears them with confidence is beautiful. While the media is notorious for exalting physical flawlessness (please, we all know it's Photoshop), I think that imperfections are a necessary flaw to an otherwise unnatural canvas. Take Kate Middleton, for example. She's looking better and better with age, wrinkles and all. Hats off to her for embracing them.

I can't speak for other people, of course, but I, personally, don't feel my age. I actually feel younger than my age. And I'm often mistaken for younger, which is nice.

But am I still carefree like I was before? Yes, for the most part. Do I still think I'm invincible? No one is invincible, so no. Do I still have my whole life ahead of me? Not really, but there's still plenty of fuel left in this tank, so...

Besides, didn't someone say that 40 is the new 30? Or is that now 50 is the new 30? 😄

Anyway, jokes aside, there is a grimmer dimension to getting older. Ever been discriminated against because of your age? Yeah. That. Ageism is a dogmatic reality and getting older isn't for sissies. Although I would never stereotype anyone, there are people who will disregard a person for no other reason than their DOB. God only knows when this stigma would be banished from society for good. Until then (and I wouldn't hold my breath), having courageous inner strength is an absolute necessity as one navigates getting older, not to mention a good sense of humour. Of course, if you aren't afraid of needles, a few shots of Botox might help, too. Not that I would know, but hey...

Right now, it's 9.45 pm on a Friday night and I'm sitting in my favourite spot on the living room floor writing this post. As I reflect, I feel like I've reached a point where I've evolved somewhat. At least I hope I have. My dad is lounging in his chair watching TV, while my mum is getting some shut-eye on the couch. And our good old faithful, beautiful cat is snoozing on the floor right next to me. Doesn't sound like much, I know. It isn't much. Yet it's everything. If I were to sum up this moment in a single word, it would be "perfect". There was a time when I wouldn't have appreciated this ordinariness, much less on a Friday night. But I do now.

So does age have anything to do with it? I think it does to some extent. There's a combination of other things, too, for sure. Things like maturity, environment, introspection, life-altering experiences and various other elements that shape and mold a person. Going through a difficult time involving an elderly loved one and their injury about ten years ago made me adjust my perspective regarding certain sociocultural issues, in particular age. It's a shift that's continued to become increasingly significant for me as I get older myself.

I know this sounds idealistic, but wouldn't it be refreshing if we were to liberalise our thinking and look at someone and see them as a whole? Not as a young person, an older person or whatever age they may be, but rather as a fellow human being who's birthdate we don't care about (except maybe to send them well wishes on their birthday). Wouldn't that be so much better?

And on that hopeful and almost philosophical note, it's time for me to get off my soapbox. I've rambled on quite a bit, haven't I? Thanks for indulging me. Until my next post, take care and cheers for now!

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