Saturday, December 17, 2011

Your Second Act (over 40)

I have been *sort of* reading a book called Staging Your Comeback: A Complete Beauty Revival for Women over 45 by Christopher Hitchens. Apparently he's been on Oprah and other shows, which I've never seen, but I read a quote by him last week that struck me as interesting, so I downloaded it for my Kindle.

There are some interesting questions that the whole concept of "your second act" in life brings up, and a lot of (I think) truisms that we women (and probably men, but that wouldn't be 'we men'!) struggle with as we get in our 40s, our kids get older, gravity takes effect... These are just some of my thoughts.

As much as we may feel like we're in our twenties and thirties, we aren't. Seems obvious, I know, but I don't think it really is. I feel, inside, much the same as I've always felt. I feel wiser, more mature, ever so slightly more patient while at the same time less patient with stupidity. But my body isn't 25.

My feet hurt most every morning because of my planters fasciitis (so I can't wear these shoes all that often!).
My lifelong back issues are still there but I seem to have less ability to ignore it and forge ahead with my day if it's hurting.
I get tired more easily, and don't bounce back as fast.
I wake up early, usually this time of year before it's light out... and can't seem to make it past 11:00 (and that's a stretch).
My hormones are whacked out.
I am not shaped exactly like I used to be, so clothes don't look the same.
The same make up I've always worn no longer works. (Actually, I didn't used to need makeup, except in mid-winter!)

Don't get me wrong, I don't feel old. I feel great most of the time, and love my life. I think that's where the inner confusion comes - when we feel solid and secure on the inside, we don't always seem to get that our body is doing what bodies do from the minute we're born: aging.

So I've realized I have to make some mental adjustments. And some physical adjustments. I tend to be introspective anyway, and winter and the new year always lead me down the road of "reassessment." Are there things I am doing I don't need to do? Things I'm not doing that I should? Things I should be grateful for and am taking for granted? I don't beat myself up, I just use the season to do an annual inventory. Here's what I'll be doing for 2012.

Writing. For sure. I had a blast doing NaNoWriMo, am very pleased with my book so far, and have already started pulling together a plot for the next novel.

Painting. This has been on the back burner since the summer, but I'm getting back to it after the Keys trip - hopefully with some new great photos to use as material.

Baking. I love to bake. It makes me happy. So while I'll be giving a lot away, and hopefully not eating too much, I'll be baking away on my new, wonderful baking station.

Walking. My feet issues have made this a real challenge this year, but I'm getting back to it one way or the other. When I walk outside I can feel the vitamin D restoring me, and I think and pray and hum and generally have a great time. The treadmill isn't quite so interesting, but I can catch up on my movies or DVR'd shows, and I still feel a lot more energetic for doing it.

Photography. I love photography, but I'd like to know more about it from a technical standpoint. This may or may not produce any results (esp since I'm an idiot with Photoshop, which, I believe, was created in the Devil's workshop... but that's just my suspicion, unconfirmed at this point). But I will enjoy it, and that's the main thing.

There are other things I'll be doing, and things I have to do barring winning the lottery (and since I've never bought a ticket, that's fairly unlikely). But living this life as God lays it out, following the passions He puts in us, advancing the Kingdom by living in freedom... How can you beat that?

So how about you? What will 2012 bring for you? And what do you think about this Second Act thing? We're older, wiser, and still smokin' hot, right??

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