These old but beautifully aged lockers sit right above the beach near our Airbnb. I like the visual metaphor they represent for this post.
The forcefully shifting tide here in Newquay is not to be messed with. Visually, it’s kinda mind-blowing. Within just a few afternoon hours, what was once a wide, totally packed, sandy beach with hundreds of people, families and an over-abundance of screaming kids, is completely reclaimed by the unyielding Atlantic Ocean. There’s a metaphor to be had in this ebb and flow-thing. But I can’t seem to formulate it without sounding melodramatic.
There’s a lot of fortune cookie wisdom out there with regards to aging. I’ve been reading some of it, and recently, I ingested a piece about how it’s really important to understand that life is constantly evolving, and that as we age, it’s healthy to summarize and appreciate one’s accomplishments, let go of some expectations, accept failures and embrace the physical, mental and emotional changes that inevitably follow with getting older.
In addition to coming to grips with entering my sixth decade, I definitely need to work on accepting my own imperfections and retiring pretentiousness and relaxing unrealistic goals. I might be delusional, but it does feel like I’m getting better at not denying tangible changes in this new era of my life. Not denying is obviously not the same as accepting…but it’s a beginning.
I know all too well that failures are a natural part of life’s journey and that we learn and grow from our blunders and bungles. But because I’ve long had unreasonably high expectations of what I believe is accomplishable, often setting aside (or, just denying) physical, mental, or emotional impediments, it could at times be really hard to accept when flops, fiascos, and fuckups occasionally stared me in the eye.
Historically, when this happened, I would either deflect responsibility when confronted with defeat or, just distract myself as quickly as possible until I was able to move on to the next challenge. If anything, I certainly have an incredible knack for distracting myself. A cocktail of OCD and ADHD? Probably.
Perhaps I’ve been using this “methodology” to even out, or, conceal the life-long ebb and flow of my self-confidence and self-esteem. Maybe at 60, it’s finally time to be less competitive, less obsessive and more reflective. Maybe now, participation is the name of the game. Not trying to conceal shortcomings by taking on exhaustive challenges and crazy-ass moonshots might just make life after 60 more stable, interesting and memorable.