D-day, the day I've been dreading is finally here.
It wasn't always a Dread-day. There was a time when I gleefully anticipated my B-day; it couldn't come fast enough.
But now that my birthday is increasingly a reminder that my youth is fading, and my faced is etched with ever more wrinkles, like rings on a tree, my d-day, b-day can't come and go fast enough. And, no matter how many candles I blow out on my birthday cake, being younger is a wish that won't come true. So, I'm grieving, and given that there is a loss, grief is appropriate.
But how long shall I grieve? If my grief is protracted, will I be diminishing, even dismissing, the life I've lived, the experiences I've had up to this point? More importantly, will I be saying that I would trade what I hope is becoming inner beauty for outer youth? I don't like how I'm starting to look, but I do like who I am becoming. In fact, I like myself far more than I did two decades ago when in my youthful prime. My friend Macy said it well, “the price of wisdom is youth.”
Truly, truly — I don't know how to do this getting older thing; it's so unknown. While I'm figuring it out, I will undoubtedly have days during which I'm immobilized, giving into my fear, staring longingly into the Mirror of Erised. My plan, however, is to take my age on, one birthday at a time.
I'm going to get older no matter what; I'd like to become wise too.
For more on this topic, re-read Lisa Poulson's terrific post Bette Davis (and Epictetus) were right. For a male counterpoint, take a look at Some Thoughts on Aging by Fred Wilson, a prominent VC blogger, whose birthday was earlier this week.