As I was meditating this morning a thought popped into my head. It didn’t disturb the serenity of the moment as much as awaken me to the possibility of the moment.
“You know Louise, one of the daunting aspects of aging into your 60s and beyond is that there is zero question about how much runway is in front of you. Less than there is behind.”
True. But does it matter? Is it the length of the runway in front or behind that’s important in this moment as much as how well I use the runway before me? Will my final approach to the inevitable end of this flight I call my life, land me safely with grace and ease in the forever after? Or, will it be a bumpy, bone-jolting setting down that unnerves me right to the last breath it takes away?
It is an undeniable fact. While scientists state the first person to live to one hundred and twenty is already walking this earth, I am probably not that person.
Which kind of means… I’m running out of runway.
‘Cause I’m born too soon to live so long.
It kind of sounds like the title of a C&W song. “Born too soon to live so long / I still got a long ways to go / I gotta make each moment count / ’cause living’ ain’t over until I play / the final note of my living ode…”
Ooops. Sorry. A momentary lapse in paying attention to this very serious conversation.
But seriously, none of us truly know when the end of that runway will come.
What I do know, is that no matter how long it has taken me to get to this moment, what I do in the next one counts. And how I make it count is up to me.
Yesterday, on my IG feed, the comments regarding me and my ego’s burst of self-pity and concern over ‘my aging look’ generated some powerful responses. One of those responses by my music-video daughter, @LauraHickle, was so full of undeniable truths that I think I might tattoo it on my forehead!
In her response, Laura wrote, “These insecurities would no doubt be intensified with age just due to the way society has erased aging from beauty standards and culture in general. What I like to find power in is just how incredibly punk rock it is to say NO. I am important. I am alive. I have something to say. I exist. Aging exists. Skin conditions exist. Fat exists. And none of this is wrong. None of this is wrong. It is capitalism that has convinced us we should be small and young. It is the misogyny that has led us to believe beauty is equal to our worth…. Photoshopped capitalistic beauty standards fall to the shadow when someone says ‘hello, I exist.’
You can read all of the amazing comments as well as the full text of Laura’s on my IG page here:
Which brings me back to ‘my runway’.
I don’t know how long it is before I get to the end. I do know there’s more behind me than in front of me.
So… the question becomes, How high do I dare to fly before touchdown?
How high do I dare to raise my voice and sing out loud, “Look at me! Here I am!”
To cry out, NO! To shout out YES. To claim without hesitation, I am alive!
How wide do I dare to stretch my arms? To embrace life in all its ups and downs and ins and outs?
How fast do I dare to run? Into the unknown? Into the mystery? Into the magic? Into LIFE!
How fast and far do I dare to go to release myself from the tyranny of believing I am becoming invisible? I am losing the light? I am getting too old to live out loud?
What wonderful questions to live into on this beautiful last day of August.