As modern media seems transfixed by capitalizing off youth, I have to wonder if I am considered past prime. I am not even 40, yet the stereotypes that surround “mid-life” remind me I should prepare for an impending crisis.
At some point, we as a culture have adopted the mentality that life should be figured-out about half way through, and any short comings of that projection are often internalized as failures. But why are we so quick to adopt failure when the game itself isn’t over? Half-way is really only part-way, with a substantial chunk still left. What if the second half is the best half?
The modern portrayal of the “golden years” seems incredibly tarnished. Seniors have been marginalized by fears of fixed-incomes, arthritis, and blood-pressure medication all indicating to a decline of old-aged comfort. The marketing tactics for seniors even perpetuate these fears dedicating advertising to pharmaceuticals, security systems, supplemental insurance plans and that b*tch who has “fallen and can’t get up!”
Grey hair, wrinkles and everything else, can’t we find these things to be beautiful? Isn’t there a place in our cultural mentality for sweetness where golden is really gold and not just a disguise for old? I refuse to believe that old age can’t be something to look forward too. One’s best years always need to remain on the horizon and serve as both a destination and a reminder that good things are still to come. The saying suggests that “Life is sweet”, not youth, no matter how much the media tries to sell us this message.
So, if you care to share, please tell me what your finish line looks like? Is it a vision of pill boxes and Depends because that is certainly not mine, no matter how mainstream that marketing gets. Pills and adult diapers may very well be a necessity in my future, but they aren’t exactly the material of dreams. Not at all! I want the fine china, and I want it every day! I want hobbies and an early afternoon cocktail on a porch swing with a book. I want to be able to get-up off the floor without help at any age and go to exercise classes even if they occur on a chair. I look forward to the discounts because who wants to pay full price for [insert anything here]. And my early-bird special includes sushi not a Salisbury steak? No, wait. What is Salisbury steak? Am I missing something here? Should I want to want Salisbury steak?
My point is the golden years should be the best of years and we as individuals and caregivers should strive to make that version of life possible. Maybe it’s only a fantasy but at least it’s one to look forward to!