Sunday, May 27, 2012

Day 148: Idealistically Cynical?

"Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul."~Samuel Ullman, poet

The fact that it is Memorial Day weekend and the "unofficial" start of summer has made it seem like it has been months since the big day. But, it has only been two weeks. And, I still seem to be shell-shocked that I am actually 50. No matter how much I write about it and talk about it, it still doesn't seem possible.

Maybe it's because I keep thinking that I am supposed to have so much more wisdom now; that somehow I am a slacker-50-year-old because inside I still feel 23, and lack the maturity I think I should have at this age. I also feel like a complete cliche because this milestone has been (and is) so hard for me.

I know that age is only a number. I have heard that expressed in more ways than I can count in the past two weeks. And, I have also heard "50 is the new 30" so many times that I never want to hear it again. I am a stubborn one, and usually face things kicking and screaming, so I shouldn't be at all surprised that this is how I am facing this.

But, since I have lived this long and have been through so much, I have actually learned some things. One of those things is to actually listen to others who have been there, who have wisdom, or that offer good advice. The quote above is an example of one of those pearls of wisdom that I believe to be true.

There are a lot of things I have lost in my age, but I have certainly not lost my ideals. They are one of the few things that I still have absolute and complete enthusiasm about. It's not that I have not become cynical or haven't had them tested. I am cynical and I have been tested.

It's just that for me to keep my enthusiasm about life, if I stop believing in the things that I have always fought for and that I still think are worth fighting for, then I really have become old, and I really am done.

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