I have to admit I have been feeling a bit apprehensive about the fact that I turned 60 this year. Clearly, I have lived more years on this earth than I have left to spend, and that gives me a bit of an anxious feeling.
So, I was excited to run across this article by Cecilia Dintino on The Huffington Post recently.
It gave me an entirely new way to frame this phase of life. I would challenge all of you at every age to adopt this approach, as it is so much more useful, interesting, and uplifting than the ones we usually apply to a process no one gets out of alive.
Here's the start of her article. Please follow the link to read the rest. You will be glad you did.
Happy New Life!
How to Age: Become a Work of Art
Cecilia Dintino/Dec 21, 2016
What would you say if I asked you to consider yourself a work of art? Could you have fun with this notion? Can you get your creative juices flowing around the possibility? Or have I already lost you?
I don't know when I decided to consider myself a work of art. Perhaps it was after years caught up in my shortcomings and flaws. Or maybe it was after years of personal therapy, and a lot of time spent recognizing my habitual thinking patterns.
Maybe I decided to consider myself a work of art when I realized I was aging. At first, the aging process upset me. It filled me with despair and humiliation. I began to disparage myself and close off my options.
But then I got creative. I decided to let something else emerge and, to my surprise and wonder, the creative process of aging, like any creative process, turned out to be both exhilarating and challenging.
The problem with aging is that we get caught up in old, over-used narratives. We write scripts about our identities and potential, and then we let the scripts guide the course of our lives. We think we have life figured out, so we continuously look for the patterns that confirm the old scripts, passing by anything that may take us on a new or divergent path.
In other words, we age without creating.
Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone De Beauvoir would call this "bad faith." Bad faith is when we play a role in a script without variation, without freedom. We stick so close to the script that nothing new or different can happen.