I’m starting to realize why certain synonyms are paired with old age: crusty, cynical, sarcastic, grizzled, veteran, wizened, and weathered. The list proceeds in stark contrast to descriptors of youth: flexible, energetic, hopeful, precocious…shiny. I’ve spent my 30’s feeling young and pushing to maintain the hope and vitality of my 20’s. I like to think I’ve succeeded fairly well in my endeavor to project youth.
There’s a biological transition happening within my psyche as I approach 40 – the derivative of my crustiness is now positive and increasing, and the derivative of my energy is negative. Perhaps this transformation is inevitable and I will surrender to it as almost everyone does…after all, a little more cynicism and wisdom isn’t necessarily a bad outcome.
I’m striving to create a balance – a yin-yang – of informed energy and flexibility. I must nurture my more limited energy, hope, and love for the projects I hold most dear. My diminished energy is coupled with better information and decision-making. I can still make an impact – and in fact, I might be in the prime of my impactful, crusty, cynical life.
I do sometimes mourn for the moments where I felt that shiny optimism clearly, unencumbered by the burden of wisdom.