Bemused, Bewildered and A Little Bit Afraid

“Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what happened.”
—Jennifer Yane

So…what the hell did happen? I am 63 years old, and each day it feels more and more as if someone changed the rules while I wasn’t paying attention. My friends and I discuss it, well, pretty much all the time. We are bemused, bewildered and, yes, a little bit afraid. The world feels as if it is constantly shifting under our feet and we just can’t seem to find our balance. We used to feel on top of the world. Now we feel irrelevant.

Middle age is the most difficult phase of life I have experienced so far. I am struggling to redefine my role as both a mother and a daughter. I feel surrounded by loss. My children are happily starting their own adult lives which is, of course, what I want for them. Yet I also feel as if something in my heart is fracturing. I miss my cuddly, adorable little boys and wonder if the best part of my life is behind me. Relatives and friends—some elderly, some my age—are suffering from dementia, wasting away physically from age or illness, dying. And I wonder if I have accomplished anything that has made the world a better place than it would have been had I not been born.

In the midst of all this “navel gazing,” I imagined there must be other people who shared similar thoughts and feelings. I also hoped that these people might want to read what I have to say, and be interested in commenting and starting a dialogue that might help all of us make a little more sense of what we are experiencing. I wanted to reach and engage people from a myriad of locations, people who otherwise would never have the opportunity to meet, so I decided to start this blog. A friend of mine once said, “These are supposed to be our golden years? More like the tarnished years.” It struck me as so funny and so true and, with her permission, I had my title!

I hope you will read my posts, enjoy them, and relate to them. Please comment whenever you would like to either agree, disagree, or just add some comfort or advice. And if you like it enough to tell your friends about it and suggest they read it as well, even better.