Last month I turned 52 years old. Happy belated Birthday to me! Back in my twenties and thirties, I remember saying to myself, “fifty is old.” I clearly remember looking at people over fifty as somehow not relevant to what I was doing in my own life. How is it that one could see someone twenty or thirty years older than them, and not look forward into their own soul and question their own relevance in their later years?
‘They’ say the Fountain of Youth is a spring that supposedly restores the youth of anyone who drinks or bathes in its waters If given the chance, would you drink from it? Would you erase all the scars that life has given you, the wrinkles that appeared out of nowhere, the extra pounds that refuse to leave? Would you roll back time and become twenty again?
I’m not going to lie, I’m attracted to youth. But I am also attracted to brownies, cheesecake, and potato chips! Fortunately, with age comes wisdom (for some of us). With wisdom, I know the difference between reality and fantasy. I’m not going to fool myself to think that my youth was all that special, or that I can eat those brownies without consequences. I have to make good choices in every aspect of my life. That lightning fast metabolism is now long gone, and is the part of being an adult that sucks!
But what if I got to choose youth, why would that be so bad? To be young again, and have the appearance, freshness, vigor, and spirit that we all remember during our early years. Okay, so you make the deal and drink from that fountain and regain your youth. Will everything be great? Do we remember only the good things in our youth? We may also get the unexpected! You might also return to the forgotten or repressed experiences in youth such as constantly worrying about not being chosen for the team, or being teased or laughed at or even, at one time, having low self-esteem or being broke every time you turned around. Do you remember that entry-level job where you worked long hours for little pay? Of course you don’t because you’re over fifty! It happened, trust me. So, do you want your AARP card back yet?
As a writer, one of the rewards is that I get is to re-live youth over and over in the body of my characters. I love my job! In romance, it is all about falling in love, experiencing the magic of the “fall” for the very first time. I get to run my long narrow fingers gently across his smooth cheeks and up towards his mouth. I experience how the intensity from a single stroke of my finger makes me wonder about the taste of his pouty lips…
…Oh, um, where was I? Like in romance novels, we all like a happy ending. But why do we associate youth with blissfulness? Age and wisdom (minus the knee pain!), now they are the things that should be valued. Do you remember the slogan “You’ve come a long way baby”? Well, you have!
Why would you trade it all in and start all over? Take inventory right now of all the good in your life. Pause a moment and remind yourself that life is good. The Fountain of Youth that they talk about is filled with memories, events, milestones and yes, even adversity. When you cherish life, the life that you are living now, this, for me, is what I would call drinking from the fountain of youth.
You now have my permission, go ahead and take a drink.
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