I had a cousin who was killed in a car accident on his 21st birthday. He never graduated, never married, never travelled, never had children …
I had an aunt who died from cancer at age 33 years old. She never had children, never owned her own business, never moved interstate, never wrote a book …
My father died of a stroke at age 49. He never saw his children graduate or marry, never knew any of his grand-children, never retired …
From where I am sitting there is still much that I have to face in my life that is difficult.
I am alone.
I lost my plans for the future.
I have a depleted asset base from which to begin again.
However, being aged 58 years is not added to this list. It is just the age that I am.
Yes, it is difficult coping with feelings of loss. But this would be difficult and the hurt would be the same, no matter what the age.
Yes, it is difficult being alone, but no more difficult than a young mother alone with young children. No more than a child losing a parent.
Yes, it is difficult starting afresh financially at age 58, but no more difficult than people who lost money in investment scams, no more than others who have lost money in failed businesses, no more than people who need to use assets to fund a medical condition.
All of these issues are difficult situations at any age. The truth is that in order to overcome them, they need facing, then dealing with. Thinking they are more difficult because you are a certain age is just an excuse to put off facing what needs to be faced.
My age has nothing to do with the difficulties that I face. My age actually benefits me as I have a grounded experience in previous hard times that I have survived. I know once difficulties are faced, they cease being seen as difficulties and instead become challenges.
Challenges are invigorating and give you a reason to get up in the morning.
Being the age that I am, I am better able to apply past experiences to the challenging times ahead. Rather than facing difficulties, I now have challenging goals of embracing aloneness, becoming financially independent and of staying true to my values.
Whenever I start to think things are difficult ‘at my age’ – I stop.
I remember to be grateful for the age that I am.
I remember to be grateful to have come as far as I have come.
I remember those loved ones who did not get this far in their own journey.
I remember to be grateful for the opportunity to continue my own journey.
Author Leonie Elizabeth.
Written on 11 October, 2012.
Revised 09 December, 2017.