Not everyone gets a second wind in life. Hell, some never get a first wind. Nothing is promised, of course, including tomorrow. An emotional rebirth after 50 does not happen to everybody. A positive seismic spiritual shift for the second half of life sounds wonderfully transformative, but can it be forced? How much do we control of its arrival?
It is invigorating to see an energetic, enervated and sparkling adult, on the back nine of their life, still seemingly in possession of hope and anticipation that each day holds the potential for richness. It's refreshing to encounter someone with a joie de vivre, especially when they have been around long enough to have developed, justifiably perhaps, a crusty, cynical outlook on life.
I'm waiting for my second wind. I know if it comes, it won't be in the form of a cleansing, innocent injection of Pollyanna happiness, but a more reasoned, mature and measured change of perspective and outlook. A conscious choice to see the brighter side of things at least as often as I focus on the darker side. A spiritual rejuvenation akin to finding the emotional fountain of youth.
The veritable 'second act' we all hope for is available. I don't know how to force it, but I’m thinking about it, which is a start. I wrote above that I was "waiting" for it. That certainly is not a proactive approach. However, I don't want to contrive this fundamental shift in my outlook. If it happens, I need to trust the source. I want it to happen naturally, organically, maybe even instinctively.
I think of it as a spiritual step, part of the lifelong journey. You apply what you've learned, discard as much of the negative baggage as possible, and then your step quickens, your outlook brightens, and you smile more. It's like a colonic for your soul.
There is a Zen factor to it as well, I believe. For many, with age and experience comes peace of mind and wisdom. It is not unnatural to assume some revitalization of the soul is also in store. I’m not speaking of a return of innocence or a re-growing of the emotional hymen and a retreat to intellectual virginity. But rather seeing the light and moving toward it.
Relying on the accumulated experience garnered from living a reflective life and being confident enough to open a new door and forge through is easier said than done. Refusing to seek that next stage, shying away from a very real ‘carpe diem’ moment, is tantamount to dying.
An unexamined life is not worth living.
But if you’ve lived an examined life, then you will have absorbed some answers in life, even if by accident. The potential for intellectual and emotional serenity increases with age, but it certainly is not a given.
Time to seize the day, grab the brass ring, choose to live life rather than the other way around.
A mere few months ago, I felt too old for anything resembling a ‘fresh start’.
Bring it on, baby.