Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter – Mark Twain
I don’t mind what age I am. For the record, I am turning 47 in a few weeks. I heard someone on the radio panicking about turning 30 and it brought up some memories. At that age I wasn’t worried about the big 3-0 because I was where I thought I should be – married, 2 kids and another on the way. And there’s the problem – the thinking and the shoulds. It worked for me but it would have caused me pain if I hadn’t ‘achieved my goals’. And it was a goal, to be honest. I was looking for love and Mr Right from birth I think.
Anyway I digress. What I really wanted to blog about is realising that so much of life just doesn’t matter. I think you need to have experienced the stress and come out the other side to realise that. That’s why I love being this age. I don’t mind my age, in fact I relish it, so it doesn’t matter, exactly as Mark says.
Of course it’s always how you interpret life.
When you are born everything matters – it’s a matter of life and death to be fed and kept warm and safe. But it’s a continuum from ‘everything matters’ to ‘nothing matters’, which we travel along as we age or mature. Everyone is along it somewhere and you don’t have to become an uncaring robot at the far end, which of course is unattainable. You are just more accepting of life.
Here are some things with hindsight that no longer matter to me, or at least matter a whole lot less:
He/she thinks I’m fat/stupid/too much (choose your own adjective) – I care less now about what other people think even if they actually do think that (they may not). It’s their thoughts they are polluting with negativity; I work on purifying my own thoughts
I will be late for work (road rage ensues) – I am on time most of the time and they value me as an employee so they won’t care or fire me and even if they do, I will be OK because I can cope better with life’s changes now
Some boyfriends didn’t want to be with me anymore – change is inevitable and a good thing. Each time that happened it woke me up, created new opportunities and I found someone more on the same wavelength who did want to be with me, or I enjoyed my own company instead. Now I realise that their choice doesn’t have to affect my own opinion of myself
I’m of a certain age and I haven’t fulfilled my dreams – well I never wanted to be an Olympic athlete, and many dreams are still achievable now that I’m older, wiser and have more freedom
This dress is too tight and my tummy is sticking out – it only matters if I think it does. If I don’t realise how ‘bad’ I look, my confidence will be high and I will always have a good time
These are just off the top of my head but it’s such a useful exercise to do with yourself. Become two people and to all your worries, the other you says ‘it doesn’t matter because’. I think if you really look you will find your own answers are right there.
You could play this game with almost anything. Mark Twain hits it on the head. It only matters if you mind; if you stress over it and give it your precious thought/mind time. I think being truly at peace and enlightened means learning to not mind about anything; to not stress for a second longer than you have to. That’s the joy of maturing – you work out that most things only bother you if you let them and you don’t waste time stressing over it.
So, repeat after me “It doesn’t matter”.