Yep. I’m “Over The Hill.”
And happy as hell about it.
I think it’s hilarious (now, that is!) to walk the Birthday aisles full of black banners and black balloons with screaming white letters shouting “Over the Hill”, as if that’s as close to hell as one can GET while still on earth. On my 50th birthday, my staff literally FILLED my office with black balloons!
But think about it: we spend all our time and energy for decades, laboring to climb our hills and mountains. We all know time marches on, so did we really think there was some hilltop or mountain top we’d finally reach, * and then get to STAY THERE FOREVER? And would we’d even WANT to stay there forever? We’re creatures of great curiosity. We like to keep moving to see what’s next. Even mountain tops get boring.
There is no way I know of to be able to see the view on the other side of a mountain, while one is on one side of it, still scrabbling to ascend it. Yet plenty of people THINK they know, and do their level best to tell you, that on the other side of the “AGE HILL” it’s just one gawd-awful scene. (if you’ll note: LOTS of them are trying to sell you some anti-aging product too!)
Everything starts going to hell, they tell you: your looks, your body, your memory, yep, it’s all “downhill” from here. So LIFT that face, SUCK OFF that fat, ERASE that grey, BOTOX those those wrinkles, PLUMP those lips! (with this lovely poison!)
Things DO change, they change a LOT. Gravity takes over and convinces your face (and a lot of other body parts!) to start heading south. Hair does too. Various joints, organs, body systems start complaining bitterly at being expected to continue delivering the same level of performance they were capable of when we were 25! Sooner, or later, the RPM’s simply decrease, no matter WHAT WE DO!
Inevitably, no matter how many times the ol mug gets lifted, how many boob jobs and penile implants we’ve had, how much Botox we’ve pumped, or miles we’ve jogged, we will ALL end up “Over The Hill”, (if we’re lucky 🙂
Like most people well programmed by the overwhelmingly negative take on aging that we are filled with in this youth obsessed society, my own transition to Over The Hill status was damned tough and started earlier than it should have, due to a permanent spinal injury.
I am pushing 70 now. I have accepted that yes, indeed, this IS the “Other Side of the Hill”, and I’ve had several years to get used to it. I am passed the denial phase, the tantrum throwing stage, and the depression. I think I am even getting close to the end of whining about it quite so much!
This has allowed me more time and energy to explore this strange new scene that I never saw with my own eyes before. I’ve wanted to put some of it into words to be shared, but it didn’t seem time yet. Maybe it finally is. We’ll see: I don’t plan things much anymore, choosing inside to simply let them happen in their own “right time.” (What a luxury THAT is!)
I warn you, it’s not some smooth green meadow full of flowers over here! There are big boulders and yes, even more hills that need to be climbed, as well as a fair amount of stormy weather. After awhile though, when you can start really paying attention to the scenery, wow, there are some pretty amazing surprises, too.
The surprise I am enjoying the most, is how being on this side to the “Hill” has altered my perceptions. It’s like having a “ZOOM OUT” feature installed: all at once so much more of the perspective of things can be seen. Who knew all that was there? This fascinates me, even as it humbles me. I love this.
Because even though the broader view does reveal so much more of the ugly underside of so many things I once put my trust in, it equally reveals the scope of all that is really and truly miraculous and wonderful, about being alive in this world, even as it now is.
This “Over the Hill” thing, I am discovering, is not only NOT the “end” of anything, it is one hell of a new adventure. With this new wider angle view, I never know what I will discover in the course of a days collection of ordinary moments. I just know there is always some new aspect or layer of something, that pops up and highlights itself. One that no doubt was there all along, but I never got to see it before.
And now I have the time and space in my life to savor every bit of it. Each new aspect. Each newly revealed layer. Every discovery. Every “surprise”.
All, of course, as filtered through the sum total of my own years and experiences, as all perspectives are, so whatever I come to view as truth, will be only my own, not necessarily anyone else’s. (Even my own truths I hold very loosely now, having learned that when yet another new layer of something shows itself, that truth may very well be altered!)
It is also my hope that having a place to occasionally communicate openly about aging in general, (which, incidentally, we all start doing as soon as the cord is cut), from wherever we are along the life span, just might help us all ward off the Corporate Mind Control that has America convinced that life is OVER once we go….”OVER THE HILL!”
(Those Bastard Corporate Monstrosities that make obscene profits from instilling this kind of stereotypical CRAP into us, then exploiting this deliberately implanted fear of aging, have fed off us long ENOUGH. You could call this my version of non-violent protest 🙂
Care to join me? Hop right ON!