24 September, 2012

Wisdom, The Silver Lining of Aging

Sometimes I forget my age.  Okay, it isn't that I forget exactly just more that I don't remember.  I watch my daughter growing and changing, maturing and developing into quite a vivacious young woman; but, it rarely occurs to me that she is aging and I must be aging too.
Until it does.
And then I am well aware of the reality of age.  I am no longer 29 and not a mom or even 29 and a new mom; I am... here and now and this body had little in common with my body of 29 or even just a few years ago.
I have aged.
My body is well aware of the physiological changes that are naturally a part of aging even if my mind does not.
My manager told me a few days ago that I had been through equally as complicated situations as that which I am experiencing at work, and I had survived.
Yes, yes I have The difference being that I had more energy, less experience, and different driving forces in those situations.  In some ways I didn't know better; toxic situation, you deal with it and make it work.  Underemployment and discrimination, isn't that just the way of the world?
We stay in circumstances that might not be the most fruitful or healthy for reasons.  The center of my professional life was to be as engaged with my daughter as possible while being a single parent and having little  to no parental support from her father.  It was me, just me, and my job came second to being engaged with my child.
Circumstances changed.  In a sense, the universe said, enough is enough, and gave me a kick in the seat and threw me out the door.
Breathing a sigh of relief and bubbling with excitement, my daughter and I entered new phases in my profession, in our relationship, and in our lives as parent and child.  As much as I miss things as they were sometimes, we have both learned to enjoy how life has unfolded... and I have learned that staying engaged as a parent will increasingly require more focus and energy.  Both of which are more difficult given the current professional environment, yet my daughter remains my priority.  That engagement is tops in my book.
Whether my manager understands the breadth of the challenges that we face in the office, I don't know.  She has lost two employees in four months; is down to a two person team; is trying to work part time from thirty miles away while parenting two small children and trying for more... Her focus is not this team.
I have had offers to leave; but, I like the driving focus of my job.  I like the people (for the most part).  I am getting things done and creating and implementing and looking for results.
Is all of that enough to keep me in a situation that is unhealthy on its best day when one person is involved?
It is a a balancing act.  is the work that I am developing and conceptualizing giving me more than the potential detriment to my career that is potentially generated by one person's lack of understanding of the job and its processes?  Is the risk of being labeled incompetent and that label sticking more powerful than the knowledge that I am not and I can make this work?
Thankfully I only work so many hours in a day; and, when I am home, I am home - work is not done outside the office.
I take a deep breath.  I don't have the answers.  I just have today and the knowledge that I gained through the years.
I trust I will know when to refuse the draw, fold my hand, pack the cards, and leave the table.
While my body is aging, often without my awareness; my mind and knowledge are deepening with my full recognition of the process.  I have heard tell that wisdom comes with age.  I am not sure that this is truth.  Wisdom comes when we are willing to consider our experiences and step back to learn from them throughout our lives.  The lessons are offered over time and perspective; sometimes we have to live years to understand the lessons.  Sometimes it takes a string of events to create the dots that we must then link in order to view the picture.
The aging of my body sneaks up on me, surprising me at times when I least expect or desire.  Emotionally and mentally, I revel in the evolution and the unfolding - Maybe it is this mental maturing that is the silver lining to agin?

1 comment:

Pamela Hunt Cloyd said...

I too am struggling with the grey hairs and the aging skin ... but more with the fact that so much is behind me and that youthful innocence has been replaced with something less innocent. Thank you for voicing so many of my own thoughts!!