When did I reach the top of the hill? It certainly wasn’t at 40! These days the Big 4-0 ers are barely middle aged—they’re still climbing up through careers, kids, and self-improvement.
It wasn’t even at 50. Maybe 60, when I retired? Nah...they kept moving the hill. Like those bicycle rides where you strain to get around a corner; sure you have reached the top, only to realize that the road keeps going up.
And then, suddenly, you realize you must have reached the top because you are now zooming down and the miles fly by effortlessly. You are now on the easy side—the sunny side—of the hill. You can enjoy the scenery without straining to catch your breath. That’s where I am now. There are still bits of uphill, and potholes to avoid, and cars rushing past, but the ride is much more enjoyable than it was during the climb.
This downhill side is just another one of those transitions in life. Like going off to school for the first time, or getting married, or menopause. A little scary because you don’t know what to expect. Many of the books written about this age dwell on the potholes and shadows instead of the silliness and sun. Card and gift shops sell decorations for the Over the Hill parties with black banners and tombstones, so the party settings look like somber Halloweens. They should be using zinnias and campfires and the warm glow of autumn sunshine instead.
I hope there are other COGS (Cheerful Old Gals/Guys) who remember the song called Accentuate the Positive. Maybe we can network together to help us find the best--and easiest--route through this stage of life.