In my twenties and thirties I didn't think about my age much. I was too busy exploring and getting up to mischief. In my forties I started to worry about a little. I learnt that there were places where I was old - clubs where I started to feel out of place. There was a generation below me that I didn't understand. But I could pretend. I thought I was cool and no one really called me out but deep inside me the concerns were growing.
And then my 50's. That's when some dark nights of the soul started to happen. The 3am realisation that there was nothing I could do to stop the ageing process. The greying hair starting to thin. The eyesight deteriorating. That I was powerless in the face of my mortality. My best days were over. What had I done with my life? Who was I? It was painful. Agonising. Existential aloneness. But then I would find distractions. The comfort of drugs, sex and alcohol sort of worked for awhile but life was going down a bumpy hill.
And then in my 60's a miracle happened. I realised that those dark nights of the soul had a purpose. Those agonies had forced a shift in consciousness. My ego was burnt out and dispirited but something that some people call the 'soul' wanted a say in my life. This led to a deeper connection with community, nature and creativity.
I'm 70 in a few weeks time and am thinking it should be called 'the dark night of the ego'.
So if you wake up at 3am with the sweats you could think of it as the dawning of the soul.
7 Ages CIC runs Ageing-into-Eldering workshops, events and meetings.