Seventeen

“I learn the truth at seventeen. That love was meant for beauty queens.” Ah, the first two lines of the song “Seventeen”.

For many adults, life begins at forty. For some teenagers, life begins at seventeen.

Well, my daughter had her break this week at seventeen. She was requested to model for the Art Exhibit of her college. It is a big break for her having declined the request to join the Miss University beauty pageant in September, 2012 on account of her parents’ refusal.

But if one is truly a gem, another opportunity will always present itself. Of course, Shiloh Ruthie prayed for another opportunity earnestly.

It was such a big thing for me as well, when I saw the tarpaulins featuring her face all over the city. Not only that, her face was also on the local papers over the weekend. Indeed when it rains, it pours.

On opening night of the exhibit, I accompanied my daughter to the venue. She was glowing. I was the only parent there. Some would say I am a stage mother haha. Maybe not. My daughter wanted me there. She wanted to share her moment of joy with me. I am elated.

At seventeen, my daughter is proud to share her moment of glamour with me. My cup runneth over. ❤

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Embracing midlife

“Wholly unprepared, we embark upon the second half of life… we take the step into the afternoon of life; worse still we take this step with the false assumption that our truths and ideals will serve as before. But we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning – for what was great in the morning will be little at evening, and what in the morning was true will at evening have become a lie.” – Carl Jung

I have wanted to write about midlife but well, I am still researching and my material is still limited. But for wanting to start understanding the complexity of this phase, I started to visit web sites that are deemed very helpful.

Below is an article written by Dr. Francis Edo Olotu, Physician, Family Counselor, Author, Conference Speaker and host of the Blog Empowering Dads. I am providing his email address: empoweringdads@gmail.com

It talks about 15 surefire tips for a successful midlife phase. Read and learn.

Celebrating midlife

An individual need not look forward to midlife with trepidation because of the disappointing experiences of others; rather you can plan your life in such a way as to meet midlife on your own terms. Your attitude remains the most important factor in successfully transiting the midlife phase of life into old age. Your midlife can be successful and purpose-driven if you will consider some of these tips:

  • Make examination of your life a constant habit. It was Aristotle who said “An unexamined life is not worth living.” Why wait till you have passed your prime before making the needed changes that will set your life on the right path?
  • Get right with God. True knowledge of God brings a transformation and empowerment in a person’s life that leads him/her to live purposefully. It makes you have the right perception of life while tempering you in your earthly pursuits.
  • You are not a failure until you admit it. If Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Edison gave up too soon, they would not have known the success that crowned their lives. Let past failures be the stimulus you need to achieve set goals. Be spurred on by the aphorism, “Winners never quit and Quitters never win.”
  • Be a trained optimist. In the school of optimism, you choose to see the brighter side of things. It was Sir Winston Churchill who said “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Optimism can be a learned act if you so desire it.
  • Attend to your health. Hereditary diseases show up around midlife hence the need to regularly screen yourself for hypertension, Diabetes Mellitus, cancer and other conditions that may run in your family. Watch your weight, exercise regularly and mind what you eat.
  • Get out of debt or live within your means. Debt or poor finances could pile incredible pressure on an individual at midlife.
  • Service your social networks. Your opportunities to make friends diminish with age and since friends like old wine taste better with age, appreciate your friends.
  • Maintain close ties with your children. Be positively and constructively involved in the lives of your children so that you can be spared the social isolation that is so often a part of old age through regular contacts with them.
  • Work on your marriage assiduously. After your children have left home [Empty Nest Syndrome], your partner should be your best friend. This is the best antidote against cheating and marital infidelity which is very common in this phase of life.
  • Fading of beauty that could bring about neuroticism. You are as beautiful as your character is; give more attention to being good to others. It would make you far more attractive than young looks.
  • Have realistic goals. Unattainable goals such as seeking to be bottomlessly rich can put a lot of stress on you. Take one day at a time.
  • Begin to do things that you enjoy rather than what brings you money. Money can be a fiend when it possesses you; however it can be a friend when you give it away in charity. Learn from the likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet how much the world owes them for the judicious use of their wealth.
  • Sow in to other people’s life. When you use your time, energy and finances in making the lot of others better, you will be appreciated and celebrated; life takes on a new meaning to you. Remember after sowing comes reaping; a harvest of goodwill is always the portion of those who sow in to the lives of others.
  • Identify the stressors in your life and work to neutralize them. Too much of stress in midlife is inimical to good health. The body’s ability to adapt to stress weakens with age and so stress can easily lead to ill health. Avoid those things that induce a lot of stress in your life.
  • Be committed to learning something new every now and then. This has a way of improving your cognitive or learning ability which tends to decline unless the brain is constantly challenged with learning new things.

When my research is substantial, I will write about this intriguing life phase that has either affected positively or negatively depending on one’s attitude, many people.

Food for thought:

Midlife is far more than a handful of physical changes. It often brings a re-ordering of priorities, a change in values, deep soul-searching about the meaning of life, the facing of our own mortality, and a loss of social power.