Judith Warner writes in her essay for the NY Times “I Feel It Coming Together”:
This is the cruelty of middle age: just when things have gotten good-really, consistently good-I have become aware that they will end….
I now see the passage of time not as a circle but a kind of bell curve. Years of ascension, soaring anticipation, followed by a plateau-which is not so bad, really-and then, no way to sugar-coat this: a rather precipitous decline.
You are not supposed to think this, much less say it. A decline? Never!
Fifty is the new 30, after all; and 70 is the new 15, and 40- well, the 40s are just so fabulous that they can’t even be considered middle age. Even if they do happen to fall right smack in the middle of what, despite our best efforts, is still a limited human lifespan.
MEG- Knowing that things will end can paralyze and terrorize or it can enrich and enlighten. Actually, it depends on the day, the weather, the mood, whether you have just bought something new at the mall, or just added a new song to your IPOD Touch. Judith’s insight is one of the “wild things” of our 60s that we can try to tame, live with, or distract ourselves from.