April 10, 2014

Flying at 50 Takes some Nerve—Or does It? ~ Pat Lindemann


Flying at 50 and beyond, exciting and scary, all at the same time.

So much is written about young love, finding your true love to share your life, opening yourself for the first time to a person.  What about ‘old love’? What about those of us who have been married—and divorced, maybe more than one time? What if the concept of love seems like an impossible dream and we have become old and cynical about its very existence?

Is falling in love after 50 possible?

We come to love, after 50, seasoned travelers. Love affairs, first loves, marriages and divorces, children, deaths and mortgages in our wake, we have seen it, felt it and heard it all before.  The movies are a sham, we know that real love doesn’t look like that. Depending on our ‘past lives’, we may question the concept of lifetime relationships, outside of friendships.

“Ridiculous! People don’t fall in love at my age!”

Yet, there it is—that feeling in your stomach, the butterflies reminding you of a high school crush.

We have baggage, no two ways about that. Some with the carry-on type, a minimum of fears and phobias,  and only a bit of caution about flying. Some who tote a luggage cart behind them.

“I have been there, done that…some people are just too good to be true, and I won’t fall for that again.”

But our thoughts seem to be always wandering to wondering, “what’s he doing now?”

By this time in life, we know our needs for company pretty well.  We know if we prefer solitude, and despise chatty neighbors.  Some like a window seat, enjoying the view from a distance, but not wanting to appear interested or needy of companionship.

“I guess there is nothing wrong with a new friend—friends don’t require you to change, they like you just as you are.

And whispering inside is that mini bubble of excitement and you push it down.

Love after 50 can feel disorienting at times, a sense of déjà vue tilting us off balance, like turbulence—so take a deep breath, check your seatbelt, and hold on.  Stifling the scream “Mayday! Mayday! We are going down!” can take some self control, and so does learning to separate the past from the present.

“I know how this ends—actually, no, I don’t. Maybe I am willing to take a chance on something newsomeone new.”

Shivers of fear and excitement race up and down the spine.

As we begin to descend from the clouds we see the ground, look around for our luggage, and reclaim our belongings. There are mixed feelings, loss that the giddy high of falling in love didn’t last forever, as well as the fear of what’s ahead and whether it will match up with what we imagine.

“I could do this—this could work.”

Your chin raises and you close your eyes.

Here we are, in a new place, resting our feet on the ground again.  We may feel an eagerness to get on with the next step of the journey…or trepidation. There are sights to see, challenges to encounter, maybe even a new language to learn. But look—across the aisle, there is a new ‘friend’, confidante, maybe even lover.

“Its easier with two…”

You feel your whole body take a deep b-r-e-a-t-h, and relax—Its easier with two.

Love elephant and want to go steady?

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Aprentice Editor: Lauryn DeGrado/Editor: Renée Picard

Photo: Wiki Commons 


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