By Akin Ojumu

Slowly but surely, our biological clock continues to tick until it runs out of juice. As the arms of the time machine in all of us pass through the various milestones of life, our feelings shift from the eager anticipation of the early young age to anxious trepidation of old age.

When we were kids, we couldn’t wait to become adults. Now as adults, many of us wish we could turn the clock back and be kids again. This is especially the case when we reach the middle age.

Generally defined as being between the ages of 40 and 60, the middle age is the penultimate period in the biological clock immediately preceding the onset of old age. This period in life comes with its own unique set of challenges. For some people, it can be an emotional rollercoaster of unimaginable proportion.

Just as in the teenage years, when we experienced physiological and psychological changes of rapid growth spurts, sprouting hair is unusual places, raging hormones, deepening voices, and outbreak of ugly looking pimples on our faces, the middle-aged person experiences similar physiological and psychological changes, but in the reverse.

The average middle-aged man goes through a gradual decline of physical abilities. By this time, he has gone through several prescription glasses with ever increasing lens thickness. The hairline has receded creating a bald valley that runs through the middle of the head. His waistline bulges spilling over the belt like an overfilled water bucket.

It’s in the middle age that the awareness of mortality really starts to sink in. The middle-aged man is overcome with anxiety and a deep sense of unease. He looks back at his life and it seems as though he hasn’t accomplished anything close to being great at all. A sense of foreboding descends and he is increasingly consumed with reminiscing about the past, rather than anticipating the future.

What’s worse, the middle-aged man feels time has run out and that he’s now too old to achieve those big dreams of yesteryears. Out of the window is the fantasy of a 7-figure income. The burning desire of becoming a millionaire has been quenched. His 12-bedroom and 20,000 square feet house by the lake is never going to happen. Bye-bye Lamborghini Countach. Adiós Maserati GranTurismo.

As much as the senior citizen tries to shake the cobwebs of despondency and get his groove going, he realizes that his decrepit mind isn’t as fecund as it used to be. However much he attempts to pull himself out of the doldrums, his debilitated body fails to cooperate.

All that said, fear not, though. It’s not all over for you middle-aged man. Despite the reality of long-gone vigor and vitality of youth, all is not lost, your life is not over yet. There remains hope for the baby boomer.

“For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease.” (Job 14:7).

Stories abound of ordinary people who accomplish extraordinary things later on in life. The history books are filled with tales of late boomers who reinvented themselves and achieved great feats at a period in life when they had counted themselves out.

Here are just a few examples of such individuals to cheer you up.

Charles Darwin was 50 years old when he published ‘On the Origin of the Species’ in 1859. This was the book that made his theory on evolution as famous as it is today.

Instant Noodles
Momofuku Ando was an inventor and businessman famous for inventing instant noodles. It wasn’t until he was 50 years old that he first invented the popular instant noodle we all love so much!

Ray Kroc wanted to build a restaurant system that would be famous for providing food for people in a hurry. At 52 years old, he did just that. He founded the McDonald's franchise.

Painting Masterpiece
The well-known painter, Pablo Picasso, was 55 when he completed his masterpiece, ‘Guernica’. He went to become one of the greatest painters of all time.

The creator of Coca Cola, John Pemberton, was 55 years old when he came up with the famous recipe for the soft drink we know today as Coca-Cola. His drink is everywhere you go in the world today.

Lord of the Rings
The author of the much-loved series ‘Lord of the Rings,’ J.R.R Tolkien, was 62 years old when he published the first volume of this story. The book that has become an essential read for many lovers of fantasy across the world.

The point of all of this is to let all my middle-aged friends know that you are only as old as you think. And you are only too old if you’ve decided that you are. Your age doesn’t define you and it certainly shouldn't stop you.

So, dust up your bucket list and start checking those boxes one by one.

Bon voyage, Amigos! Feliz cumpleaños!!!


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