Peaks and Valleys

No two humans are alike. We all have different dreams and ambitions, but sometimes that doesn’t seem to translate too well in this world. As we emerge from the womb each one of us grows at different rates, both physically and mentally. Our achievements and set-backs position us all at different levels on the scale of life. Why is it then we are told by the powers that be that we must succeed at our given talents by a certain age, or we have “missed the boat.,”…. Lady-Luck has “passed us by.”

It would be wonderful if all of us miraculously came into our higher self at the age of twenty or twenty-five, basking in our glories and being anointed as the “next big thing.” Society would put us at the head of the table, and say “See, this is who you can be.” Jerry Seinfeld recently told a joke on his HBO special. Jerry said, “Isn’t it interesting, when you sit in an economy seat on an airplane the flight attendant in first-class pulls the curtain and gives you a look that says “Why don’t YOU make more money so YOU can be here?” Maybe you will, at a different point in your life.

In the music business quite a number of artists have peaks and valleys. The Bee Gees, for example, were the hottest thing on the planet twenty years ago with “Saturday Night Fever”, disco-disco-disco! Shortly after that nobody wanted to play their records. To quote Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees, “We couldn’t get arrested.” This past year the group released their CD “Still Waters”, and they were seen in a highly successful HBO special. They’re back on top. Perhaps so too do our lives follow the same course…ups and downs and back up again. The most important thing of all is not to give up. To really appreciate the top, you sometimes must taste the valley.

Ages, stages, ups, downs, peaks and valleys are forever a part of the quilt of our lives. Society may not want us to believe it, but we do indeed peak at different times. It’s never too late for dreams, for goals, for expanding. We’re all supposed to “get better with age”, like fine wine. Well that wine starts as a grape that needs to be nurtured and cared for…then lo and behold, one day the fruit of the labor bursts forth. So too can we, when the time is right.

Each year the average life-span of human beings grows longer. This in itself presents us with a great dilemma. If all we do is concentrate on the first quarter of our lives, and look at it as the be-all and end-all, then what do we say to a man or a woman who is fully functional at eight-five years of age? You don’t count? Hopefully we can begin to look at age as an advantage, not a curse.

Age with Grace,

Jennifer Avalon
© 1998 Jennifer Avalon

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