A few days ago, while searching for images to update and illustrate my writer’s profile, I came across a photo album titled, “Rancho.” Flipping the pages, this thought escaped me unbidden, “Man, was I ever in my prime! And I didn’t even know it.”
I was in my early forties when I co-wrote, co-directed, designed costumes, designed and constructed the sets for a children’s musical. It was a nearly charmed time in my life. At first I volunteered as pianist for a newly formed children’s choir, quickly became assistant / substitute director, costume designer, and organizational wizard. What a ride. Before the two year journey was up, I had organized and delivered a week of summer music camp activities, worked for a recording studio, helped produce four children’s church musicals and one Christmas CD. When those years culminated in “Rancho Prodigolly,” it was no longer just the director and me, but a full team complete with wardrobe director, choreographer, and stage hands.
It can be difficult to look back, see an astounding success, notice things have tapered off, and worry you are now past your prime. It is somewhat consoling to take a look at prime numbers. You will notice erratic gaps between seven and eleven; 23 and 29. The great thing about growing older is that I have seen enough to know that prime of life experiences come again and again. What makes it the prime of life for you? Is it having resources, money to do what you dream? Is it completing an advanced degree?
Prime for me is when somebody sees my value, my worth, puts me in that position and gives me free reign to shine. Given this affirmation, I prove myself beyond their expectations. But I have to reveal a little bit of myself, at least the tip of the ice berg, before anyone knows, before they think of me. Often, this revelation happens through volunteering or taking entry level jobs. Sometimes, it is an arduous journey between primes.
I don’t know about you, but I want another prime.
Does the prime of life refer to only a narrow corridor of years?
In my twenties, I was in the prime of life; entrepreneurial, physically more beautiful than I had ever been. In my thirties, I hit my stride writing scripts, musicals and getting other people where they needed to go. My forties yielded hours in the music classroom where I knew I was being fully she I was meant to be. Most recently, I have experienced prime moments, tiny snippets of time when I connected with a tutoring or piano student.
It can be an arduous and erratic journey between primes. I am making the journey. I feel another prime of life coming on. How about you? Where is your next prime?