My mother is incredibly afraid of getting "old". She's always been this way. She is so terrified of it, and I suspect of death, that she lies about age related topics and has never really engaged in age appropriate activities or gathered in age appropriate circles.
Whenever possible, she claims that when people find out how old she is they always tell her that she looks as though she's in her late 40s or early 50s. It's a great compliment if they really do say it, but I suspect they don't really mean that. Because, while my mother doesn't really look 67, she definitely doesn't look 50, either. In fact, I suspect the entire situation there is a lie, but that's a post for another day. The bottom line is that my mother is sadly, petrified of aging or embracing the stage of her life she is clearly in and has been in for the last 17 years.
I, on the other hand, look at life stages from a more optimistic perspective. Now, anyway. During my Christian, "searching for the one true God and Jesus" days, I was intensely afraid of death. I was a truly negative person for very many years. I credit my time as a pagan with looking at life in a different way.
Life is a condition. A terminal one. You can either waste your time in fear of it and in fear of whatever may come after it, or you can run with it and make the best of every life phase. I still have a mild fear of death. I think you really kind of have to.
This morning, I've been pondering the phase of life I'm approaching.
The Crone Phase
I just had a birthday last November and I really only have a handful of years left until I will enter this phase. Technically, if I were Wiccan, it might be possible for me to have my Croning ceremony already since I meet all of the criteria.
To become a Crone, you have to be past your fertile "Mother Phase" years. Most women wait until after menopause has already begun and I've been menopause for a couple of years already. It began early for me and I was already in perimenopause at age 37 when I had my hysterectomy. The Mother Phase is definitely over for me. My kids are grown and there will be no more. Even though, I will never be an "empty nester", Mother Phase is waning.
To become a Crone, most traditions say you should be 50+. So, that's really the guideline I'm working with when I say I only have a handful of years left before I will officially become a Crone.
I've been thinking of my Croning. Should I have one? I don't have a coven as there aren't any atheist, Earth centric covens out there, that I know of anyway. What would I do for a Croning? It's something I will think a lot of in the coming year, I suspect. I'm 43, so I have some time.