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I'm older now, and I realize my perfectionism has cost me years of personal happiness.

Picture being at your physical and youthful peak, and still not having enough confidence at the time to enjoy it for what it was. Instead I look back at those years and memories and think, why couldn't I have accepted myself at the time? Instead, I've chosen perpetual self criticism. I never lived in the moment.

Now I'm 48, just turned, and feeling like my best years are behind me. They were not enjoyed when they should have been. Shame on me.

by Anonymousreply 22September 15, 2021 7:31 AM

You have the present. Don't waste time on what's not the present.

by Anonymousreply 1September 14, 2021 4:40 AM

The lament of the aging.

It really matters not at all how you handled your younger years. You'd still be looking back with regret now wondering what you could and should have done differently.

Look ahead not back. Or you are going to have a miserable next 40 years.

by Anonymousreply 2September 14, 2021 4:41 AM

Live in the moment and be present. Look into meditation practices, maybe even a little Buddhism - not because it's a "religion" with all the answers, but because the practice of it does help some people be more mindful, more present, less constricted by expectations.

I don't know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

—Mary Oliver

by Anonymousreply 3September 14, 2021 4:46 AM

48 is still very young. Stop wallowing in self pity. Off topic: found out today JLo is 52.

by Anonymousreply 4September 14, 2021 4:49 AM

Don't be a baby OP. You have at least another 20 years of fun ahead of you. Stop moping around like you're 100.

by Anonymousreply 5September 14, 2021 4:51 AM

Let it go and enjoy the life you have left or regret and bitterness will ruin that, too.

by Anonymousreply 6September 14, 2021 5:03 AM

Better late than never. Maybe there's a way you can help others not wait so long.

by Anonymousreply 7September 14, 2021 5:17 AM

Get busy living or get busy dying. I think a lot of us have been contemplating our existence since COVID—looking back on what we thought was important, relevant, etc. A lot of people do that anyway as they age, but the pandemic has created a big sociocultural shift that has exacerbated it. I feel incredibly nihilistic and I don’t know what fo do with it.

Look at it as an opportunity to live differently with new values so that when you do die someday, you can be proud of the meaningful life you chose to live when when you tealized what really mattered.

by Anonymousreply 8September 14, 2021 5:19 AM

R8 No no no. He'll never reach that Nirvana stage where he's "proud of the meaningful life" he chose. Building your life around achieving that sort of goal is a fool's errand because you will never achieve it, at least in your own mind.

by Anonymousreply 9September 14, 2021 5:33 AM

I know exactly how you feel OP. I just turned 52 and feel exactly the same way. I can't snap out of it.

by Anonymousreply 10September 14, 2021 6:05 AM

I'm an imperfectionist and can assure you that I'm no happier than you.

by Anonymousreply 11September 14, 2021 6:28 AM

I grew up in LA and I felt like I was turned out in the gay community at a very young age. I always knew that age as in the number is almost more powerful than the beauty. People are obsessed with age, my fiends were getting preventative botox at 25, and that is just how men are. The world install values youth more than anything. Look at the trash attending the Met Gala tonight as evidence of that. My point, I knew and know the clock is ticking, but I have savored and used my youthful powers for all their worth. No regrets on not taking advantage of every moment of it. If you have kept yourself in shape, today is the best you'll look. If not, you could still lose weight and make yourself look good. RYAN PHILLIPE just turned 48. There is your goal, your hope, and you salvation. Go live life.

by Anonymousreply 12September 14, 2021 6:56 AM

Some people think calling others a perfectionist is a compliment when, in fact, those afflicted are cursed.

by Anonymousreply 13September 14, 2021 7:43 AM

Hon, you'll never be younger than you are right this minute. Enjoy it!

by Anonymousreply 14September 14, 2021 7:48 AM

Worrying over decisions of the past is as productive as jealousy.

Focus on the present and the future, the only times where you stand to be a participant.

The best things in my life happened in the years that I've been older than you.

by Anonymousreply 15September 14, 2021 7:55 AM

[quote]my perfectionism has cost me years of personal happiness

Negative perfectionism, I must say, is very prevalent on DL.

by Anonymousreply 16September 14, 2021 7:57 AM

You’re 48, not 88. You’re still acting like a perfectionist.

by Anonymousreply 17September 14, 2021 8:25 AM

I understand the OP completely.

I sometimes sit and wonder "what could have been" if I hadn't been so self-conscious and selective in my youth.

What relationship/s I could have had.

by Anonymousreply 18September 14, 2021 9:00 AM

Well, that's fucking pointless, R18.

by Anonymousreply 19September 14, 2021 9:08 AM

Absolutely what R1 said. “You have the present……” There’s a song lyric that goes “we’ll never be as young as we are right now.” I was lucky in my late 20s and early 30s that I knew I was hot and I worked it! Now at 50, I’ve definitely hit that wall, but I’m so glad I have those memories of my younger whore days. And you’re 48….just think how many 70 year olds wish to be in your position. Live and enjoy before health issues arise.

by Anonymousreply 20September 14, 2021 10:30 AM

I’m around OP’s age and shared similar thoughts. But I keep pushing. I eat healthy (not all the time), I exercise (not as much as I still can), and I set goals.

I moved to a new country and changed professions just a few years ago and it changed my life.

by Anonymousreply 21September 14, 2021 10:38 AM

I just watched this grim but very good film about just this called, "Suntan". This guy was a hard 42 but really fantastic film.

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