Journaling in July Week 2

Journaling in July Week 2

I’ll be blogging about this journey and sharing on Saturdays with Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 and Beyond and Deb from Deb’s World. I won’t share everything here. Just snippets from the week. Some of what I write is for my eyes only, and besides, you won’t want to read it all anyway. I think it would make for a boring read.

I have to admit – I didn’t make every day journaling this week. Thursday morning I got something in my eye and by Friday couldn’t put in my contact and the eye was red, swollen, and horrible. Bad enough to send me to the eye doctor, and for those that know me, know the doctor is my last resort. I am one that believes in a ‘hybrid’ type of medical care and the doctor is only one small aspect in my preferred medical treatments. But eyes. I don’t want to mess around with eyes. I’d like my vision to be here as long as I’m breathing. Fortunately he said it was just a “nasty abrasion.” Nasty enough that I’m still contact-less in my right eye. It will be fine – but for right now the pain and the temporary impaired vision has slowed much of what I had planned over the past few days.

That’s something we all deal with. We all make the best of plans and then – WHAMMO! Real Life intrudes and doesn’t always cooperate with Our Best Laid Plans.

Here’s a snippet of my journal entry from July 9th.

(It’s Sunday morning here in Texas, and I’m too late to get on the Saturday link up, coming from Australia, but I’ll post it anyway, even though I missed the link up party. Sorry Sue!)

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Day 9 – My favorite Place

The beach. Never a doubt. Although in the mountains or woods is a nice second. Anyplace with trees. It must be my Gemini split personality. I long for water. I long for trees.

But water is my first choice. A lake or stream suffices when a beach isn’t possible. However, not any old beach will do. I’m a bit of a beach snob. Growing up, anytime Mom took us kids to the beach, it was always to the flat sandy surface of Huntington Beach, a boring flatland of people and towels laid end to end. Once I was in high school and was driving, I graduated to Laguna Beach, and that is the kind of beach I long for. Rocky, craigy cliffs, tide pools teeming with life, and a magnificent view.

I don’t even have to be in the water. I just need to see the sun sparkling off the rippling surface and hear the roaring surf in my ear. Seagulls darting through the air with their piercing calls are just a plus.

Years ago I made one trip driving home from San Francisco to southern California on the Pacific Coast Highway. On the central and northern California coastline, I discovered a slew of glorious beaches that I’d gladly stake my claim on. Big Sur, Monterey, Carmel, Aptos…those rugged beaches are the ones that tug at my heart strings and beckon me with their siren call.

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Journaling in July – Week 1

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Journaling in July – Week 1

There’s enough on my plate that I didn’t need to add one more item to my list. But…journaling…

I’ve done a lot of journaling over the past 20+ years. But I find it’s something that I’ll pick up for awhile, and then I get busy and set it aside. Sometimes its several years later before I take it up again. I used to journal every morning – and now it’s been years. Far too long.

I just got my journals down. When the stack you pull off the bookscase is dusty – that’s too long. May 2016 was my last entry. Shame on me! Especially when I always notice that when I journal and spend time in introspection and mediation, my life always flows.

I’ll be blogging about this journey and sharing on Saturdays with Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 and Beyond and Deb from Deb’s World. I won’t share everything here. Just snippets from the week. Some of what I write is for my eyes only, and besides, you won’t want to read it all anyway. I think it would make for a boring read.

But what I do hope is that maybe it inspires you to play along. Try it for a month. There’s some great prompts here for the month, from Sizzling Towards 60 and Beyond. If you blog, you may want to share some of your journey. That part of the challenge is totally optional. Give it shot. Just for you. Give yourself a gift of time, energy and intention.

Day 1 – What Makes Me Special?

This was a tough one. I’m still working on this one. I think most of us (or is it only me) that are so geared toward looking for our flaws and finding where we need to make improvements, that we don’t always give ourselves enough credit for our own unique and special qualities.

Day 2 – Dreams and Goals

So much here that I filled a second page. Right now a lot of those items were writing goals. A lot of travel goals that I don’t see how the time and the finances will work to make it possible. And now, I find that as I’ve passed that 60-year milestone marker, I’m seeing a shorter distance available in which to make these dreams and goals happen, which adds a bit of stress and tension too.

Day 3 – What Makes Me Feel Happy?

Fortunately, this list also was very long. New grandbabies, visiting time with family and friends, items checked off of the ‘to-do’ list, getting in the car and it turns on and cold air from the A/C blasts me on a hot day, sunflowers growing and thriving and getting as tall as the house, fluffy white gorgeous clouds floating through the sky, time to write and learn new things…ah, the list keeps going!

Day 4 – Write About a Special Memory

I need to do a catch up on this one. Where the 4th went, I don’t know, but I didn’t do any journaling.

Day 5 – What I Did Today

Too much RL (Real Life) to deal with today, so have a catch up day to do here too.

Day 6 – Three Things I’m Grateful For

  1. My family
  2. My friends
  3. The ability to choose – choose my attitude, choose my goals and dreams, choose what is in my life and what needs to go, choose how I spend my time, choose….

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Me and the boys in my life – my sons and grandsons

Sizzling Towards 60 and Beyond is in Australia, so they’re a day ahead of us. Since we’re not there yet here in the USA, and their link to join in ends in 9 hours, I’m going to go ahead and end this and my Day 7 will go onto next week’s post.

I hope this inspires you to add a little journaling to your life. Use the prompts for July – or just write. I think you’ll be surprised where you end up!

 

R: Regrets

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R: Regrets

You know you’re old when your regrets overcome your dreams.

It is utterly false and cruelly arbitrary to put all the play and learning into childhood, all the work into middle age, and all the regrets into old age.

Margaret Mead

I’d never thought of it in this way, but after reading Margaret Mead’s wise words, it seems she’s right. Life does tend to get lumped into these three stages. As I’m nearing the outer edges of the ‘working through middle age’ stage, I don’t want to slide into an old age full of regrets.

Yes, there are some things I didn’t do earlier, and some things I couldn’t do. But I don’t want to turn into one of those cantankerous, grouchy ‘old’ people.

I think of a little video clip I saw on Facebook a few days ago. Irene O’Shea, is an Australian woman who just celebrated her 102nd birthday with her third skydive. She celebrated her 100th birthday with her first jump and has celebrated each birthday since, first giving her the title of world’s oldest woman skydiver, and this last jump giving her claim to world’s oldest skydiver.

O’Shea’s daughter died from Motor Neuron Disease (MND) ten years ago. She is skydiving to raise awareness and funding for the MND Association of South Australia. I don’t think that O’Shea is a woman that is living her life with regrets. I want to have her attitude as I get older, trying new things and living without regrets.

https://people.com/human-interest/irene-oshea-oldest-skydiver-102-years-old/

Q: Quite True

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Q: Quite True

Growing old isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative.
Author unknown

This is such a true statement. Because as much as we (I) can mumble, grumble, and complain about getting older – I’d still much rather age and get to a very old age, than go with the alternative.

Although it’s a given that one day each of us will be leaving this earthly planet, we don’t want to get there too soon. We want to have as long a life as possible, enjoying our time here with family and friends. So in looking at the two doors that are available to us each day – one opens to a day older and closer to old age, while the other one is a direct transport to a heavenly sphere – I’ll take the doorway that leads to growing older as long as I possibly can.

P: Pendulum of Age

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P: Pendulum of Age

At 8 yrs of age, we can’t wait to be 10; there are two digits.
At 10 yrs of age, we can’t wait to be 13; officially a teenager.
At 13 yrs of age, we can’t wait to be 16; the age which we can drive.
At 16 yrs of age, we can’t wait to be 18; legally an adult, able to vote.
At 18 yrs of age, we can’t wait to be 21;
legally able to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages.
After 21 yrs of age, we forget our age.

 

There it goes, the pendulum swinging in one direction. Get older, get older, get older. We were never old enough. We always wanted that next birthday – then the next one. Just a little older. Just a few years more. We can’t wait. Hurry and get here. Hurry! Hurry!

And then…without warning…the pendulum swings in the other direction.

Now we have enough years. We want to go back. We want the numbers to start decreasing, not increasing. Wait! Slow down! Don’t go so fast.

It’s to no avail. The pendulum swings in the direction it’s going to. We have no say in the matter.

It’s funny though, how rare is the person that’s perfectly content with wherever they are on the spectrum of the pendulum swing.

O: Old Age – Not a New Concern

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O: Old Age – Not a New Concern

I admit that I am an old man.
I read my years in my mirror,
others read them on my brow. ~
Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch), letter, c.1366–1367, translated by Morris Bishop, 1966

I found it interesting that over 650 years ago, Francesco these words about admitting to being an old man. It seems that concerns about ageing are not something new. Now, I have to admit, that taken out of context of the rest of the letter, I really don’t know if he was fretting about his age, or simply acknowledging a fact. He possibly wasn’t concerned or worried about it at all. It could merely be a statement that he is now old. That he sees his years in the mirror, while others see them on his brow.

Which isn’t anything new. I’m often surprised when I see the woman in the mirror staring back at me and I often don’t immediately recognize her. Especially if it’s on one of those days where my mind still feels as if I’m a young (or at least youngish) girl – and possible the rock and roll is blasting. (Interesting side note – my music is now called ‘classic’. It’s not ‘oldies’ any more. Oldies was my mother’s music.)

I have to admire Francesco’s direct statement – I admit that I am an old man.

Now, I don’t know if I could make that same bold statement. At sixty I don’t feel as if I’m ‘old’. I’m definitely old-er. Much older than the youngster once prancing about the yard in her brand new coveted white go-go boots, singing ‘These boots are made for walking.’ Older than the brash, young 18-year old I once was. Older than the 30-year old young mother.

I suppose it’s all relative. To my sons, who are now the 30-year old fathers, I’m possibly old. To the grade school child next door, I’m most definitely old. To my 70-year old dear friend, or my 82-year old mother – nope, still a young whipper-snapper.

Guess you know who I’ll be hanging around with as often as I can!

N: Not Your Age

N: Not Your Age

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You are not your age. We are not our age. I am not my age.

No, we are all much more than that. Our age is simply a tick mark on the calendar. It is nothing that defines us.

At which point I’m going to stop reflecting on this so that Erin’s words can ring true in our hearts.

M: Maturity

This year as the A to Z Blog Challenge celebrates its 10th anniversary, and I’m working on my book (and attitude) about Embracing 60, I’m sharing some A – Z posts about ageing – some of them humorous, some of them serious.

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M: Maturity

A man’s age is something impressive, it sums up his life: maturity reached slowly and against many obstacles, illnesses cured, griefs and despairs overcome, and unconscious risks taken; maturity formed through so many desires, hopes, regrets, forgotten things, loves. A man’s age represents a fine cargo of experiences and memories.

~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wartime Writings 1939-1944,
translated from French by Norah Purcell

A man’s age represents a fine cargo of experiences and memories. What a beautiful thought. Somehow I tend to look at the obstacles, griefs, and despairs in life and see them as a negative – things to muddle through and ‘survive’. Yes, I’ve become more mature through these experiences, but I’ve never given them the credit for adding this depth to my life. When I look at the past through this lens, I realize that all the events and happenings that I’ve labeled as negative can truly be counted as blessings.

This slow ageing through the years, like a fine wine mellowing in its oak cask is a fine cargo I can boast of – it’s not something to bemoan and whine about.

I’ll claim the maturity that is mine, which I’ve earned through these past sixty years, while acknowledging that life is not yet over and there is still much to learn, enjoy, and embrace.

L: Lost Youth

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Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.

Betty Friedan

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I want to raise my fist in the air and holler out ‘You sing it!’ Not lost youth. I must repeat these words and engrave them in my heart. If I look at ageing as lost youth, then I am encompassed in an aura of loss, fear, regret, and longing. I need to shift my eyes from this focus and look ahead to the glorious new path that lies ahead – opportunity and strength. And with that shift of attitude I embrace a positive and optimistic outlook that appreciates the blessings that come with ageing, those that are there when I make a point to look for them.

K: Kindred Spirits

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Old wood best to burn,
old wine to drink,
old friends to trust,
and old authors to read.
~Quoted by Francis Bacon, Apothegm

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Fortunately I don’t have to burn wood, so I don’t need to know that old wood is best. I’m not a wine drinker, so the old wine part escapes me. But old friends and old authors – ah, now you’re speaking my language.

Then I think of the hours I spend in museums, in antique stores, and hunting down tidbits about times, days, and people long past.

Yes, I can agree, old is best. Old is a kindred spirit to my soul, so why do I not embrace it as thoroughly as an old friend or old author?

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