R: Regrets

sport-3062049__340

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

ancient-2208__340

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

hypnosis-4041584__340

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

old-man-1739154__340.jpg

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

not.jpg

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.

maturity

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.

F: Fountain of Youth

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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.

 

There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.

Sophia Loren

fountain-1642204__340

So many of us are looking for the elixir of life, hoping for a magic pill, or a mysterious and undiscovered fountain of youth to make us young again. And here all along the mystical fountain of youth lives inside of each of us. Our mind. Our talents. Our creativity.

Everyone has the ability to tap into this inner source. Unfortunately, many won’t. Some refuse to look inside. Some refuse to acknowledge that this ability is even possible. But others will. I don’t know if doing so truly means we have defeated age, or that we simply get to a point where age doesn’t matter. The life we live each day and our attitude becomes the important issues, not what date is on the calendar.

D: Dyeing Laughing

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

You know you’ve reached middle age when a doctor, not a policeman, tells you to slow down, all you exercise are your prerogatives and it takes you longer to rest than to get tired.
~Author Unknown

vietnam-4084327__340

Some of this humor hit too close to home. Especially the last part – taking longer to rest than to get tired. I was someone that used to fight naps with a passion. My mom always caught me reading under the covers and she reminds me often of how I would fight naps. Now I joke – I take it all back. I want my naps now!

And I’m also discovering that I need to exercise more than just my prerogatives if I want to maintain an energy level to keep me going throughout the day.

But even though some of this may be nearer to the truth than I’d like, I’m still enjoying reading this and laughing about it. After all, the old adage that ‘laughter is the best medicine’ seems to be validated.

Deepak Chopra, along with many others, says the healthiest response to life is laughter. Laughter brings many benefits to our lives, besides being more than just a light hearted chuckle about our ageing. The Chopra Center states that laughter can reduce stress, boost immunity, increase resilience, combat depression and relieve pain.

If a good laugh can do that, then I’m all for it – even if the laughs come from looking at ageing.

C: Concept of Time

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

Some people are old at 18, and some are young at 90.
Time is a concept that humans created.
– Unknown

pocket-watch-3156771__340

Reading this, I had to agree out loud. “Very true,” I spoke into the room empty except for myself. Maybe that’s one good part about getting older, because if anyone catches you talking out loud to yourself, they don’t look at you askance. They probably just think to themselves, “Ah-ha. Yep, there she goes, now that she’s older.”

One woman in particular came to mind when I read these words. Last fall I made a trip back ‘home’ for my mom’s 82nd birthday. As part of the weekend birthday celebration, I’d contacted the local historical museum about doing a short talk on writing our family stories while I was there. They agreed and we had a wonderful morning at the museum, meeting lots of old friends and some new ones too.

The lady that was facilitating the presentation offered to treat my mom and myself to breakfast before the presentation. We’d never met in person until we met at the restaurant. Oh my goodness! This woman is a dynamo! I don’t know her age, but I know she’s retired, so she’s at least slightly older than myself. She is vivacious and lively. She has a sharp, curious mind and I enjoyed our time together immensely. She’s active and involved in many activities, and also mentioned yoga and exercise classes. And it shows. She could run circles around both my mom and I put together. She truly is an ageless, timeless lady.

And then I think of others that I meet, who are years younger than myself, but are sliding into old age so fast it’s as if they’re already used to the notion of walkers and canes and a geriatric attitude.

I know that our bodies can betray us and succumb to the ‘out of warranty’ problems earlier than we’d like for them to. But this quote reminds me that our mind can be the greatest influence over our age. We may be riding through life in an older model vehicle, but it doesn’t mean we have to think or act like we have one foot in the grave.

I think I’ll twist this human concept of time and age and I’ll go with a ’60-going-on 40’ mode.

B: Best Part

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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.

person-3553814__340

The best part of the art of living is to know how to grow old gracefully.

Eric Hoffer

Growing old gracefully – some days this concept seems to be a difficult one to master. I fear that this challenge is one of the ‘one day at a time’ ones for me. It’s reassuring to realize that today is all I have to worry about. How do I handle myself with this issue today?

When I wonder how I’m doing with this issue, all I do is look around and compare. I see how others are handling growing old. Are they grumbling about the aches and pains and bemoaning the not so pleasant effects of a life that’s getting older? Do they remain cheerful and optimist, moving forward with enthusiasm while embracing each new day they are given?

This seems a little contrary to most common advice about not comparing yourself to others. But in this instance, it works. It’s not that I’m comparing myself to other people to see where I’m lacking. I’m using others as measurements to see where I want to be. For the Negative Nellies, I don’t want to be in their camp, so I compare where I am myself and move away from that attitude and existence. When I see those older than me that are filled with zest for life and are living vital lives, I set that yardstick in the sand and move towards what I want my life to be.

Growing old gracefully – that is my ambition. And I will reach that goal, even though some days I may have to consciously aim in that direction.

Previous Older Entries

November 2019
M T W T F S S
« Oct    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930