Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Difference

(Looks like this will be my October post - 
now that I appear to have dropped back to only one post a month.)

Time is passing at an almost incredible speed ...
While I seem to be slowing down at about the same speed. 

I am more aware of time passing than at any other stage of my life.   In all other stages I was just too busy with other things like jobs, and kids, and hobbies, and travel, and caregiving, and whatever - to ever seriously recognize the speed of time.  Now a lot of those things are behind me and gosh ... why is it passing so fast!!

At the same time it seems I am slowing down - naturally slowing in what I can physically accomplish, mentally juggle and emotionally handle.  In fact, although I still maintain a to-do list (a crutch for a brain that has a 30 second hold time), I generally don't feel obligated to spin my wheels getting that to-do stuff done.  I guess that includes blogging.  Haha!   I still want the list to exist so the items aren't lost into thin air - as so often happens, but I am comfortable letting them sit on that list for as long as it takes.

Ten years ago ... everything I just said would be characterized (privately - in my brain) as just crazy talk.  I would move heaven and earth to accomplish everything.  Now I find "heaven and earth" can wait ... I am busy doing ... well ... sometimes nothing at all - just rambling around in my own thoughts.

And then there is that image in the mirror.

My image has changed for sure when I look into the mirror.  I remember a time when that image got spruced up every single morning, with blow drying my hair, adding making up, and clothing myself in stylish clothes that suited my frame.  Now I accept the fact that my image is who I actually am - and I am not so hell bent on changing it.  In fact, that acceptance has been very freeing.  No matter what I do ... there is little chance I will be mistaken for someone 30 years younger.  So my focus is more how I feel from the inside out rather than the outside in.  Comfortable clothes, moisture cream for my skin and good sanitary habits are good enough.

Is it laziness on my part that I don't try to control all these things as I once did?  Or have I just managed to accept my current stage of life?

Still some of my peers resist relaxing into senior years.  I have watched a few expound on about "never give in!!" or "never give up!!" or "push back that clock"?   Believe me when I say I have seen a few versions of that kind of aging ... and is far from attractive.  If that is what they are going for - attractive - it is an epic fail.

There is a trite but true little prayer that comes to my mind more and more.

The Serenity Prayer 

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.

And there is the rub ... knowing the difference!

What are the things I care enough to make a difference on!  If I accept the natural limitations of my age like ... I wake slower, I walk slower, I heal slower, I think slower ... really, what is it that I don't accept.
  • Getting off the floor can be a struggle.  I don't want to be that person you see in TV ads that can't get up off the floor and needs an emergency button to call for help.
  • I want to move freely without discomfort.   I welcome PT and the regular leg exercises to keep myself walking on 2 legs (not 3 legs - a cane, or 4 legs - a walker.)
  • Endurance - easy to lose, hard to get back.  Yeah ...  a work in progress. 
  • I now call my "to-do list" a "suggestion list."  To-do lists are so over rated!  After all - nothing comes to a screeching halt if I don't do it.  (Gosh that was a hard lesson for my thick head to accept.)
  • And ... I encourage the reality that everything I have just said will probably change as years pass and I am ok with that!  
Is that grace in aging?  I don't know.  But I am spending precious (and speeding) time rambling around in my own brain at times to figure out if 'grace' is the right word.  I am also stepping outside myself just a bit and to observe my own travel through aging.  Accepting some things, pushing back on other things.  And figuring out the difference.
Knowing the difference!
I think that is my major accomplishment
 in this stage of life!


Marie Smith said...

My hygiene regimen is like yours now too. Such a freedom not to be concerned what others think of what I’m wearing and look like. Clean and comfortable with a bit of moisturizer is my motto.

Knowing the difference is everything really. Aging is about transition and adapting to those changes. Knowing the difference is freedom as we transition. It makes life more peaceful as we move along to the inevitable, enjoying what we can still do and appreciating it at every stage. Not easy but a real blessing to those who achieve it.

Have a wonderful week.

Linda said...

One of the best things about being older is not caring so much about how I look. I do care about how much I'm able to do because there's still a lot of things I want to do. I love being retired and having more choices about how I want to spend my time, a lot more weaving! It seems like every age has its positives and negatives.

Una said...

Good blog post. When I retired from work, I was shocked at how fast the days turn into weeks. It has taken me a few years to get into a routine. I now go to over 50s exercise classes. It was a big thing for me to admit that I fell into this age group. But it has been wonderful. I have made friends and the tutor concentrates on what she calls functional exercises. Getting up and down and even putting on a coat are things we need to carry on doing if we want to live independently.

Susan said...

I love this post. I have seen too many people fighting back against aging, and it's a losing battle. It's so much better to ease yourself in with grace. I am still struggling with the to-do list and I think I might try your suggestion list. It sounds so much more sane.

A :-) said...

I agree that the time seems to fly more these days.

Sandy said...

I don't think I've changed much through the years. I've always kept a list, primarily so I didn't forget something; but I've never made myself crazy in order to get it all done. I always think of that at holiday times, when people over do so much they can't enjoy the season. I've really never done that. I've always been ok with what get's done get's done, the rest isn't going anywhere.....and if they list isn't done, the holiday will still happen. But, I do agree time seems to fly by now, more then ever. I try to keep physically active and set some goals for myself on that score.......currently, I behind on that, lol.

Lynne said...

Oh my . . . excellent reflecting . . .
I am “up there” in those years that I can’t believe have happened . . .
I too find my mind sorting, planning, checking . . . I do that on paper too! tee hee
There was a day when I wouldn’t think about missing my creating a blog post . . .
And now . . . I am content doing so when I can . . .
I often lament about not following, commenting, staying in touch but
some of that is simply because blogger, google, who, what, whom keeps changing things
to make my mind impossible to stay” with it!”
So thank goodness I sit within some grace . . and serenity . . .
and accept, courage, wisdom . . .
Doesn’t that prayer simply DO IT!
You’ve made my day . . . just reading you now . . .
on November 6 . . . how did that happen!
(I think this post of yours was written October something!)
AND . . . smiling . . . there was a time when I wouldn’t think about not having face, hair, dress perfect
and now . . . so very comfortable being casual, cream on my face, not go anywhere,
and love my knit, crochet, read . . .
Ah yes . . . for me . . . life now is grand . . .
I would love meeting you face to face Elaine!

Sandy said...

Making blog rounds so popped into say hi. Miss our more frequent visits. Hope you're doing well.