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!