I remember, years ago, asking my mother the benefit of getting older. I was sure there must be a big payoff for relinquishing one’s dewy youthfulness, a prize like a parade or Clearing House Sweepstakes. After all, the exchange for creaky knees and wrinkles does seem somewhat inequitable.
That’s what she told me. I remember asking, “Isn’t there something? A richness that comes with aging?” Her reply was a flat, brutal. “You just get older.”
I’ve thought about that conversation many, many times. I’ve also promised myself it wouldn’t be like that for me. Now, in Mom’s defense, perhaps she didn’t know what I was looking for, or maybe I caught her on a bad day. But, the fateful conversation stuck with me and I’ve spent my years determined to take the deep dive into any small grain of gain, any wisdom, any understanding, any peaceful, embryonic, Jacuzzi bath of reparation that might exist…ready to snatch it up in a second.
What you look for you usually find. Wouldn’t you agree? If you look for the bad in someone…you’ll see it. If you look for possibilities, they emerge. If you look for the happy, rewarding moments in life, they magically appear. I like to say,
So, as I careen into the “deep” years of my life, I do so with eyes wide open, darting, searching for the golden ring. I’m not all that creaky yet, but when the creaking comes, I want to know what I traded up to. So far, here’s what I’ve discovered:
That’s right. I can no longer read the print on the bottom of the lipstick tubes and shampoo bottles. Why do they even bother? It’s my understanding that eventually lips and hair disappear anyway. Why do I have to wear magnifying glasses when I paint? I’ve been assured my eyes are fine…I’ve been adjusted to 20/20.
Yes, I’ve noticed lines forming on my skin. Things that hurt take longer to heal. I’ve noticed some changes “inside,” too.
For my age:
- My heart is more steady.
- My soul has learned to listen.
- I am selectively inspired by those who have gone before me.
- I don’t jump to conclusions, but have ratcheted it back to a modified “hop.”
- I look for the “why” with people’s behaviour.
- I am slower to condemn.
- I mind my own business more.
- I am more inclined to enjoy my own company.
- I look deeper for the possibilities.
- I enjoy “watching.”
- I am more immersed in the practice of gratitude
- My creativity has blossomed.
- I seek to be of service.
- I want to leave something behind rather than take more than I need.
- I work to keep my soul “right.”
Like I said, as we age our eyesight fails, but our vision becomes more acute. That certainly is something to lean in to, something to, pardon the pun, look forward to. There is much terrain to be explored, through another set of eyes, through a more open heart, through a gentler character.
To be fully disclosing, and you know I am, I must set the record straight…I’m not all the way “there.” I still get irritated by some of the “going ons” in day to day living. I still find it easier to forgive character flaws than stupidity. Stupid should hurt. But, I am on the rails of my chosen track and looking forward to the trip. I’m grateful for it. I’m learning to see differently. (click to Tweet).
What has time given to you? What have you gained as life moves along? Feel free to share here…we’re all friends.
Choose to be farsighted,
Michelle Andres is a writer, artist and coach who nudges, nay, shoves, her clients in the direction of their dreams, helping them to overcome non-productive behaviours and enjoy more success in their lives.
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