It’s a A Beautiful Life Friday over at Melissa, Inspired Rooms…when I visit Melissa, I always leave with a little something. Be it an idea or an encouragement or a tickle of joy, her blog delights.
It all started with my rambling thoughts on Living My Legacy…and then detoured into some thoughts on Aging Gracefully. This week I’m going to share from the perspective of “Forty-Something” (47 to be exact!) on what getting older looks like…but starting next week it’s going to get fun! I have 3 amazing women, Lynn in her fifty’s, Brenda in her sixty’s and Marion in her seventy’s who will be guest-posting their thoughts and feelings about Aging Gracefully! These three women have lived the bliss and the agony in life and are some of the most charming, loving, free spirits I’ve ever known. I wanted their input and you guys are gonna love hearing from them, I promise!
But quickly for today I wanted to share a bit of my perspective, you know…about getting older…
No one talked to me about aging. At least not that I remember. My Gramma’s take on aging may have spilled out in response to my question…”How ya doing Gramma?” (Which I probably asked her every time I spoke with her.)
“Oh Robin, not too bad considering my age and condition.”…she said this so often. And I laughed every time, but looking back, there’s a chance she wasn’t kidding!
I wish someone had told me…don’t freak out too much when you wake up one morning and aren’t sure who’s face is staring back at you in the mirror…
I’m serious. My reflection is a continual shock to my delicate ego. I had no idea that it would take half an hour for my face to smooth out from the crease I got while sleeping on that side. Or that the dark circles would get darker and the concerned look on my forehead would be there whether or not I was concerned. I have also been shocked at my obsession with pulling my face back and tight. I just stare. I would look pretty good if I could pulllll here and there…
And then there’s the issue of the neck down…hummmmm.
Phyllis Diller once said: “I don’t know how you feel about old age…but in my case I didn’t even see it coming. It hit me from the rear.” That pretty well says it all…you fill in the blanks but most importantly hear me when I say at some point you stop looking so much at your reflection in the mirror and start focusing on the reflection in your heart.
Here’s where the surprises have been more pleasant. At some point the truly important things in my life came sharply into focus. Faith, family, friends. Working my way up to the bigger house, the best furniture, the new car…well, those screaming desires have been long quieted in me.
At some point, my strong desire for peace and serenity won out over drama and the search for the “next big thing”. Small, simple things give me bliss these days. Today for instance, sitting on the back deck with the pups, bright sunlight warming my skin, nibbling on a frozen fruit bar…made me so happy. I didn’t need another thing. (That’s not true… if Ellie, my 3 month old granddaughter had been with me THEN I wouldn’t need another thing!)
Living my legacy has become my passion…perhaps because I’ve come face to face with a lot of loss over the past ten years…first Gramma, then my little brother David and most recently Mom, I find it easy to get up in the morning and focus on living , the legacy I want to leave. Those three amazing people have left this world with a legacy that will go on for generations. And because of them I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that what you do matters. It matters today in ways you may not understand and it matters tomorrow and it matters for eternity. I’m passionate about the way I live my life today. Because that’s the legacy I’m leaving when one day I join Gramma, David and Mom. But until then Peeps, aging is the only way to keep living, and although at first glance I was frightened by the changes, a closer look at aging reveals startling beauty. Fresh potential and yet unexplored opportunities.
I’m not gonna lie. The physical aspects of getting older continue to cause me small freak-outs from time to time. But I try to keep this in mind…“When grace is joined with wrinkles, it’s adorable.” (Victor Hugo) And that helps me a little. Then I intentionally turn my focus to living my legacy. And that always puts me on the right track.
How ’bout you, are you to the point that you’ve considered aging gracefully? Do you know someone who defines aging gracefully? If so, what characteristics in them would you emulate? Next week it’s Aging Gracefully with my bud Lynn…you guys are gonna love her!