Thursday, December 2, 2010

Growing Older

Youth is not a time of life--it is a state of mind.  Nobody grows old
by merely living a number of years; people grow old by deserting their ideals.
Years may wrinkle your skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles your soul.
You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubts; as young as your
self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.
In the central place of your heart there is a recording chamber; so long as it
receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, and courage--so long are you young.
When the wires are all down and your heart is covered with the snow
of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then--and only then--are you grown old.
--Douglas MacArthur--

I've been on vacation this week, and so far I have found myself  running about much more than when I am working.  Granted, the holiday season is upon us, and there is much that has to be done, but I also wanted this vacation to be a time of rest....and, today,  when I look at the calendar, I've only four more days before I have to go back.  Quickest eleven days I ever spent, but that's the way of time.... yesterday's rainstorm was, indeed, a much needed gift from Mother Nature...sort of a forced vacation, so to speak..  And, oh, what a magnificent day it was!  To me, the sound of the rain pouring down on the window pane  can be so beautiful and healing.  It seems to make everything okay, and then,  add to that, the howling winds, and it was a blessed day to stay indoors.  During the morning, I just lounged around in bed and caught up on some reading;  then, when my son got up, together we finished my Christmas village.  The only sad thing that happened was, when I got down on the floor to sort some books, I literally could not get back up.  It made me aware of how age is creeping up on me.  Well, I can't blame it all on aging.  I have put on a lot of weight in a short bit of time....I was 145 lbs when I stopped smoking on July 4, 2009.  The last time I weighed myself I was 207.  A gift for myself this year is going to be a healthier diet.  Nonetheless, it was a bit disheartening to me because I can remember back to the days when I scrubbed and waxed my floors on my knees and never had a problem.  Hence, it gave me some cause for reflection....

...I can't walk as quickly, take the stairs as well, carry as much, stay up as late, or work as hard as I once did.  I've accepted that I am aging, but this physical part of it , this is the part I am having trouble with.  My mind and my thoughts remain the same.  Knowledge grows daily and time seems to pass more rapidly.  Mentally, emotionally, I am still so much younger.  I enjoy playing practical jokes on others, coloring, even still love paper dolls, but there are other things I can no longer do....

....yet, when I take a step back and reflect on the memories of my life, what once was a struggle is now a beautiful memory of a time of growth and maturity. Perceptions filled with the emotions of a time that was taken for granted for I was always moving far too fast to stop and enjoy the linear landscape of my life as it passed on by.  Yes, there has been much struggle and turmoil, yet I now can see the significance of experience.  Perhaps the ability to slow down is a gift and not a hindrance.  Aging deals with being more thankful every year for what we have and what we have been given. 

Yes, I am aging and my body is betraying me, but  I will continue to invite every morning  to pull me into another wonderful day to celebrate this life.

A good old age can be the crown of all our life's experiences,
the masterwork of a lifetime.  Behind us are years of actions
and thoughts that developed us, changed us--and the world--for
the better or the worse.  We know in our inner selves which
they had been and to what goal they have led.

Helen Nearing


  1. This could have been written by myself, except I stopped smoking 1-15-2008.
    Every word struck a chord,once could wash my floors on hands and knees, difficulty arising from that position now, mind doesn't let me realize I can't do what I use to do until I try it and find out for myself. :0(
    I too have a Dept.57 Christmas Village, but mine sits in the attic with grands living here.
    Have to admit one more way that we are alike is because I now weigh the same as you do. sigh!
    Let's treat ourselves better beginnging 2011.
    (((hugs)))sent out to you Mary

  2. If only our bodies would stay as strong and young as our minds....Wishing you a restful day!


  3. wonderful sentiments :)
    enjoy the rest of your vacation

  4. Had to look how many kilogrammms lbs are... I´m so few addicted to figures.

    I´m mostly somewhere between 88 and 100 kg and hardly ever feel different when it is "low" - only seems that my skin doesn´t look that fresh when I have less kg :-)

    Gave up beating the drum of "you cannot move so well when you are too fat" - sorry, I can: I have extremely much power, do extremely long walks, work extremely and feel absolutely fine.

    My doctor says: This trouble about BMI and all that diet only makes people very very unhappy and, sorry, but there is no valid proof that the ideal shape leads to ideal health.

    Maybe people transform those health-predictions into reality although they are not as true.

    Dearest greetings from Cologne


  5. ~hello there, see i have missed that you were even on behind from us al being sick around here...i am glad you have taken time off and got some quiet yesterday...your new background looks wonderful and quite festive!!! its nice you and your son spent time together getting your village put up...i am sure a moment he will remember throughout the years...we are still slowly trying to get decorating...none of us are feeling quite well yet so everything is in slow motion...but hey its a season right! i wish you well and blessings be with you and yours~

  6. New look here!!!

    And I'll be honest and say I'm too stressed out over the ding-dang sizing pics issue, to read well. I should read this post carefully too, because I am not having it easy, with this aging issue, for some time. I really don't like having the shortness of my time left, be front-and-center in my mind, at all times. Ugh!!!!!!!!!

    And I'm here to say THANK YOU for taking the time to comment a reply, to my blogging Questions. Thank you!

    Gentle Winter hugs...

  7. I'm right there with you Mary, although I have not quit smoking yet...I struggle so with that. You'd think being on oxygen would motivate me but it doesn't. I do so want to stop. I pray that I will in this coming new year...gearing myself up for it as we speak.
    I loved your 'very real' post certainly speaks to me!
    I love your new festive look!
    Have fun today, doing what you want to do!
    Much love and many blessings...