I’ve been thinking about aging lately. I think this lady is gorgeous. I hope I look HALF this good as I get older.
The reason I’ve been thinking about it lately is that two of my dearest friends seem to be doing it at an accelerating rate and it bothers me. I realize that we are all getting older. That’s okay. Fine by me! And MUCH better than the alternative.
But it bothers me when people I love seem to be withdrawing from the world. It’s starts out as little things, like not watching the news because it’s ‘depressing.’ Or refusing to learn how to work a DVD player. It’s like they’re shutting down and their world is getting smaller and smaller.
Some of it has to do with health. When we hurt, or more parts of us don’t work as well as they used to, it’s hard to stay active. A LOT of it, though, is attitude.
We begin to see the world in terms of all that’s wrong. We see our life that way, too. And we close ourselves off, escaping – withdrawing – imploding – until there is little of ‘us’ remaining.
I HATE THAT! I love these people and they’re giving up. It’s their right, of course, and it’s selfish of ME to resent it, or mourn. But there it is. I want my friends back!
I want them to enjoy the days they have left in this world. I want them to be excited about something – anything! I want to see them smile at a picture they love, or the memory of a favorite time. I want them to laugh out loud with joy! I want them to anticipate something in the future, rather than merely going through another day. I hate it that there seems to be nothing I can do to change what is happening. No matter how I reach out – calling, writing, going to see them – the shut-down is accelerating.
I realize that the only person I can control or change is myself. Right now I’m fiercely ALIVE. I’m lucky to have good enough health that I can do a lot of what I want to do. I may be slower, or my body may shriek the next day, but I’m getting it done, and I’m LOVING it. I want it to STAY like this as long as possible. To that end, I push myself to try new things. I’m learning new techniques – lately it’s trying to learn silk-screening. My husband and I are trying to learn how to use a camcorder for the first time. I’m trying to program a new GPS for our coming trip. I’m trying to learn to recognize the plants in my new Square Foot Garden. I’m trying to learn to etch glass.
The point is, aging happens, but we can control its rate – at least for quite awhile. By staying active, being stimulated by all the wonderful life around you, you can continue to really LIVE.
I look at the picture of the sweet lady I found above and I again hope that my inner joy will show on my face, as hers does. I’ll work every day to EXPAND my life, EMBRACE new things, LOVE and BE LOVED.
What fills YOU with joy?