Thursday, August 27, 2009

A few years...


I am beginning to believe that having a few years on your "playlist" is not so bad. I started to really think about age a few years ago, never really minding my aging body and face. Some might argue I'm being too lackadaisical about the whole thing, and should do more to stave off the ravage of time. But, for the most part, I get what aging is all about.

We see things differently when we are not focusing all our attention on ourselves. Let's face it, when you are in your teens and twenties, it's all about how everything affects you. It's not a bad thing, don't get me wrong. It's natural, and part of the process. There is energy, excitement, drama. We have our whole lives ahead of us, and we are reckless, drunk with the ripeness of it all. The early part of our lifespan is designed to set the stage for what's to come.

The mid years are all about everyone else. We work, plan, cook, clean, do yard work, budget for college years. If you have children, this stage is anything but about you. But even if you don't have children, it's about your career, bosses, spouses, families, significant others. We constantly compare ourselves to others, to those that we admire, we strive to climb the ladder of success in whatever field we choose, to be the best that we can be. We also accumulate. Usually too much of everything.

By the late-mid years, my tag, not the social scientists, you realize it's not all about you, and yours. There is more of an understanding that others matter, that life is better when it's simpler, and the need for things diminish. Now it's about remaining healthy, active, and mentally nimble. Time to care about the little things in life. A nice meal with someone you love is a beautiful gift. A small home is cozy and comfortable. Flowers are to be admired, almost irrationally. Walks are not something you have to fit into your busy day, but are a main staple of the day. Life is slower, but sweeter.

It is this point in life that you realize it won't stay this way. You know enough to know that the only constant in this world of ours, is change. You know that you probably will face some physical problem, or twenty, in the years ahead, so you are grateful for what you have. The realization that life is precious, and should be savoured, like a fine wine on a summer evening. That the season will change and the leaves will fall, and winter is just around the corner. But the summer and fall are noticed, and dearly appreciated.

31 comments:

Lindz said...

Hopefully you can inspire those of us experiencing the middle part to be aware of the importance of the little things more often and... to savor every moment!

Leah J. Utas said...

Yes, that's exactly it. I appreciate the simple things even more now. I like to think I always did, but I am not so sure it's true.

Emom said...

Love your words....
so glad that someone else thinks this way too!
Smiles.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Beautifully said - and from what I hear, also beautifully lived.

lakeviewer said...

Well put. If only more people catch their breath and slow down enough to listen to their hearts, their lungs, their minds.

You're wise for your years.

The Good Cook said...

Well said Nancy.
I like to think my hips are broader because my gaze is broader...

ellen abbott said...

When I turned 50 (ummm, that would be 9 years ago), I sat down and reviewed myself, my life and came to the same conclusions.

This is a small excerpt: The world lays before me now in a way that it never has before. I am free from the restraints of my parents, free from the restraints of my children, free of the need to count every penney ( today, at least), free of the need to accumulate stuff, free of delusions of youth and beauty, free from the need to tolerate unpleasant people. I did my stints as Virgin and Mother. Now I begin the last and (and hopefully) longest phase...dare I say it...Wise Woman or, probably more aptly in my case, Crone.

Meeko Fabulous said...

This was a great post and really puts things into perspective. Also, I love, love, love that you taught me a new word today - Lackadaisical. Hope you have a great day! :)

Brian Miller said...

really beautifully written and true...we can cling tightly to these seasons as well...wanting more, never really appreciating the next season...learning to savor the moment...thanks nancy!

Jeninacide said...

Well MOM, if you make sure that you have good nutrition you may cut those 20 "physical problems" down to a fraction of that. ;o)

Celeste Maia said...

Very good post. I agree with everything you wrote, I feel the same way. At 20 we are immortal, and at 50 we wre too caught up in life, and after that we savor what we have. Time is suddently telescoped to cut out waste, be aware only of the relevant.

Andrea said...

So well put. Thanks for that.

"Jo" said...

I can relate, yet I don't entirely agree. I'm in my twenties and although I hardly ever write about it I do enjoy pink skies, sunsets, the scent of a fresh mowed lawn, and lots of other small things in life. I also think health is important although, I must admit, at this moment in time I'm kind of neglecting my health for the sake of having fun. Then again, this has to do with my past. I've got some catching up to do.

Although I do not think a certain sentiment, or spirituality perhaps, is age related, I very much like this post.

Ladybird World Mother said...

Utterly lovely. Thank you for a beautiful post.

PeacefulWmn9 said...

Nancy, you've said so well what I feel about the "late middle years." They and life are definitely to be savored, and the slower pace makes that possible. I also agree that we see ourselves as an intricate part of the bigger picture. Life is good...at every age.

Karen

Mental P Mama said...

Amen! Savor every single moment.

Elizabeth Bradley said...

What a terrific post. I'm currently moving into a new phase, and am looking forward to living a more well-examined life. I no longer have dependent children, and after caring for my ill parents for so long, (they have passed on), I am able to slow down. Whew! I appreciate your words today Nancy.
Elizabeth

Phoebe Miriah Kirby said...

I feel I am immortal in a sense, because it is my faith. I don't think I will ever die, not just because I am 20, :).
But you're right about a lot of it. It is about me right now.. My education, my home, my cooking skills, my diet. Right now I am establishing who I will be for the rest of my life. I would be lost without my sense of self.
I have sped up the cycle of my life, not because I meant to, only because I believe it is the way things are meant to be. I'm married young and maybe it's because I feel so much older. When someone says, "Wow, you're married and you look so young." I'm taken aback by it. I forget how young I am.

My husband and I are very much against the whole drama aspect of life. Were trying to maintain peace and quiet. It makes us happy.

I am printing your post and letting my mom read it. I think she will enjoy it even more than I did. :)

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Beautifully written, as always!

susan said...

Very true and beautifully said. You are an inspiration.

Jo said...

"The realization that life is precious, and should be savoured, like a fine wine on a summer evening." Gosh, why is it that we cannot see this clearly when we are younger?

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Me again. Nancy, I have left you an award on my blog.

Marguerite said...

Great post, Nancy! I was brought up to savor every minute, throughout my life. My Dad will be 88 in November and is still going strong! He still does everything and says that his secret is having fun! "Have all the fun that you can", he always told us. As Jen says, nutrition and movement are also very important. I am having the time of my life, in my fifties! Sweeter, but not slower.

DJan said...

You Nancy, have summarized three of the phases of life, and having experienced the first two, are allowing the last phase to come to fruition. I am also doing the same, and I know, with complete certainty, that the wine I roll around on my tongue before I swallow will not be there tomorrow. But in its place, hopefully, will be the next wine, and I will savor it... glad to have a kindred traveler along on this ride called life!

Mary Ellen said...

Thanks for putting this so compellingly. I'm trying to transition out of the hyper-busyness of career work and putting kids through college to attend more to health and happiness, but it's hard to ramp down (especially in an economy where colleagues are let go and the rest of us pick up their work).

Delwyn said...

Hi Nancy

As we get older and the lived part of our life greatly outweighs the unlived we have renewed sense of the preciousness of life and if we are lucky we learn to see each day as a gift and savour all the little moments and encounters...

thanks for the post today...

Happy days

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Hi Nancy: I have tried your email as you suggested but it always comes up: "default mail client is not properly installed" . . .

~JarieLyn~ said...

I've noticed that in the past year I have started becoming more aware and appreciating nature more. when I take a walk now, I am noticing how a tree's trunk has twists and turns in it and I can see the beauty and that each tree is individually beautiful and different. I'm ready to slow down and accept the smaller more meaningful things that cross my path.

You have said it very well. Your words do inspire thoughts.

Erika C. said...

Wow, this is lovely and helpful to me as I am going to be 50 next year.

I do agree with what one of the other posters said, that we can have insights from another life phase at different times. I know for me, I did a lot of reflecting and probably more late stage stuff in my 20's and only began to dip into "real life" in my late 30's and 40's.

Having kids makes such a huge difference. Having young kids when I am almost 50 is also kind of like straddling two different stages. I am looking toward the later stages of life but my kids keep me in the present more.

Thanks for the inspiration and the opportunity for reflection!

Spiritual Journey said...

Thanks for giving a roadmap, especially right now where I feel like I don't own my body and time anymore - it's all for the kids and the family as a whole...(sigh) At least there's a reprieve somewhere, coming from you who has experienced them all and grown wiser.

dragonflydreamer said...

Thank you for your thoughtful and beautifully written post. I completely agree with you and needed to read this today as I have been struggling with entering a new phase in my life. You have inspired me and helped me to put it into perspective.

Susi