Over the weekend, I found myself sitting in a circle of friends; many that I have known for years and one I was just meeting for the first time. What we had in common was a love of life, a keen interest in learning and expanding our horizons and abiding connection with spirituality. Another thread was that we were all over 50 and therefore were part of what they call an Elder’s Circle. Since I turned 53 a week ago, it was no big deal to recognize that I am now a seasoned woman; a term I love, by the way. Aging looks and feels nothing like I anticipated and yet, I had not considered that I am now an elder with wisdom to share as a result of having clocked more than half a century on the planet. I am noticing a few changes in my ability to retain information and find just the right word; which can be frustrating at times as a born communicator. My steel trap memory seems to be wearing a bit thin around the edges and I accomodate by injecting humor. I used to strictly say I was having a ‘middle aged moment’, but that seems to reinforce the belief that I have to have memory lapses. Instead, I now say that I am having a ‘wise woman moment’, since the older we get, the wiser we grow. I also tell folks that the mental hard drive is getting full. The truth is, I have so much to remember that the un-neccesary things get pushed to the background. Often times when I am presenting, people have asked me to repeat what I just said and sometimes, I just can’t, since the info often comes through me and not from me in a channeled/downloaded from Source kinda way.
I do know, that in my 50′s I have far more get up and go than I had in previous decades. I seem to require less sleep, which is a good thing, since it has been at a premium lately. I have enlivened passion for life, zest for taking it all in AND the discernment to know what is good for me and what quite simply, does not serve. I am grateful for the energetic resources to live fully.I have earned every laugh line and grey hair, which I have decided to let go natural…Jamie Lee Curtis and Emmy Lou Harris wear it well, so I suppose I can too. I have gleaned insight into what makes me tick and what makes the world go ’round. I have an ever-expanding circle of loved ones. I am more comfortable in my own skin and take better care of myself every which way around than I did in my 30′s and 40′s. I take ‘emotional bungee jumping’ risks…not the least bit interested in the real thing, thank you very much. I say yes to what I want and no to what I don’t want. I have connected my wish bone with my back bone and stand up for what I believe in. I ask for what I desire without stuttering most of the time. I can gaze backward at accomplishments with a sense of appreciation that I have a solid track record. I can envision forward into the next decade and know that it will be magnificent.
I have wonderful role models for successful aging, including my friend and mentor, Yvonne Kaye, who I mentioned in yesterday’s blog entry. My parents who lived to their middle 80′s, were shining examples of activity and volunteerism into the 8th decade of their lives. My mom taught a senior stretch class called Stretching with Selma and my dad worked in a gym until a few years before he died. He too volunteered at their town center, once playing Santa Claus…likely the only one in their history named Moish who had to stuff the Santa suit with a pillow, because he was so trim. My Aunt Edith lived to be 103 and was independent into her 90′s until she fell, broke her hip and spent the remainder of her years cared for in a nursing home. In her 60′s, she took up painting and I have a few of her pieces here in my home as a reminder that creativity knows no age limit.
My friend Jim Donovan wrote a book called Don’t Let An Old Person Move Into Your Body
There is a wonderful article in Yoga International Magazine about the subject of graceful aging in the face of physical challenge by Deborah Willoughby
Rabbi Zalman Schacter Shalomi wrote a book entitled From Aging to Saging
One of my favorite songs about aging You’re Aging Well by Dar Williams and Joan Baez http://youtu.be/1uIAVpM-D_A
And one more for the road….The Traveling Wilburys http://youtu.be/cwqhdRs4jyA
May we all age well~