Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Aging’

I just realized that I hadn’t posted yesterday!
I have been hard at work (avoiding) preparing a message for this weekend (on aging!!).
So, in lieu of a belated new post, here is my contribution, from over five years ago.
Now to get a handle on this message …

Although I am only thirty-nine (with four years experience) I am becoming more acquainted with aging, and it’s changes each and every day.

There are some changes that come with ‘time passing on’ (this is hubby’s way of referring to aging) that I quite like.

I love the lines that are forming just outside of the corners of my mouth, and my eyes, because they are evidence to smiles and laughs. I may not remember every individual event that caused my face to smile, but the lines will never hide that joy has filled my days.

I love that I have been plucking my eyebrows for so many years that the hairs almost never re-grow anymore.

I love that I do not have to concern myself with pimples, other than the odd one or two.

I love that, because my hair is … silvering … I have a natural excuse to become an even more blond, and I now have a number(s) to identify and define my hair color 😉

There are also some changes that have occurred that I do not favor so much.

I do not like that my knees have decided I need to pay more attention to them, and they attain my attention in the most uncomfortable of ways.

I do not like that some foods that I ingest want to burn themselves into my memory (or at least into my esophagus).

I definitely do not like the anticipation of body parts migrating in a southerly direction.

But, I especially do not like that the appearance of my hands is changing.

The famous, all-knowing ‘they’ say that the way to most accurately guess the age of woman, you need to only to glance at her neck or her hands.

As each year passes, I have noticed subtle changes happening in my hands, that I am not so happy about. The lines in them are deepening. They need constant re-hydration from rich lotions. I seem to have lost the ability to grown my fingernails to even the slightest length, without their splintering. There seems to be more skin, as it is losing it’s youthful elasticity. They sometimes even ache … but it is their appearance that is more disheartening to me.

It is a frequent occurrence that I glance at my hands, and have no idea whose hands they are. They surely cannot be mine, because mine do not look so … so … aged. Then I realize they move when and where I will them, and so they truly are my own.

Maybe the changes in them bother me, because my hands were the body part(s) that I actually liked about myself. Maybe I thought I would be immune to the normal, natural results of ‘time moving on.’

All that said, maybe the wrinkles, the lines, the shorter nails and the loosening skin are all characteristics of hands that have been held by generations before me, that have held on to the children I gave birth to, that have made meals for those I love, that have held the hands of people readying for eternity, that have written or typed words of encouragement, that have touched the shoulder of one carrying the weight of the world, that have folded in an act of pray, that have been kissed by the man of my life, that will one day be taken by my Redeemer as He welcomes me into eternity.

Maybe they are like the laugh lines I so adore on my face. Maybe they are the lines of hands that have loved, and been loved in return.

So, I’ll keep slathering rich lotions onto them, so that, although they will be marked by the lines of time, they will still be welcoming to the touch of those who need a hand.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

eyeThe game of road trips for generations of families is still the best … “I spy with my little eye something that is …”

Our eyes are said to be the gateway to our souls … that which goes into them also shows out of them … love, pain, strength, weakness, tragedy and delight.

As I look at the image of my own eye (above) I am remembering a post I wrote about a year ago, Getting a HANDle on Aging. In that post I wrote of how the aging-related changes to my hands are changes that are taking some getting used to, as they are, truly, the most accurate declarer of my true age (and today I am thirty-nine with FIVE years experience … yikes).

But my eyes …

Their aging causes a very different reaction for me.

My daughters thought I had totally lost it, when I asked one of them to take a close up of the wrinkles and lines around my eye. But I knew that it would be a photo I would appreciate far more than one of any other part of my body.

The color of my iris can still be altered by the colors I wear. The lashes still benefit from mascara to provide the illusion of more than actually exists (thanks to an inquisitive mind and a pair of scissors when I was a child). They communicate more clearly than my words. Their ability to see is still functional without specs (although that day is coming quickly). They are able to see what others do not show, do not say, do not share.

What do I spy … with my aging eye?

I spy a life of blessing.

I have seen my parents eyes reflecting pride when I graduated high school, college and got married. Their eyes of loss when hubby and I moved out of town, out of province. Their eyes of delight when I brought home each of their grandchildren.

I have seen my hubby’s eyes as I turned the corner when I walked down the aisle to vow to love, honor and obey … ’til death. His weeping when our first child (and four more later) miscarried, and when our three were born healthy and whole. His shared wonder when God would provide for us, as no human could. His eyes of confusion and frustration when I said and did things that hurt him, disappointed him, frustrated him.

I have seen the newborn faces of our three children. The first steps of each. The looks of wonder as they experienced the world around them. The first times they have been hurt. The many times that they forgave my mistakes (and forgot them immediately). The moments of great childhood successes, and the times of desperate loss.

My soul is blessed.

One day I will look into the eyes of my Savior, my Redeemer, my Lord … what a glorious day that will be!

Eye spy … still the best game of the generations.

Read Full Post »

I am getting old. I know this because when I look at magazine cover, I see youthful actresses in movies, I see lovely ladies advertise (usually their online ‘chat’ business) on television, and I turn away. And I turn away because I am past the ability to look as they do (and I do not have access to the air brushing that they do). I have come to the conclusion that even if I lost fifty (or eighty) pounds, even if my body was worked into a state of rock hard, even if I did everything possible (short of plastic surgery) I am beyond the ability to be the definition of what the world says is beautiful. Because I do not have the most important defining feature of beauty … youth.

As I am starting to get cozy with being in my forties, I am starting to see the world so differently. I am starting to see, and expand the definition of beauty differently.

Oh, I can walk down the street and have my eyes drawn to a beautiful young woman. Often though it is not her outward beauty that is what draws my eye. A physically beautiful woman can not even catch more than a passing glance if she does not walk confidently, shoulders back with her head high. There has to be something in that woman that says, ‘I am approachable’. There has to be something in her appearance that communicates to all around, that she is comfortable in her own skin, for those around to look at her and say, ‘she is beautiful’.

Or is it better put another way? Is it in her inner beauty coming out that her outer beauty can shine? When we pass a beautiful woman on the street, in the mall, at the market, do we see her outer beauty first, or do we see her confident head held high, that she is approachable, and that she is comfortable in her skin and something within us says ‘she is a beauty?’

I love to look on beauty … I love the eye candy that is pleasing to my visual senses. I love to see a beautifully decorated home (but I love more to know that it is indeed a home, and not just a house), I love to see the awesomeness of nature (but it is in the Creator that I am most impressed), I love to see family photos taken by a talented photographer (but it is in knowing that the family share the beauty of love that makes their eyes sparkle brightly). I believe that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and what the discriminating beholder sees most clearly is not the passing glance beauty, but the inner qualities of grace and confidence and openness.

It is also in a life lived fully that beauty emerges from the frame, from the pores, from the eyes and from the lips of a woman of real, genuine beauty. When a woman comes to the end of her years on planet Earth, when she has used up every day given to her, when she loves others beyond her own capacity to love … it is then that her beauty comes to surface.

I am no longer a youthful woman, with flawless physical beauty on my side (I do not think I ever had that). And yet, I feel more determined now than ever to live fully, to live passionately, to love beautifully. And my goal is that in forty or fifty years from now, my face is littered with the beauty marks of of something beautiful emerging from within … then I will be truly beautiful.

Read Full Post »

This is the first post in a series, about a woman named Amara. It started as an idea for a short story, and it grew as I grew to love this fictional character. There are 20 parts on my site (linked at the bottom of each segment). This summer I have been re-posting from my first year of blogging, so as to avail my writing time to working on the completion of this story, hopefully in book form. I’d love to know what you think.
CW

As Amara sat behind the steering wheel of her car she got increasingly frustrated.

She looked around her empty front passenger seat for clues as to why she might have driven to this professional building, in the middle of her small town. She could not remember why she drove there, all that she could remember was steering her Oldsmobile into this parking lot. It was as if in turning her wheels towards the lot, her purpose for being there had disappeared completely from her memory.

She tried to look around, hoping to see if something around her might twig her memory as to why she had driven there. Nothing sparked her memory.

Maybe if she retraced her steps, but all she could remember was the moment her front tires turned into this parking lot. ‘Oh, what is happening to me? I cannot even remember any other part of my day, and here it is already eleven in the morning!’ The last thing that Amara could remember was climbing into her bed the night before.

That memory was vivid. The striped bedsheets had felt cool on her skin, as she had climbed into her side of the bed. Her side of the bed … after almost ten years of living without him, she still had her own side of the bed. She started every night there, and she would awaken in the morning, never having passed the invisible center line of the mattress. Once, having given herself a talking to, she purposefully lay in the very middle of the bed … and awoke the next morning where she always awoke, on her side of the bed.

As she pondered thoughts of him Amara’s anxious heart ached for his presence, for his companionship, for his wisdom and laughter in frustrating circumstances like this one. He had a way of seeing a lighter side to the tough stuff of life, and he had a way of lightening any anxiety that she was feeling.

But, he was not here with her, and Amara sat feeling more and more frightened. She wanted to let the tears that were filling her eyes fall down her cheeks, but that would be ludicrous for a woman of seventy-two crying like a baby where anyone could see her.

There must be a sensible reason for this odd bout of forgetfulness …

Unfading – Part 2

Read Full Post »

20140608-144703-53223590.jpgI love music. I love Bach, Johnny Cash, U2, Ella Fitzgerald, Starfield, Elton John, Louis Armstrong, Taylor Swift, Casting Crowns, Ennio Marricone, Coldplay, ABBA, Paolo Nutini, Michael Buble,  TobyMac, Adele, and this list is truly just a tip of my music loves iceberg!

Music speaks to me, it challenges, moves, and teaches me. I love the visuals that can be created in it’s combination of lyrics and music. I love the emotions that a song can bring out. I love how, out of nowhere a song can ‘pop’ into my mind, and be mulled over for hours, as though it was ‘placed’ there, just for me, like a lovingly wrapped gift. I hate songs that speak lies, I love songs that speak truth.

This morning I have had a song in my mind, ‘placed’ there, I am certain.

It is a song called “This is your Life”, by Switchfoot. Some of the lyrics are:

yesterday is a wrinkle on your forehead
yesterday is a promise that you’ve broken
don’t close your eyes, don’t close your eyes
this is your life and today is all you’ve got now
yeah, and today is all you’ll ever have
don’t close your eyes
don’t close your eyes

this is your life, are you who you want to be
this is your life, are you who you want to be
this is your life, is it everything you dreamed that it would be
when the world was younger and you had everything to lose

yesterday is a kid in the corner
yesterday is dead and over

don’t close your eyes

Now, maybe I awoke with it in my head because I slept miserably last night (‘don’t close your eyes‘).

Or, maybe it is because I recently celebrated a birthday … like three months ago (‘this is your life, are you who you want to be, this is your life, is it everything you dreamed that it would be‘).

Maybe it is because this weekend I was chatting with my eldest daughter about my memories of childhood (‘yesterday is a kid in the corner’ … pretty much sums up my entire childhood, so now you know what I was like as a kid!).

Maybe it’s because today is my last day of classes with students (‘today is all you’ve got now’).

Or maybe it is playing in my mind because I awoke in a rather melancholy mood (this is your life and today is all you’ve got now yeah, and today is all you’ll ever have).

I expect it’s a combination of all of the above, but, today, it might be more of the last. Now today is not all that bad, but with the combination of lack of sleep, end of the school year, thinking of years past, a kind of recent birthday AND melancholy I’m really not excited that today (more this present season of life, than this ‘day’) is all I’ve got, and all I’ll ever have. This season is one of realizing that there are parts of my life that just simply are so far from where I want them to be.

As an obsessive compulsive person when it comes to planning into the future, today my future looks far more fuzzy than I would like. To use more song lyrics, I prefer an outlook where ‘the future’s so bright I gotta wear shades’. And it’s not that it’s an all doom and gloom forecast of the future, it is simply that I cannot see anything. And I’m an ‘inquiring mind, and inquiring minds need to know’ (more indicators of my age).

Maybe the real reason this song is in my mind is that, despite my melancholy mood, despite the lack of sleep, despite my aging body, despite the end of Spring Break, despite the fact that not all childhood memories are sweetness and light, and even despite the fact the promises get broken, and the future is unknown, I’ve been given this day, and if I don’t close my eyes, I might find a bit of wonder laying in my path.

AND, by the way, there are NO wrinkles on this forehead! See, at my age, that is something to wonder about 😉

 

 

Read Full Post »

20140430-063431.jpg

Let’s face it, there are many not so good things about getting older.

  • vision changes occur, often resulting in glasses that try to do two things in one place
  • skin gets thin resulting in the gradual migration of one’s body in a southerly trajectory
  • hair color gets replaced with shiny chicken wire-like hair
  • sleep is hard to find or maintain at night

… and those are just a few!

Many years ago, a church we attended had a guest speaker on a special Sunday to honor the seniors in our congregation. This man was one who was loved by the congregation, and was, himself, over seventy years.

It was the most depressing sermon I have ever heard in my entire life! I do not remember the passage of scripture he used in his teaching, but it and his reflections on it were all about how awful it was to grow old.

I remember telling hubby, as we drove home, “be prepared, there might be an outbreak of suicides after that sermon.”

Sitting here in the mid-stage of life (obviously I am counting on more than the average number of years of life) I feel as though his approach was far too ‘cup half full’ for me.

Not everything about the process of moving on in time is bad.

  • vision changes mean we get to try out trendy eyeglass frames
  • graying hair means we can be a blond one month, followed by a brunette the next, followed by a redhead the next … or let it all gray and look like the wisest person in the room!
  • awakening in the night can be an opportunity to pray for those in our lives … or to try every pharmaceutical on the shelves
  • skin thinning … heck, that means it will get smoother!

I believe in purpose until our dying breath. I believe value is not determined by our productivity but by who give us the ability to produce.

“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he,
I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”

Isaiah 46:4

Read Full Post »

Midlife

e498d391bc57041cc50c5cca5a8f3a7b

Although I am not sure that I am ready to admit that I have reached the mid life season of my life, the reality is that if the stats are right, and if the life expectancy of a woman in Canada is about eighty-four, I have arrived!

More than the number that represents my years on planet Earth, even more than how my body feels after waking in the morning, I know that I have reached this season because I cannot make a decision for the life of myself.

I have gotten to the point that I hate it when people ask me to make a decision from when I plan to get groceries, to what I want to order in a restaurant, to what I want to do on Spring Break, to my intention for work next year.

It is not that I am incapable of making a decision, but that I see so many more options than ever before, and I feel a greater sense of wanting to make really good decisions, with even less regrets than ever before in my life.

I think it is because I sense that my ability to do it all over is lessening.

It is sort of like when you reach the month of August in the summertime. It sort of feels like summer is more than half gone, and a bit of regret starts to take root … almost hindering you from enjoying that entire last month of summer, fully.

But, even for those of us looking back to probably less than half of the time we are given, there is still much to enjoy, to do, to dream about, to pursue, to live.

Matthew 6:27 reminds us, “can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

So, let us live each day with the abandon of a child on the first day of summer break … with the wisdom and hindsight to know that the summer is more than two months, but is made up of about sixty individual days.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Brittany Wheaton

reflections on living intentionality and soulfully in the midst of the grind

Frank Solanki

If you want to be a hero well just follow me

The Wild Heart of Life

"He was unheeded, happy, and near to the wild heart of life." ...James Joyce

Ishshah's Story

Tell the story. Live the story. Be the story.

This is Ellen Peterson.

Playwright and actor Ellen Peterson writes mostly true stories.

Widow's Manna

A widows journey. Discovering God's provision is just enough for each day.

My life in words...

My heart and soul explode with joy- full of glory! Even my body will rest confident and secure

Explore Newness

My quest to do or learn something NEW as often as I can!

Malcolm Guite

Blog for poet and singer-songwriter Malcolm Guite

Musings of an Aspie

one woman's thoughts about life on the spectrum

Social Health

Insights on the Power of Social Bonds

itsawonderfilledlife

looking for wonder in everyday life

Have Kids, Still Travel

A Family's Adventures Around the World

LoBrow | UpStyle

Castoffs are the new couture

Vonj Productions

Bringing you love through spirit!

colorfullyaliveart

Get to know me and my art...