Thursday, October 9, 2008

Wisdom of the Aged - Part II

More random thoughts.

I’m a simple low maintenance person who considers blush, mascara and lipstick a lot of makeup. My hair is wash and wear and to the chagrin of my hair stylist, I sometimes cut it myself. In fact, I have to change stylists occasionally because they get tired of trying to fix my self-inflicted mistakes.

I don’t look my age unless you get up close enough to see the lines and wrinkles. I smile and laugh a lot so they’re fully visible. No botox for me! Those lines are badges of honor for a life well lived and lessons learned. I’ll age gracefully – unless they come up with a pill to reverse the process – but I only want to reverse it physically and back to about age 25.

I don’t wear makeup on weekends unless I’m going somewhere. Jeans and t-shirts or comfy sweaters suit me just fine. I like being nondescript in stores because salespeople rarely bother with me. This is one time I’m happy to be the invisible woman.

I’m not a born shopper – except for shoes. I usually go into a store with something specific in mind, purchase it and leave. I don’t wander around a store and just look with no purpose in mind. Several friends are serial shoppers and they wear me out. It’s a concept to which I cannot relate.

I’m not in love with my cell phone. People who never lived without one don’t quite understand this. They think if the phone is off their life will stop. There’s such a thing as being too connected. I don’t need to share my every thought with someone as soon as I think it. The important ones will wait and still be there later.

I learned not to make any definitive statements about what I will or won’t do because they usually come back to bite me in the ass. That’s also why I no longer make New Year’s resolutions.

When people ride in my car, I turn off the radio because I like to converse with them, not just mention things in passing during commercials. When alone with the radio on I like all kinds of music, although I never learned to appreciate rap or heavy metal. When I’m driving down the interstate during rush hour with the radio blaring, singing at the top of my lungs and dancing in my seat, other drivers tend to give me a wide berth.

I like to talk to people who are deep thinkers and well informed because they challenge me to see alternate sides of issues and look at life from a different viewpoint. It may be a cliché, but I like to think outside the box and appreciate people who stimulate me to do so. When I’m tired, or my brain hurts from too much thinking all day, shallow thinkers are great. Then I just nod and smile and appreciate the respite.

I’m still doing drugs, but now they all come with prescriptions from my various doctors. Instead of buying them from dealers off the street, or growing them in my closet, I purchase them at Walgreen’s and pay a deductible.

The older I get, the more I get right but my choices seem to be less bold. Twenty years ago I moved every couple of years. Now I’ve owned my house for fourteen years and plan on staying there indefinitely. I used to be a job-hopper but now am happily entering my tenth year at the same company.

I am spiritual, though not part of any organized religion and don’t go to church on a regular basis. But I’m firmly convinced there’s a higher power into which I can tap in times of need. This brings me great peace. I believe someone watches over me, protecting me from harm and preventing me from making any totally irreparable mistakes. I’m glad they’re there and hope they hang around as long as possible. I listen to my intuition and trust it to move me in the right direction or keep me from being downright stupid.

Religion is a very personal thing and evokes deep emotions. Because of that I try not to discuss it with other people. If someone is searching for an answer I steer them to information that will help them discover their own path because the one I’m on may not be right for them. The result of being forced to make a choice that doesn’t ring true is usually chaos.

I live my life at a slower, quieter pace than many people. I think it’s the rural country girl in me trying to return to her roots, but not willing to give up all the conveniences of city life. I appreciate what I have and realize the difference between a want versus a need. Every year I get rid of more stuff and somehow, never miss it.

Occasionally I have moments of great clarity. They happen at the oddest times and always fill me with peace. They seem to be occurring more often with age. I realize, at that very point in time, I am right here in the present. My past and my future don’t matter. I get a peaceful feeling, forget all my worries and fears and enjoy the experience of just being.

I’m not prefect – not yet! I still talk myself out of doing things before giving them a chance to happen. I can have an idea, build it up, and make it progress into something wonderful, then come up with all kinds of reasons why it won’t work. Therefore I don’t even try it in the first place because I’ve already decided it was doomed before the start.

I can be discouraged and have a hard time shaking off criticism or negativity. So much of it was dumped on me in the past; it’s difficult not to focus on it. I’m moving beyond the old patterns of discouragement and criticism and when things seems overwhelming, remember the old saying, “The best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.” There are signs in my cubicle at work and office at home that say, “I will not be discouraged!”, to remind me to focus on the positive and good in my life because there’s so much of that now.

I don’t drive looking in the rear view mirror. I may glance at it occasionally for perspective but what’s in my field of vision is what’s most important. The present is precious and a great gift. Learning to appreciate what’s here and now is a difficult but invaluable lesson. And I don’t worry too much about the future – plan for it but don’t worry about it.

The final bit of wisdom comes on the big day - tomorrow.

22 comments:

Demon Hunter said...

Thanks for sharing this, AW. It's always great to hear everyone else's perspectives on life. Epecially the wisdom of the aged. Cool. :-)

Robin said...

Anti, Happy Almost Birthday! I was so moved by your wisdom, that I dedicated a blog to you. Check it out. That's your birthday present.

cindy said...

i feel the same way about being spiritual. love your reflections, AW!

JKB said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! to you!!!

I came over from Stephen's blog, and just wanted to wish you a big happy one.

Kim Stagliano said...

Happy Birthday from Connecticut!!!

Kim

Southern Writer said...

Stephen told me it's your birthday and to get my big @$$ over here and wish you a good one. I'm so glad I did; I think you may be my long lost twin! I agree with every word of this post, except maybe the last paragraph. And it's not that I don't agree with it, just that I have a hard time living in the present. Speaking of presents, I hope you get at least a couple of your favorite kind, ones that will have you smiling so hard you'll fear you might dislocate your jaw. Happy, happy birthday!

wordtryst said...

Happy birthday from Trinidad & Tobago! Wishing you all that you wish for yourself - continued peace, enlightenment, growth, acceptance, wisdom, good health, long life... all the goodies.

Your posts on wisdom of the aged convince me more than ever that we've got a lot in common, A-W. It's reassuring to think I'm moving in the right direction... however slowly...

ORION said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!
see ya in november!!!
much aloha!
Pat

laughingwolf said...

it's my understanding you have a wee birthday in the works... so, try to keep sober, at least for the first 15 minutes! ;) lol

ChrisEldin said...

I love your reflective posts.

Happy Birthday, AW!!! Let's all have some cake today...
:-)

nancybond said...

Wonderful, wonderful post -- I hope your birthday is brilliant.

Travis Erwin said...

Great post and since I'm typing this on the 10th, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

Happy Birthday Anti! I feel like I've been on your wing for years -- your life seems to parallel mine in so many ways.

I'm only slightly behind you, and I hope we both have a long and trouble free road before us.

I hope you have a super day, and a wonderful weekend.

mlh said...

Happy B-day! Stephen shot me an email letting me know.

Trée said...

Happy Birthday AW! :-)

Maddy said...

That could be my diary entry, if I kept a diary.
Very best wishes and many happy returns of the day

Melanie Avila said...

What a wonderful post! I hope you have a wonderful birthday. :)

inherwritemind1 said...

I love this post. I agree with what you say, down to the cell phone.

You and I could be twins except that I am (happily) the third wife of a wonderful man.

Happy birthday! Sixty ain't so bad.

Tena

moonrat said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AW!!!!

<3

Barrie said...

Happy Birthday! Love this post! Have a great day and celebrate celebrate celebrate!

sex scenes at starbucks said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!

:D :D :D :D

cindy said...

*singing*

happy happy birthday
to you and you and you
happy happy birthday
to you and you and you
you rock it to the top
you rock it down low
you're such a smart sassy woman
you really oughta know!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

/bootay shake!!!

celebrate and enjoy, AW!