The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes.
~ Frank Lloyd Wright
~ Frank Lloyd Wright
I've actually talked about this a few times on the blog, but this never ceases to be an amazement to me. When I was young, I thought people my age were really old. Heck, I thought people at 40 were really old, too. Now that I am this age, 66, I finally understand about what the "old folks" used to say. Something akin to "you're only as old as you feel" is close.
But it is more than just how I feel. Frankly, many days I feel every year of my age and then some. I wake with aches and creaks and when I move I sound as if someone just poured milk on a bowl of Rice Crispies! And yes, I physically feel old. Even on those days, or most of them, my head, my heart, my spirit are younger than springtime, as the song says.
It's really not about age or how I react to aging or allowing/disallowing myself to feel anything. I see it as being more about the fact that I made a conscious decision at some point that I was going to enjoy every moment that I could of my life. I was already XX years old and had spent some of those years being miserable much of the time, and I felt I didn't have much time to enjoy, so I'd better get busy.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying my life was awful before this decision. It absolutely wasn't. I had, however, let myself be pulled into other peoples' negativity and at several points during my life, I just didn't enjoy living very much. That is time wasted, for sure. I'll never get that back. I could and did make a decision to not squander any more time than I have to.
I've been a fairly positive type person all my life. Even in the "dark times" mentioned, I found some light. But I permitted myself to move through some of the days without a sense of direction and without identifying the good things around me. They are like lost days to me, because I don't really remember anything. Or I only remember the routine .... get up, do my jobs, eat, bathe, brush my teeth, etc. Days filled with "stuff," and as empty as a sieve in the desert.
For the last few years, I have refocused my purpose. With retirement, I have fewer demands on me, and that helps, but it isn't my point. I've had more time to give toward my drive to redirect, as well as more time to do things that bring joy to my life, since I don't have to take care of a job. I've made efforts to find things to enjoy, to feel good about, to find pleasure in on those days that I'm feeling blechy. There were times that it was really hard. IS really hard. But I can't remember one in the last several years that I've not found reasons to be thankful.
With this redirection of my attitude and drive to enjoy life, I have become more in love with life every day. Really! My life really is beautiful, as I say with the line I often place at the end of my posts. I have more peace than I've every experienced. And I love it.
I used to feel that I had to hurry and experience everything possible in life. I see a lot of that in people's lives today as they rush here and hurry there, making sure they have time to enjoy something else. I'm done with that. Yes, I hurry to certain appointments because there are time constraints that I must conform to at times. The rest of the time, I do what makes me happy. It has taken me a while to get here; for at least a couple years, I felt guilty if I sat down to read a book or watch TV or nap or sit on the deck listening to the air in the pines. the good thing is .... I have arrived!
Since I've pulled back on the reins long enough, the impatient horse (of my former need to go and do) has finally calmed down and is no longer fighting me. My senses are gratified many times a day rather than a couple times a week. I simply have time to see the beauty around me more often, at a deeper level, and with greater joy than I have ever before.
I have a friend who regularly expressed to me a concern that in retirement, I might become introverted and not get out of the house enough. As most of you know, I am very busy, active in social and other groups. I'm going and doing, but only if I want to. I enjoy life in many different ways now .... busy with friends, quietly alone, lost in books, laughing at a movie on TV, playing with my dogs, texting with my friends and family, and keeping in touch with you here.
Life is becoming more wonderful with every day. It is better with age. I have no need to rush to enjoy it. The pleasures are wherever I am!
.... and life is beautiful!!!!