Aging Well

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“Oh, I’m too old for that “.

Spoken by someone 80?

Spoken by a young man. He was too old to learn to snowboard.

So often aging fosters an ageism attitude against living life in crescendo.

It creates the perspective that there is a ‘proper’ age for pursuing a life pleasure.

Even a simple life pleasure.

Like pierced ears.

Unlike babies today who get theirs pierced at six months, I had gotten mine done at the age of twelve. As so often happens (apparently), the holes kept closing up, as I stopped wearing them while caring for my young sons. Glittering gold in a mother’s ears tempts babies to touch and to pull.

When I occasionally attempted to wear pierced earrings, each time I painfully re-pierced them. Finally, I gave up, boxing my mostly gifted, pierced earrings.

I reasoned that I was too old to bother having my ears re-pierced.

Yet, if a child of ten said ,”My earholes are closing up, but, I won’t bother, I’m too old to get my ears re-pierced“, we’d laugh.

Too old?

Surely a ridiculous concept for a ten year old.

Yet, when a man or woman of 60+ says this, people typically nod in agreement.

Getting ears re-pierced is not a big deal nor is it expensive.

Yet, ageism held me back.

Where do we get the concept that we are too old?

Exactly what age is too old for challenges?

Exactly what age is too old for learning?

Exactly what age is too old for adventure?

Aging may effect both body and mind.

It need not affect aging well in spirit.

 

Live Life Aging WellAn eighty year old I know bought season tickets for this upcoming fall theatre, which commences in six months.

Therein lies the spirit of aging well.

Living life in crescendo means aging without ageism.

For me, aging well commenced with re-pierced ears.

New Year’s Resolutions: One Word 365

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While I’ve never been keen on New Year’s resolutions, participating in past One Word 365 challenges has been worthwhile.

Early in 2014, I found a song that dovetailed with my 2014  One Word: Pause, leading me deeper into a habitual action of Pausing. Pausing may not seem like an action word, but it is full of action, the action of NOT doing. Jason Mraz’s song Living in the Moment begins with the phrase: “If this life is one Act, why do we do lay all these traps, we put them in our path, when we want to be free….”

Living in the moment resonated more and more with me as the cascading challenges of my painful chronic illness have continued to dash hopes of achieving my dreams.

My year of pausing to live in the moment was not one of unending smiley days. Living in the moment meant pausing to experience grief and loss. Living in the moment meant pausing to embrace isolation and rejection. Living in the moment meant pausing to endure crushing pain and despair.

Pausing to live in the moment meant living totally Alive through, in, and with each life moment, however frequently the moment was pain-filled. I was oh so tempted to remain in Pause.

Until,  I viewed the movie Hachi.

Briefly, it is based on a true story about a dog named Hachi. After his owner’s sudden death, Hachi returns at 5pm daily to their train station to await his owner’s return from work, as was their custom. At first, watching Hachi’s daily vigil of staring at the train station door, one feels the depth of Hachi’s unending duty and devotion. One is inspired by such loyalty. Despite people’s loving attempts to encourage Hachi to share his deep love and devotion with others, Hachi ejects them all. Instead, he waits each day for a moment that will never happen. For ten long years he loves no one but his dead owner.

But, this is the ultimate PAUSE, staying in a moment that is unchanging, a moment that gives neither joy nor sorrow. Hachi is not living in a joyful moment of being with his owner. Instead, he lives and remains in a paused moment, awaiting his owner’s return for joy to occur. This is not a life affirming pronouncement of living in the moment, but a stagnation, a life of non-living of new moments.

553360_345492502195288_1489654127_nUltimately, one’s life sufferings must provide purpose, growth and intention. One must move on, for even with limitations, there is life yet to be shared and to be lived.

My illness forces too much pause on pursuing goals and dreams; it will remain this way. Yet, my living in the moment year affirms how fragile life is, its inherent briefness. I believe we all have something in our lives that interferes with goal fulfillment. Whether it be low self-esteem, time constraints, financial concerns, or health issues, we must move on.

Hard work is necessary to achieve what makes life worthwhile. Unlike Hachi’s permanent life pause, my future life can hold hopes and dreams.

Through acceptance of all joyful and sorrowful life moments, there will always be more to embrace in living.603449_10151170891928278_2047838625_n

Reaching for our dreams, within our life limitations, is to live appreciating life’s unique moments. And so, I am compelled to: MOVE ON.

 

How else to fully Live a Life in Crescendo?

15 Phrases that will change your life.  

Christmas and Loss of Mother

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Waves of gratitude FBSlowly opening my eyes, I was delighted to smell coffee brewing.

 

While I never drink coffee, Christmas morning always began this way. My mother stayed overnight at my house to see the children open their stockings, so her coffee brewing permeated the house.

 

 

Startled, I threw my house coat on as I ran to the kitchen.

It was impossible for my mother to be there.

My husband stood beside the coffeepot, frowning at my tears.

“I thought this would help, make you feel good, make you feel her presence.”

It only made me feel the loss more.

My mom had died  earlier that year, unexpectedly

As I’d prepared for my first Christmas without her, my heart just wasn’t in it.

Ten plus years later, it still isn’t. She gifted something irreplaceable to Christmas.

Memories of her loving looks as someone opened her gift or watching her share moments alone with each grandchild and their stocking gifts pile slowly piled up beside all the Christmas Days we spent together when I grew up.

Too many bittersweet memories fill my thoughts on Christmas Day.The light of my mother’s remarkable love shines on in my memory, especially at Christmas.

 

388479_473777486020979_2090516084_nSome people are simply irreplaceable.

Perhaps, this Christmas, for the first time you are missing someone irreplaceable too.

My sympathies are with you.

When a mother dies

First Christmas without mom

Christmas Cards of Love

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” Wanna switch places? There’s more Christmas cards for a spouse over on my side.”

The diminutive man next to me looked up solemnly.482596_436459866431884_1818825136_n He began telling me about his ailing wife, who was unable to walk anymore, and was nearly blind.

He’d once navigated from log to log working on the Fraser River before finally becoming a fireman. Now this once muscular hard-working man tenderly navigated his wife throughout their house.  

After a lengthy conversation, I headed off to finish shopping. Turning back to smile at him, I watched him reach for yet another Christmas card.  

This elderly gentleman incarnates the spirit of Christmas evident in West Jet’s 2013’s heart warming youtube video that went viral. West Jet’s Christmas videos,including 20142015, 2016  are all examples of good will and generosity, essentially the spirit of Christmas.

When I passed the card rack half an hour later, he was still reading card after card.

I stopped immediately when I saw tears glistening on his wizened face.

537750_387474191341295_903780686_nHe solemnly glanced up at me, and as one, we reached out to embrace.

“It’s so hard to find the perfect one. To tell her just how special she is to me.”

This 92-year-old man was reading every card,

Every single card,

To find just the right one to give his wife-

His wife of 66 years.

His story won’t be a YouTube video.

His story won’t be full of surprise.

His story won’t be highlighted globally.

384155_428580197178250_1510214724_nYet, this aging gentleman embodies the spirit of Christmas.

His story is an enduring and endearing celebration of everlasting love.

He is the perfect card.

Merry Christmas.