It only gets better

SONY DSC

The Prompt:  Present-day you meets 10-years-ago you for coffee. Share with your younger self the most challenging thing, the most rewarding thing, and the most fun thing they have to look forward to.

 

The din of the coffee shop conveyed the morning rush but the sound of the tables being cleared and the bell on the front door were characteristic of the morning hustle and bustle and more comforting than annoying to a soul who thrived on early mornings, coffee and conversation.

She walked in as I was beginning my second cup, and although our manner of dress was similar, she was a good 10 lbs. lighter than me and her hair seemed fuller and shinier.  There weren’t any signs of sun damage or wrinkles and when we shook hands, hers were smoother.  She at first appeared a little shy and intimidated, so I set out to make her feel as comfortable as possible, knowing exactly how that feels.

Maybe she was a little shocked at what 10 years can do to a person in the aging department, but she would have never mentioned that.   I was a little shocked that she showed up at all, knowing that she hates science fiction and would have had a hard time believing she was going to be meeting her future self.  She isn’t very adventurous, so you see this was a huge leap from the norm.

She was anxious to get on with our meeting and probably to get back home and ponder on all this, so she pressed me to get on with what I came to share.

I said, “I don’t understand this any more than you do, but I am here to share with you a few things that will help you”

“In the next 10 years, you will grow spiritually, which will help you in every area of your life.  You will learn to let some things go and fully grasp others.  You will face the challenge of loss; the loss of people dear to you and the loss of your children leaving the nest.  Both of these things will be tough and the pain will linger, but you will get through it.

The most rewarding occurrence will be the birth of your first grandchild.  I can’t even begin to prepare you for this.  You will be there when she is born and she will immediately steal a huge chunk of your heart.  Her smiles and laughter and hugs will have a value that is unexplainable.  Some of the most fun things you do will involve her and you will find yourself more adventurous because of her.  She will motivate you to stay young at heart.

You will travel a lot and complete your list of visiting all of the U.S. and then some and finally go to Europe.  You will have fun with your husband, even more so when the children are gone as you learn to depend upon each other more and realize what you have.

All in all, the next 10 years will test you but you will learn and grow from the experiences.  You will learn to be comfortable with who you are and to just let go and live more often.  You will lose the concern over what others think and delight instead, in what your Creator thinks.  You will become stronger and more courageous.  I can honestly tell you that most things only get better from here.”

My message was short and sweet and I told her that this was all I really came to say.  She thanked me and we both got up to go.  I knew she wouldn’t ask too many questions; it’s not her way.

And after all, the smile on my face, the confidence in my speech and the joy in my heart was telling.  She was looking at who she would become and I don’t think it frightened her at all.  This warmed my soul.

The more candles, the brighter the shine

Happy Birthday to me

My 47th birthday

The Prompt:  Do you enjoy growing old or do you fight against it?

Do I enjoy growing old or do I fight against it?   I suppose I could quote some old adage, like, “You’re only as old as you feel” or “Old age isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative.”   To be perfectly honest though, I would have to say both.  I am enjoying myself but I wouldn’t hesitate in some regards to slow it down.

As I approach 50, what Victor Hugo referred to as the “youth of old age”, I think one of the best things about aging is that I am finally comfortable with who I am.  I know precisely what I want, and what I will and will not tolerate.  There is something liberating in being able to be unapologetically yourself.  Gone are the days of trying to impress and worrying so much about what others think.

There are silly inconsequential things that give me great pleasure, like having finally discovered exactly how I like certain things, like my tea or toast and not settling for anything else.   I have embraced the fact that I am a home body and that I relish times of solitude.  No longer do I strive to change things about myself that are an inherent part of my makeup.

For me, growing older is a time of much greater faith, considerable confidence and thankfully more wisdom.  I say thankfully, because I have noticed that age does not always guarantee wisdom.  You have to have been willing to learn and grow from life’s experiences, you must implement change and hearken to the voice of reason.

As much as I am comfortable in my own skin, (except for the occasional hot flash) I would be lying if I said I didn’t have some degree of vanity over preserving it, for as long as possible.  I probably spend too much on moisturizers and my trip to the salon to cover the grey isn’t something I plan on giving up anytime soon.  I try to exercise daily, which has been impeded as of late due to a heel spur, which is causing knee pain as I favor the foot.  I could elaborate on recent ailments that I am assured are a part of life now and to be expected.  I will war against them with tenacity.

I suppose we could conclude that I love the inner workings of getting older but I am battling the outward manifestations.

I want to receive growing older as a gift, not a burden or something to be feared.  I plan to make the approach to 50 gracefully; eyes wide open in wonder as I head over that hill.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.  2 Corinthians 4:16

Related post:  To 50 and beyond!

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