How observant are we really? At my tender age of 67 I find I still have much to discover about myself. And in discovering, how much am I able to change?
My son has always had a gift for observation. Unlike his talkative, extroverted mom, he is more the introvert and only extroverted when called upon to be so. He jokes that he has been analyzing both his dad and me these past 25 years. He is uncannily correct in his observations about both of us and thankfully, far more forgiving of our faults.
With all love and only good intentions he hopes that we can still make changes to enhance not only our lives but the life of our family. But how easily are we able to accept his observations, true though they may be, and implement them?
How odd to still be awakening to my own fears and foibles and yet encouraged that I can still, in this sixth decade, do something about them to be the best version of myself!
My own mother role-modeled the blessing of friends of all ages: those older and even much younger than she. I followed suit. There is wisdom and patience, acceptance of what life throws at you to learn from the elderly – that nothing lasts forever, not grief, not joy. We are amazed at the adaptability that our youth possess and can share. After all, without young friends, who on earth is going to explain all that expanding technology to us?!
So sit and reflect. Are you someone happy to sit in your comfort zone? Content with a solid place on the sidelines – we all need cheerleaders and coaches! Or are you always on the move, ready to be spontaneous and take whatever life brings? Both personalities have their place. Neither is better than another. But I extend an invitation to every one of you to adapt and to grow.
#1 It’s humbling. No one knows it all. The older we get the more we know that is true. So much to learn, so little time. But oh how fun and gratifying to learn or master something new!
#2 It’s enlightening. Ever hear stories of a friend who woke up to her own prejudices? We are seeing a lot of that lately. Me? Racist? Intolerant? Heavens, no! Well… maybe. It’s painful to acknowledge, but it can be so life-changing to see from another perspective, to take a walk in a different pair of shoes.
#3 It’s rewarding. You can run that marathon. You can learn a new language. You can forgive and let go of that long held grudge. (That’s a biggie and in reality you’re the winner.)
So what does my psychoanalyst son tell me? Mostly to be more loving of myself. Perfection is for God and the next life, not for this life nor humans. That will take a while. But heck! I still have decades to go with our long-lived generations of today.
Determined to recover quickly from knee replacement surgery, I headed for my happy place, the Dallas Arboretum, today. My friend and I happened on a small class discussing house plants: how to grow and water them at home. We could have passed it by but decided to sit for a bit. A few minutes of our time and now we’re a lot more knowledgeable about something most of us appreciate as lovely additions to our homes but often don’t know the best way to nourish them.
So seize the day. Awaken each day to new possibilities, new things to learn and try. New resolutions to make and break and make again! Watch out world! In a few months, I’ll have a bionic knee!