I'm going on autumn adventure, so taking a break from blog posts for the month of November. I'll be traveling and having some much needed family time, but of course, I’ll be keeping up with my writing.
Please let me leave you with a thought to ponder by Crispin Glover:
I like getting older. When you’re in your 20s you’re really forging for your future. Things take shape later on.
Wishing a happy FALL to you!
As you know, you all mean so much to me.
I’ve written in a previous blog post about older members of my family passing away, and how it feels incredibly discouraging at times. Let me just be blunt: How can we better cope when our loved ones die (and not just from old age)?
Everyone grieves differently, but I’d like to share something that helps me with the grieving process.
I’m a very tactile person. I like to have something I can hold in my hand to help me remember and be encouraged. I think it started when my sister got me “bad day” earrings. They were a pair of earrings she gifted me to wear when I was having a bad day. I would put them on and know that I was loved by her. And while earrings didn’t change my situation, they changed my mindset. And that made a huge difference.
So, when a loved one passes, I like to designate a special item to remember them by and to help me make it through the tough time. It might be a mug; it might be a key chain. The item itself isn’t what’s important. What’s important is that it’s something that visually grabs me and brings that person to my mind.
When two of my grandparents passed away, I purchased a necklace to wear that reminded me of them. It’s not an ornate necklace - just a simple one I can put on and I know it’s a symbol for them. I see it reflected in the mirror or in a photograph, and even just the feel of it around my neck reminds me of their love and care for me.
Am I saying these actions took away my pain? Of course not. This is just one way I help myself cope, and I find it incredibly comforting. Because while the person I’m grieving isn’t physically alive on earth anymore, I can combat the loneliness with something that’s tangible, that will help me keep memories alive, and that will make me smile and remember their impact. Because that’s what I really want, and it’s something I know they would really want for me, too.
What helps you grieve?
I love your comments! Let me know your thoughts below!
I had such a hard time wearing high waisted jeans when they came back in style. I realize not everyone cares about fashion and clothing, but I hope you will stick with me and keep reading.
Even when I was a little girl, I noticed there was typically a difference between what the older crowd wore verses the younger crowd. And in my opinion, the younger crowd had the better options. I happily put on my stirrup pants or bootcut jeans or whatever was “in” at the moment, and as my budget allowed, I enjoyed the ebb and flow of fashion.
BUT…when the high waisted jeans made their comeback, I watched with horror as the zippers and pockets grew longer on the jeans. Ugh. I loved my low waisted boot cut beauties. And besides, high waisted pants were so out of style years ago. But that was the key: “years ago” now meant they could make a grand return, and be amazingly cool again, with a slight retro feel. I wasn’t wanting to try something new because in my mind, it was still “out of style.” I did not want to welcome change.
Hmm. That had me considering how easily my wardrobe could reflect my age and my attitude about aging.
Does it really matter if someone is wearing the latest cut of jeans? Of course not! My point is that I began to see how aging can influence even our clothing choices. And that when we do shop for clothing, we have an option to experience what’s “new” and “fresh.” We can join in with others and embrace it, or we can take a stand (in my case, in my low cut jeans) and say the choices were much better before.
With gritted teeth, I went into the dressing room with some high waisted jeans, and surprise, surprise, I found myself liking them. Yes, I felt a little more current, but I think most of all, I felt a little more youthful – not in the sense that the jeans magically transported me. I wasn’t secretly longing to be a youth again and this somehow appeased me. No, it was more the fun and excitement of trying something made “new” again, and knowing that like everything else, it would change. And that it really is completely fine by me.
I love your comments!
Let me know your thoughts below!
By not being a parent or a guardian to any children, I’ve realized just how deep and multifaceted life really is. Don’t get me wrong, children are fantastic. Which is why I used to worry I was missing out because my husband and I do not have any. That I had somehow taken Robert Frost’s “road less traveled”, and as result, my path would be a little less technicolored.
I’m happy to report this is not the case.
I came to that point where I knew my path was going to be different than many of my friends. They were having and/or adopting children and spending a lot of time doing so. No matter the reason, I wasn’t. So, what was left for me?
Honestly, at first, I felt guilty. Like I was doing something wrong because I wasn’t doing what was typical. I wasn’t “normal.” But then, I decided to purposely embrace my life and see what areas I wanted to cultivate. While I’m living differently than my Mama and Papa friends, I’m still living intentionally and with purpose. And my life is incredibly rich.
And really, if we ALL take a hard, honest look at our lives, we can almost always find a part of our life is not “normal” or expected. I have a friend who is zealous about living life on a ship. I have another who lives full time in an RV. Another gal pal I know exists happily on her own and moves to a new country every few years.
Because life is so multifaceted, beauty and passion and laughter are NOT just for people who take the expected road. Thank goodness. And that other road? It’s different and unusual, but just as amazing.
I love your comments!
Let me know your thoughts below.
I hope you will join me as I read articles and “drink in” other thoughts about aging!
You may or may not agree with everything said in the articles below, but I’ve found they provide plenty of food for thought and can give really great encouragement.
You may not have time to read each piece of writing, so I've also pulled out quotes from each that really resonate with me.
Happy reading, my friends!
Bloomburg: In Aging Singapore, 65-Year-Olds Are Learning How to Code
“Learning is a lifelong process, and I want to keep my mind active,” the 65-year-old said in an interview at a new Singtel office in Singapore, where it will conduct training. “I also hope to encourage and inspire the younger generation of workers, and show them that you can learn new skills no matter how far you are in your career.”
Harvard Business Review: The Case For Hiring Older Workers
Countless individuals in their 60s and 70s are actively engaged with their careers, and certain to avoid retirement. At 89, Warren Buffett is still regarded as one of the most brilliant brains in the world of finance, and Charlie Munger, his righthand man, is 95. At 61, Madonna is the undisputed queen of pop. At 81, Jane Fonda is as prolific as ever in her careers as an actress and activist. In addition, the most important job in the U.S. goes to people who would generally be considered “too old” to be productive in most offices. Only two presidents ended their tenure under the age of 50 (and one of them was JFK). The other 43 were 50 or older, including 22 aged 60 or older.
All this suggests that age does correspond with workplace wisdom, and research proves it. Contrary to popular belief, older, more tenured people are more successful entrepreneurs. Those over the age of 40 are three times more likely to create successful companies as a result of their patient, collaborative natures, and their lack of a “need to prove myself” attitude that tends to accompany youth.
Seattle Times: Ageism is Real. Whatever You Do, Don’t Internalize it:
“Being 44 years old is awesome: You’re a grown-up. In addition to all your education and smarts, you have 20 years’ of experience under your belt,” I said. “And this starts to look like wisdom as we get older.”
Have a great weekend!
One thing I LOVED when I was 18 and transitioning into “adulthood”: leaving my K-12 school days behind me and their rigid, (practically) full day schedule.
Not that I had a horrible school experience. I was just extremely grateful when I went to college and could time my classes when I wanted. I’ll never forget the feeling of that first fall semester in college, when I realized I wasn’t in school from about 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM every day. There was a sense of freedom. I had time to work my job, study throughout the day, and run errands at (gasp) 1:00 in the afternoon. It was so liberating. Time felt like it was more on my side. And I certainly embraced it.
Not to mention, I felt SO adult.
Even today I see school kids and am so grateful that part of my life is over. I don’t envy them. Sure, I miss things about that time period, but the pleasure of a more open schedule, while somewhat silly in the grand scheme of things, truly helped me enjoy growing older.
I think it’s important that we not forget those moments in life when change was good, and we embraced it. And boy did I embrace my more flexible schedule..
...until I got my first 8-5 job! 😊
What about you?
What have you been happy to "leave behind"?
I love reading your comments below!
I remember one week our living room was three different paint colors. I was a teenager at the time. We had just gotten a new couch, and my Mom, being extremely artistic, wanted to get the right match that would harmonize the look of our family area. When the newest coat of paint went up, my Mom declared it was not “right.” So, she proceeded to buy more paint and give it another go, because that’s how my Mom is. She taught me the importance of going back and getting what I want and making it right, no matter how seemingly insignificant “it” is. (Obviously, within reason. We clearly have restraints on our time and resources.)
Her desire is to be proactive, even about the details. Even if it involves retracing my steps and doing something again.
I’d come home tired from a full day of clothing shopping (which any gal knows can be challenging and discouraging) only to realize I should have gotten those black pants that were on sale. Without hesitating, my Mom would help me plan a trip back to the store, even getting up early with me so we could get to the doors right as they opened.
Walls and pants are minor, but my Mom even carried this attitude with the more important things in life. When she said something she regretted, she didn’t just chalk it up as over and done. She would make a point to sit down with me and explain why she said what she said, and what she should have said instead. You can’t erase what you say, but you can try, and my Mom was determined to do so.
Her attitude grew into me as I grew older. With age comes more knowledge and therefore more ability to have a “do over.” I think that it’s beneficial that as we get older, we don’t stay passive, but recognize that when we have the power to change even the little things, we should. Because our life is made up of the little things, is it not?
And as my Mom demonstrated to me, our life is worth it.
What about you?
Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.
I love hearing from you!
Creator of Love, Auntie.