I recently attended a “Blogger Bootcamp” which was overwhelming and a little intimidating and caused me to re-ask myself those basic questions: “Why am I a blogger? There are so many of us, so what can my few little pages on the web offer people? I’m only one voice?!”
But the answer has always been the same: I want there to be more positive words "out there" about getting older.
I saw mainstream responses to aging and found them often unappealing.
I didn’t want many of those options, so I supported the one I do: an encouraging and enthusiastic response to the changes the years bring.
I may be one voice, but when joining up with other voices, we will get stronger and our message will get louder. And it’s a positive message. Something which is much needed in my life, and I believe in your life, too.
I think this outlook is important, because if I die tomorrow, or I die when I’m 999 I’ve not lived a life where I’ve cringed at each new year. Is my way the only way? Of course not.
TAKEAWAY: So Why is Aging Amazing?
Our response to aging is immensely personal. But it’s not limited, and that’s the secret. You don’t have to tackle the hardships of aging the way others have.
I hope you will join me in forging our own path and shaping our own reality: Focusing on the positive, the special, and the parts of aging that make us smile and are in store for those who live (to be cliché) to see another day.
Dear Reader and Friend:
I really REALLY really believe in my message.
If this blog has encouraged you in any way,
please share with a friend,
so we can spread positive words
to more and more people who need them.
I remember little me seriously wondering how my Mom could get excited about a new clothes iron. Wait, let’s take it a step back even further: that she could get excited about even going down the aisle of the store where the irons are sold.
Because, hello?! She had the option of (cue blissful music) the Barbie aisle: where everything was pink and happy and glamorous. Who could even think about ironing when you could frolic among such Barbie beauty?
However, now that I’m older, I get excited about irons too. Especially my current one. I could seriously compose an ode in honor of it (just kidding…I think.) My iron glides over garments like a dream and has the power to transform a wrinkly piece of clothing into something beautiful; it’s a finishing touch to so much of my wardrobe.
Happily, young me forgot to factor in something important: as we age, our desires change.
Not only do I NOT miss the Barbie aisle, but also irons and other appliances have been known to make me giddy. And that’s the key: I’m giddy. I do not shop for a new iron and cast woeful eyes toward the toy department.
TAKEAWAY: So Why is Aging Amazing?
I guess little me assumed the adults were all secretly wishing to curtail straight to the toy departments. And while some of us might still want to, we have the power to enjoy both. We can admire our awesome iron for its transformational qualities and then walk down the toy aisle to reminisce (OR throw on a tiara and join our daughter for a tea party!)
And why not? We should get a taste of both worlds, adding more depth to our life and absolutely more fun.
“Being silly is still allowed, not excluded by adulthood.
What's excluded by adulthood is thoughtlessness,
so be thoughtful and silly.”
― Hank Green
By not having children, I get to experience what I call the “grandparent perk.”
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has heard similar words from many grandparents: “I get to love on my grandbabies, enjoy them, and then send them back home.”
It seems a weight is lifted for them: they do not feel solely responsible for the littles 24/7 and they get to have a good night’s rest after all the excitement a day can bring. Which brings me to my main point that anyone without their own children can choose to experience the “grandparent perk”.
Sometimes I feel like an outsider looking in, especially in a world saturated with moms and dads and guardians etc. But what I do have is the choice to easily step in and out of their world: entering when I’m of strong and of alert mind and ready to help, but then taking a minute to decompress and prepare to assist and love when needed again. And that’s the way I like it.
Like a two step waltz, it’s a special place to dance in life.
I hope that if you are in my shoes, whether by choice or by circumstances, you’ll consider giving some loved ones a well-deserved break and get some “grandparent-perk” time for yourself.
Aging While Childless Entries: I want to help empower those who (for whatever reason) are living childless, so that they can further embrace their situation and find joy. A life filled with children is a life filled with treasures---but so is a life without children.
I had eaten too much candy, and I had a horrible stomachache. Sounds like something a toddler might do, right?
My friend periodically mails me these little raspberry candies, and I just cannot resist them. I’ll grab a couple and think, “I’m good. No more.” Then I spend the next five minutes in the back of my mind justifying why I could have more, and it would be no big deal.
The same thing happens with the fish and chips here in England. I can’t resist those delicious vinegar and salt drizzled fries. They are like soft pockets of amazingness for my mouth. I tend to eat too many, and of course, I get a stomachache.
Which brings me to my point. In some ways, we never age or mature. We bemoan the losses of the years, but often ignore the lessons they teach. Perhaps the lessons are there to remind us that growing older can have its perks? Especially when it comes to important things such as our character and attitude.
Or in my case, my stomach.
One thing I’ve only recently enjoyed about being older, and I think you might too: seeing how we resemble people (whether it be physical features or personality) who have already passed away.
The internet is ripe with articles that show celebrities and their historical doppelgangers, but I know comparisons have been happening in families for years and years. The other day, my Mom excitedly sent me a picture of a great-grandma to my What’s App. She said, “Check out her smile. Yours is exactly the same.”
I looked at the image closely. She was right! I saw my mouth staring back at me.
I wondered, why did this make me so happy? When I was younger, I didn’t care about that sort of thing. In fact, it annoyed me when people pointed it out because I wanted to be unique. I remember reading about a character in a book who felt the same way as me: like she was not herself, but an old patchwork quilt, made of bits and pieces from others.
But my attitude has changed. It’s fantastic having a link with someone from the past. It makes me feel like a part of something greater. Someone may comment to you that you remind them of a neat actor from the 60s or that your sense of dedication resembles a historical figure they learned about on Netflix. In my case, I know how much my grandma meant to my Mom, and though I don’t remember her, it’s as if I have a small piece of her as a little gift.
My point is, finding something in common with human beings who have passed, whether in our family or not, makes people come alive for a moment.
As we age, it’s a great way to continue celebrating their life: a special connection that keeps them living on in our hearts and minds.
Creator of Love, Auntie.