Recently, a friend took me to her favorite little bakery in Amman. I quickly understood why she was so smitten with it. The yummy treats and cozy décor are impressive.
As I studied the label on the box of goodies we purchased, I noted that the shop wasn’t that old. Memories of a small business I created years back came into my mind: the long hours, the victorious moments, the tough decisions. My affection for the bakery suddenly grew even more, because I felt a connection of sorts. It was really a neat little moment.
For me, it’s the years of experience that stoke any fire of appreciation. And I know that more years and more experience will only fan the flames. And I’m grateful, because this part of the aging process brings an incredibly satisfying, almost bonding experience with the world around me.
Obviously, the older we get, the more repeats we will experience. Some of my favorites:
Continually dining at a beloved restaurant with its familiar menu.
Playing TV show reruns in the background of my home while I go about cooking, cleaning, or getting ready for my day. (Yay for Netflix!)
Re-reading a poignant book and feeling the familiar emotions with the character as the drama rises and falls.
Savoring a freshly baked goody (I’m a carb lover) – and letting the amazing flavor overwhelm my senses as I dive in.
Repeats really are a huge part of life, therefore a huge part of aging. And while there are some repeats we certainly don’t want, it’s fantastic that we have the enjoyable ones to help counterbalance.
The longer I live, the more opportunities I have to find answers to my problems. Plain and simple (I warned in an earlier post that sometimes I will focus on the plain and simple.) It’s part of the joys of aging and can be incredibly satisfying. Especially when it comes to anxiety. I’m sharing my journey as I work, day by day, to be fully victorious over anxiety.
I was recommended this book:
Get out of Your Mind and Into Your Life by Steven C. Hayes, Phd with Spencer Smith.
I started out skeptical, but within the first few pages, the book had me hooked. Here is the quote that pulled me in:
“People suffer. We don’t assume that left to their own devices, normal human beings are happy and that only an odd history or a broken biology disturbs the peace. We assume instead that suffering is normal and it is the unusual person who learns how to create peace of mind.” (4)
When drowning in emotions, physical sensations and straight up panic, it’s a VERY easy lie to believe that I am one of the few who are broken, illogical or just plain weak.
For years, I would ask myself lies:
Why am I the only one who panics in this situation?
Why can’t I just be like everybody else when it comes to facing hard days?
The text continues:
“By the time all of the major behavior problems human beings face or added together, in effect, it is “abnormal” not to experience significant psychological struggles.” (5)
Knowing I was not alone, in fact, “normal” was like a giant hug for my state of mind.
I’m not healed, but I’m encouraged, like a weight has lifted off me. And I think it’s safe to say, that as I age, that is a great feeling to take with me into each day.
At a family dinner, I once asked my grandma for a potato chip. She grabbed a handful of them, set them on my plate, and whispered the famous slogan for Lay’s chips: “they are too good to eat just one.”
Seriously, my grandma was so witty and clever. I LOVED what she told me, and I had to loudly repeat the whole story to all the adults at the table. I remember being a little puzzled at how I only received polite chuckles. Couldn’t they understand how funny grandma was?
Yup, now I’m the one that understands.
As a result, when kids tell me “funny” stories, I like to listen and grin right along with them. I let myself relieve the moment when I was their age, discovering just how hysterical the world really is.
I think young me would be proud of older me.
Creator of Love, Auntie.