a life well lived

Friday, July 11, 2014

TAJ 7/11/00

TAJ - Theta Alpha Journal, the alumni journal for women who attended the schools of the Academy of the New Church.  At the time Mom started putting together an article for the journal - egged on by a peer, who beseeched her to clue people in on the opportunities that come with older age - it was an eagerly anticipated, immediately devoured publication.  It speaks volumes that in less than a year of doing he Mindwalker1910 e-mail, Mom had gone from "Who's going to care what an old lady thinks?" to here.  Bravo, Mom!   ~ elm  07/11/14

I have thinking a lot about what I could write about aging and the blessings that have come with my experience of it.  What to write about?  What to leave out?  Most of it will be about what to leave out, because there is so much to share.

Yesterday, it hit me that all of my children, even my baby, are old enough to be grandparents;  if I stretch it just a little bit, my oldest could be a great-grandparent.   Somehow, that realization helped me focus on what I have found the most interesting aspect of getting considerably older – evolving roles.

A lot of people are unsure how they feel about the changes that take place with genuine old age, especially the change in the roles they have played in life.  At ninety, I am not physically capable for managing the role I played as a parent.  I cannot wash a floor or do the grocery shopping or even dust my own room.  Instead of being a custodial parent, I am the one needing the care.

Dependency has not turned out to be as bad as I thought it would be.  There is a wonderful passage from the book "Still Here" that expresses my experience over the past year - "When there is true surrender and service between people, the roles of helper and helped, nd the boundaries between those in power and those who are powerless, begin to dissolve."  That has been my experience with my daughter and son-in-law and with, it seems, most of the other people in my life - the boundaries have begun to dissolve.

Old roles have fallen away.  There are things that I loved to do that are just a memory.  That could be a source of depression or I could shift my perspective.  Think of it as going to a favorite restaurant and ordering a favorite dishes, only to discover they are not available.   There are two choices - get in a funk over what is not available or grab the opportunity to check over the menu for something new. 

My personal menu of possibilities seems like one of the oversized diner menues.  There are many things that my physical condition keep me from doing, but there are a lot of new experiences just waiting to be given a whirl.  On the physical level, life stinks.  On almost every other level - emotional, mental, spiritual -  the world is my oyster and every month has an R!

 Love to you all - The Ancient One

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