The good part about getting older is you stop trying to prove anything to anyone, including yourself. All you are in the pursuit of is collecting experiences – beautiful, fragile little soap bubbles that you store in your heart, and every once in a while you pull one out and gaze at the delicate pictures it shows you.
“When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple”
I bought this book for my Mom when she was older. I do not remember her exact age at the time, but it was fitting. She was aging, had some health issues, and appeared frail. She had lived her life, like most of us with good and bad experiences.
I remember going to a gathering, she and I. There were many people there we did not know and many were drawn to my Mom. She was this little old lady who appeared frail but wasn’t really. Her body was frail, becoming frailer, but not her mind. Oh no, not my Mom. She had a sharp mind and a good wit.
People kept coming up to her, some just to introduce themselves and have a little conversation. Others were checking to ask if she wanted something more to eat or drink. I was wandering, but was always aware of her and mostly would sit close to her. She looked over at me and winked. She told me it was nice being an old lady because everyone was always doing something for her. That evening she was enjoying her status.
My Mom, in a somewhat sedate way, deserved a warning sign. She was her own woman and had earned her right to do just about anything she wanted to. She would sometimes offer her opinions that may have been a little shocking or quickly tell you if she didn’t like something or someone. She was always willing to go somewhere with friends. She loved her job because she could see and talk to so many people. She fought to keep that job and would have continued until a medical mishap kept her from doing so.
Friday I posted, Through The Eyes Of A Child, which is about being more childlike and never losing the openness a child has, and always being curious and willing to try new things. Children are so special because they have not lost the ability to learn as much as their little bodies, and their curious minds can soak in.
This post is the other end of the spectrum about having lived life to the best of their ability, without that childlike approach and coming to the time when they let loose of their inhibitions. The inhibitions that the majority of us, unfortunately, acquire early in life. Like I mentioned in my other post about children, when you start to do something and the hand of a parent reaches out and holds you back. That is where inhibitions are born and when our childlike exuberance starts to die.
The thing is, and what I am trying to say is, we for so many reasons need to live more freely with the openness of a child and the audacity of an older person. There should be more of that and less of all the inhibitions in the middle.
Children, and an older person who has so many life experiences, have fearlessness. There are so many ways of saying it, they are brave and they are bold. They want, the child because they have not experienced, and the old because they have.
I am becoming that older person who dares to shock people. It is going to be fun and I am so looking forward to it.
Old people get away with a lot and I think they have earned the right. We are all waiting for the day when we get old enough to do whatever we want.
Here are some of the things that older people get away with doing.
They can pretty much say whatever they want and get away with it, and I think they enjoy shocking people. Watch them say something outrageous. They will smile and wink. So funny!
Talk about experiences they had long ago that they would not dare tell anyone about when it happened so long ago. Who cares? They don’t. What is anyone going to say? Go to your room. You’re grounded, and have no phone privileges. That’s not happening.
They can wear mismatched socks, colors that don’t match, eat whatever they want when they want. Who is going to stop them?
Take a nap anytime and pretty much anywhere. Sleep late and go to bed anytime they want.
Pretend their hearing is terrible, so they don’t have to answer questions they don’t want to answer and listen in on conversation people don’t want them to hear.
Say what they are thinking and be blunt if they want to. There is no need to lie or pretend that something isn’t important to them when it is. Just say it.
Eat whatever they want, when they want to eat it. I really like ice cream so maybe someday I will just eat that, just ice cream. Yummy!
If they don’t want to do something, they will tell you they forgot. Nobody will question an older person. Of course they forgot!
Maybe I ought to practice a little now? So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised when I am old. I am old. I guess I need to get started. The truth is, I do not feel old and there is so much to do. It’s exciting!
None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an afterthought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like hidden treasure. Be silly. Be Kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else.
As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have some fun today!
If we experienced life through the eyes of a child, everything would be magical and extraordinary. Let our curiosity, adventure and wonder of life never end.
When you are a child everything is new and magical. Do you remember the first time you caught fireflies in a jar? Pure magic!
I remember my children and the looks on their faces and their excitement of experiencing something new for the first time. I see it now with my grandson. One of the best parts of being a parent, or grandparent, is seeing their eyes light up and their little hands reach out to touch something new. They look up at you with that happy look and they giggle. The wonder and pure joy reflecting in their eyes the first time they hold a kitten or a puppy, a frog or a bug.
The wonder of children helps adults experience magic one more time. They bring it back to us so we can giggle and have our eyes light up too.
I would love to feel that way every day. Sometimes the feeling is there and it is similar to how I felt as a child. It happens when we experience something new.
No matter what age we are, that is one of the ways we can experience life as if we were looking through the eyes of a child.
Let’s think about that. What can we do to put wonder and excitement in our lives?
Try something new. I have a couple of ideas for that. Go on an adventure. Do something you might have thought about because it looked like fun, and maybe a wee bit scary. I have a few ideas I want to try, kayaking, zip-lining and re-acquainting myself with horseback riding.
There are so many “new” things to do, easy, challenging, and anywhere in between. Scary things and just a little frightening, but so fun. What about you, what would you like to try? Is there something from another time in your life that you wanted to do? Try that!
Remember when you were a young child and were ready, willing and able to do something? You jumped right in, only to have the hand, or words, of your parent, a teacher or other adult pull you back? They said it was too dangerous, or many other different reasons. I remember when my son wanted to take karate lessons, and at first, I said no for just that reason. I thought it would be dangerous. He kept asking, so I said we would go and visit and watch a class. By the end of that class, I was entirely in favor of the program and enrolled him. He continued through high school and college and went on to establish a karate studio of his own and is a black belt in karate and jujutsu. https://www.kime-karate.com/ He is an awesome adult, and the principles of karate helped shape him. What if I had said no?
Think like a child and jump right into a new situation. We should not be scared to try something new. Kids are eager, and we should be too. Adults place limits on themselves all the time. We should stop that and go for it, jump right in.
Make some new friends. When you were a child, you always were eager to meet other people and be friends, especially other kids. There was no hesitation. They smile at complete strangers and they want to spend time with them. They want to know them. What is their name, where do they live, do they have siblings, do they have pets. They are ready to sit down and spend the afternoon. We should do that! Smile and ask questions. How easy is that? Maybe have coffee together. Make a friend.
As I am writing this, I am thinking of my granddaughter. She was just like that when she was little. No hesitation, there was just curiosity. She was eager to learn and be friends. Her eyes would light up when she saw another child.
Do not place limits on yourself. Remember when you were a child and it seemed like every aunt, uncle, and friend of the family, asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up? When you are a young child the possibilities seem limitless. We felt like we could be anything we wanted: Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief. As we get older that changes and we start to decide what we might want to be. Off you go to college, or not, and you start on the path you chose. Maybe you decided to be a teacher. Once you reach that goal and start teaching after a few years, you come to realize you don’t like being a teacher. So many of us do not even consider changing career paths even when we really want to.
Why limit ourselves? We didn’t limit ourselves when we were kids. Make a plan, go back to college and become a chef or whatever it is that is pulling you in a different direction. Maybe you are okay with being a teacher, but you want to teach in a different country or teach a different subject. Why not? If you are passionate about it, then try. Find a way to do it. Be happy.
Imagine the possibilities in life. When I was a child, I liked to be outside and watch the clouds and let my thoughts drift. That is when I would imagine possibilities. I would think about the book I was reading and what the characters were doing, believing that I could too. Relax and use your imagination. To this day, I am drawn to the outside and that is where I still imagine the possibilities. As an adult there are so many opportunities, but we usually decide no. Stop doing that!
Decide to change things up. Sometimes life dishes up some garbage. That is when we need to do something just for ourselves. Change your perspective. You know you will have to deal with the garbage at some point, but take a moment. Call a friend & go for coffee or a movie. Do some yoga or go for a run. Just sit and look at those beautiful clouds, or read a book. Remember when you were a kid, and your Mom wanted you to take out that garbage? You didn’t, you jumped on your bike and went to your friend’s house, or to the park to play basketball. Think like a kid and do that.
Don’t think or care so much about what other people think. That is a big one. Everybody is programmed to care, and there is a valid reason for that, but not about everything. When we are kids, we ask whatever is on our minds. I remember the gasp or the pull on my arm and then the look or the shake of my mother’s head. She was sending me the message you shouldn’t ask that. Sure, I get that, but that is how we learn. There are so many times I look back at my adult life and wish I has asked a question. We need to ask more questions. That is how we learn and how we get to the bottom of problems.
We also need to loosen up, if only just a tad, and stop being so serious. If someone looks askance at you, so what. As long as it is in good taste and you don’t hurt anyone’s feelings, it is okay. In the blink of an eye, it will be over and forgotten.
We can learn every day of our life. Kids do, and so should adults. It comes naturally with a child because they want to learn about everything. We should not stop as we get older. We should be curious, and we should still experience the wonder of learning. Go to the library and find a fascinating book about a subject you know nothing about or a another culture or country. Listen to a podcast such as TED talks. Stimulate your brain. It is good for you.
A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.
Act like a child today. Dance in the rain, jump in a puddle, or lay in the grass and gaze at the clouds in wonderment. Call a friend and ask if they want to play too.
As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a great day.
Looks scary right? Sure does, but is it? Images, both real and imagined, can be deceiving.
We will all come face to face with what we consider to be a risk. There is some sort of conceived danger. Sometimes we walk away and we never know what if? Maybe if we choose to go for it we will find out it was only scary for a second. Once we commit to doing it we find it was not scary at all. There was no risk involved.
Does our culture promote risk taking? Not so much. Each of us will have a different take on that question depending on our family and friends. Did our parents encourage risk taking? Do we have a friend who is all in for adventure? Overall, I believe it is more common for us to hold back and take the safe road.
Why take risks? Are there any benefits?
Ask your adventurous friend, what do they think? Do they go over the top explaining how awesome it was, the feeling of excitement, the satisfaction and pride when it was over?
Here are some of the benefits of taking risks:
A feeling of pride and satisfaction
Confidence in your abilities
Learning something new or improving your skill set
Gives you an overall feeling of competence
A desire to continue trying new “risky” things
What little steps can you take to strengthen your resolve and start taking risks?
Talk to someone that intimidates you or makes you unsure of yourself. Say hi for starters and then dive right in. Ask them a question.
If you never go anywhere by yourself, try it.
Go somewhere you have never been before or try eating something different. If you’ve never tried, use chopsticks.
Apply for a different job.
Stand up for your beliefs or defend someone else’s.
Try something totally new like karate, boxing or yoga.
Tell someone you trust that you are afraid of doing new things.
By starting out doing less daunting activities we will realize that it is okay to move away from our comfort zone.
For some these will seem like simple and easy things but not everyone will feel that way. The point is to try new things that you may have thought of doing but you were afraid of. You do not want to be uncomfortable.
No one likes being embarrassed and no one likes to fail.
“There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.”
Failure allows us to learn and become better. Failure really makes us stronger. Fail once, step back, assess what happened and try again. You may fail more than once but each attempt will benefit you in some way.
Your life will be more meaningful for having made the attempt. You will be successful.
Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.
C. S. Lewis
As always, thank you for reading my blog. Try something new today!