I’ve been thinking a lot about perfection lately. 

And with that, come thoughts of how I wish things were different. I wish I were younger, more energetic, slimmer and that I could still go outside and run fast like the wind, or even slow like a rolling stone. Just to run, on legs that didn’t ache. How wonderful that would be!

I suppose these are winter thoughts, they seem negative but they don’t feel negative. They feel honest. They feel like those thoughts that you keep to yourself because nobody really wants to hear them. Everyone has their own thoughts that haunt them, they don’t want to take on some else’s when they already have too many of their own.

But I think they do need to be witnessed and what better place than a blog that only three people read. (And you know who you are, obviously!)

The longing to change things that can’t be changed, the wishing for the things of youth, the sweet sorrow of looking back on life instead of always ahead – this is what needs to be embraced in our 70’s.

This is one of the (many) lessons that we face. And we mustn’t turn away from these thoughts and feelings. They are the conscious manifestation of the energy that is called ‘aging’. And they beg to be understood, loved and accepted.

Pretending we don’t feel the way we do is ridiculous and much more painful than just being real with our feelings and admitting to ourselves and others (if they ask) that getting old is something we thought would happen to others but never us, and that it is difficult on so many levels.

Possibly the hardest thing to face is the fear and it comes at us from almost every direction. Any or all of the following thoughts can show up at any given moment throughout almost any given day …

  • fear of falling down and breaking a hip/knee/arm/leg, anything really.
  • fear of looking like an old lady when we lean on the shopping cart, trying not to limp when our right hip gives out on us. (see: fear of falling)
  • fear of financial disaster and living out of that shopping cart we are leaning on.
  • fear of loosing our eyesight/hearing/teeth/purse/keys/car (insert almost anything).
  • fear of loosing our drivers license. (see: independence)
  • fear of becoming diminished in every way we can think of.
  • fear of becoming dependent and unable to change the lightbulb in the hall (see: fear of darkness)
  • fear of what’s in our heads and the way it doesn’t feel like our own mind anymore – different, but we are not sure exactly how.
  • fear of being a burden to our children
  • fear of the dreaded Personal Care Home and the need to check in, possibly soon
  • fear of the unknown and fear of death, which seems to be much closer now than ever before. And of course, it is.

And then there is the overwhelming feeling that this whole thing (our life) has been very, very short. We’ve only just begun to realize that we actually are capable of navigating life’s ups and downs with confidence. And now, surprisingly – here comes the end! And the finish line is not just ‘over the horizon’ but right here, smacking us in the face. 

I can’t really remember what I started off saying, or exactly where I was going with this …. but then I’m old. I don’t need to pretend that my thoughts are coherent and linear. I can write the way I think, little snippets here and there, with the whole thing all over the place, with thoughts and ideas getting easily misplaced. 

See? There’s lots of good stuff about it too. 

Next time I’ll write about that. I promise. 

If I can remember….

faded rose & carnations

‘Til next time, and who knows when that might be? xo Janet


6 Comments on “Follow that train of thought

  1. Beautifully expressed and photographed as always. Saw this first thing this morning and have spent every minute since trying to compose an eloquent response … guess that proves that you accomplished the goal of fearlessly expressing your innermost thoughts and touching touching the heart of your reader. Your words and images demonstrate the beauty and strength of Elderhood. xo 💖

    • Oh, Grace how beautifully worded! Thank you SO much, I don’t have to tell you how much it means to me that you are right there with me, walking the walk through this elderhood thing.

  2. MOM!!! I’m so proud of you for doing a post! The photos are gorgeous and I LOVE the content. It seems depressing but it is not. I personally wonder if people think of these things, and also it is refreshing in a culture that mostly tells 70 year olds that they can still run a marathon, which is great, if you WANT to. I also think that discussing fears is a vehicle to dispelling them at least at some form, because you can actually discuss this shit! That was grandma and grandpa’s biggest aging flaw……not ever admitting they were going to age! I LOVE the front photo (whatever you call that, and the font- did you change all this?) also love your bi-line or whatever you call that! I think you should put your own little quotes that are in the shade zones, in a colour, soft one…..and make them a little bigger as even for me it is a little small and usually those things are larger than the other font….(I don’t think they should be larger, just bigger than they are! Obviously I mean for the next time! Now, one other thing is – you are NOT that close to death- i hope! Need you around for at least 30 years if you don’t mind! ok- its finally gorgeous and sunny here and I am house cleaning all day like a moron, but your blog post really inspired me- how do I share that on Facebook? I am sure pat and carol would enjoy it too if I can figure out how to make them followers? Love the words “sage-ing and age-ing”…..its a great way to go! ok best get this house in order – hopefully in time to sit out in the sun for a bit! Love you and cannot wait until June either…..XOXOOXO

    • Many thanks for all your thoughts, I’ve made a couple of improvements to the way the post looks, and am happy you mentioned them. There are some things I can change and many things I cannot, mainly because I am at the mercy of the wordpress theme I’m using.

  3. Refreshing and original thoughts! So great to read the things that no one else is brave enough to explore, love the perspective!

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