Getting older.... let's not take ourselves too seriously!

Sunday night and I finally arrived home after a three and a half hour drive from our place in the mountains. It’s always bittersweet when I have to come home. I absolutely believe I was born to be in the mountains!  I love the drive. I am always amazed at how much thinking I do on my way.  Are you a thinker?  Do most women think non-stop? Most likely, my over abundance of thought is not unique to my drive home from the mountains. 

Usually my husband and I make the drive together unless he has business up that way…”up that way” means Clinton County, PA.  Typically, I love to make the drive with my husband…because it is one of the few time that he is a truly captive audience!  Oh, how I just love to tell him of all of the STUFF I am thinking about!  Actually, I tend to hold back… I always tell him that if he really knew ALL of the things that go through my mind…all of the things I think about…he would absolutely think I have lost my mind!

I imagine many of us women, as we age, tend to reflect on the past and wonder and worry about the future.  On this particular drive I found myself keenly aware of emotions ranging from silliness to sadness and grief.  Nothing extreme, mind you, just emotions that tend to flow with the “life review.”  The first hour of my drive was silent.  No radio, no cell phone (well almost).  Just me and my thoughts…reviewing the wonderful weekend, thinking about our time of worship at church (all 15 of us!), preparing for the upcoming week at work….congratulating myself on my new found eBay success as I continue to clean out my closets and drawers. I also found myself contemplating the deeper things of life.  I thought about my brother who is no longer with us and my other brother who is fighting cancer.

As I transitioned to listening to the radio however, I found myself singing…..really loud at times!  And really flat!!!  And I couldn’t have cared less if the other drivers saw me.  Christmas carols, hymns, praise music, country music….at one point I thought I had found a good Christian station and I was bee bopping to the tune and trying to sing along…when I realized it wasn’t very Christian…oops!   I had a good chuckle!  I must have looked hysterical to passer bys. 

Thinking like this is nothing new for me, but as we age…as I age… the nature of what we think takes a big turn. We begin to think about our years ahead.  We think about our health, our spouse’s health, our family’s health, those we have lost and those we might lose. I tend to wonder about who will take care of me when I am no longer able to do so for myself.  Who will be there for my husband and me when we are old and forgetful? Will we be alone? Children were not in the cards for me…so these questions tend to come up more often than for others, I suppose.

When I have spoken with friends on this issue they have told me…”But you have spiritual daughters”…meaning some of the girls I have mentored in the past and continue to do so to some extent.  The fact is…they are not my children. Their children are not my grandchildren.  Our lives are quite different from our friends in this respect.  It is a life that I have learned to love. It is a life that has been given to me by God. I have been blessed!

My dear friend had been sharing some struggles with me and mentioned that her daughter told her that her “mind was a dangerous playground.”  I just love that!  Our minds can be so dangerous when we allow ourselves to dwell on things that cultivate anxiety and fear. 

So, when I am old, I pray I can bless all those who meet up with me.  I pray that I can share the love of Jesus with them.  I pray I will laugh a lot. I will eat chocolate every day. If I end up in a nursing home I will be kind to my providers…they work so hard.  If I have dementia, I pray that I am funny.  If I am not able to remember to button my blouse or pull up my pants, at least I can make the staff laugh when I walk out of my room.  Thank you Jesus. 

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