Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October Blog Challenge ~ Day 1 ~ How Do You Feel About Aging?

Day 1 ~ How Do You Feel About Aging?
I love the thought, "It has been scientifically proven that those who have more birthdays live longer."  I can't say that I have always felt that way.  I remember when I turned 30 I thought I was sooooo old.  I had a hard time with that birthday. Of course, it didn't help that my sister-in-law displayed a real coffin at my birthday party and gave me a shirt that said, "Turning 30 isn't old...IF you're a tree!"   

Crazily turning 40 wasn't as traumatic as 30.   Turning 50 was even easier.  I think the reason why I have embraced aging is the simple fact that I now know that each and every single day is a gift.  A blessing.  An amazing opportunity.  And as my father-in-law has always said, "Getting older beats the alternative."  Amen to that.  

I think the experience of losing my son Tyson left an indelible impression on my heart that life is very fragile and we must cherish each and every moment we have while here because we don't know how much time we have and life IS short.  We need to make the most of the time we have been given and live each day to it's fullest.  And... we ARE going to age with each and every new day that we are blessed with anyway, so why not just embrace it and enjoy it?

So here it is, the GOOD, the BAD, and the UGLY of getting older.
Let's start with the UGLY first, so we can get it over with and not dwell on it, shall we?
  • Wrinkles. I am not a fan of wrinkles.  I already need some serious help with those cracky things.  I really don't like them.  When I look in the mirror, I don't look the way I feel.  I still feel like I am 20 on the inside.  If I gained 30 or 40 pounds, I know most of them would instantly be gone.  But then I'd have a whole new set of problems to deal with.  I have very few gray hairs and so I guess I should be grateful for that.  Hmm...  If I could choose though, I'd choose gray hair over wrinkles.  At least you can dye those suckers and make them go away for awhile.  Not wrinkles.  Once they have arrived, they unpack their old bags (literally) and take up permanent residence!  And... unfortunately, it's pretty costly to boot them out of town.
  • Blank Mind. Yeah, yeah, I knew this one was coming! I tend to forget things easier than I used to.  I am attributing it to the fact that I have too many things to remember now and there is only so much space for storage and so some things get automatically deleted.  I am able to retrieve most of them though if I just hit Cntrl Z. I wish. 
  • Life Is Blurry.  At least up close.  Now far away, it's in clear focus. Yep, I am talking here about the need for granny glasses.  I was lucky though.  I didn't start needing them until just a few years ago.  I have about 10 pair of the things laying around because of that Blank Mind thing going on.  That way I don't have to remember where I last put them.  I can always find a pair somewhere.  Usually on the top of my head. I am not a fan of my appearance in glasses... but I do what I have to do.    
Just U G L Y


Onto the BAD...

  • Time Goes Faster.  I am amazed at how fast the days fly by, and the years even faster!  I know time didn't used to go this quick.  I feel like sometimes I blink and bam, another season has arrived!  I noticed it most having my sons on missions.  When my first son went on his mission 9 years ago, that two years just dragged on and on.  But with my 4th son out serving now for almost a year already, I can't believe how fast it is going.  I just want to slow the clock down, but I can't!  
  • Energy Level. I also don't like the fact that I can no longer stay up cleaning my house, or doing projects, late into the night.  I just don't have the energy like I used to.  When it gets to be around 10 or 11, I want to chill and just wind down.  I want to get on my jammies and chill in front of the TV and play solitaire until my sleepy eyes can't take it anymore.  When my kids were little, that was when my "me" time began and I would stay up until the wee hours finishing the things I didn't have time to do during the day.  And... I wouldn't pay for it the next day like I do now.
  • I Worry More About My Boys.  When my boys were little I worried about things like homework, grades, making sure they kept their room clean and brushed their teeth, teaching them right from wrong, making sure I established lots of good memories, if they had good friends, etc. etc.  Now that they are almost all adults, I worry much more about them only the things are big things now. If they will be safe, if they will make good choices, if they will choose the right career path, if they will find a good spouse, if they will continue to have a testimony of the gospel, etc. etc. All those big things that I have no control over really, but still worry about. 

Okay finally!
Now for the GOOD!
  • More Me Time.  I have more time to pursue those things that were only a wish when I was younger.  If I want to go shopping or running or even stay home and clean all day, I can. Okay, even if I can do that last one, I'm not going to!  haha  I usually prefer to do that only when it's necessary, not really as an option for some me time.  
  • Freedom.  It is quite amazing to me to realize that if Dave and I want to go to breakfast at midnight, we can! We don't have to get a babysitter or stress about what's going on with the kids.  It's so nice to have the freedom to just drop everything and go if we want to. I don't usually have to be home at a certain time to pick the boys up from school or get them to a practice, etc. 
  • Knowing Who I Am.   I LOVE the fact that I no longer care so much about what other people think of me.  Well, at least I don't dwell on it or change what I think or do to please them like I used to when I was younger.  It's such a great feeling to know who you are and to embrace it!
  • More Content.  I am so much more content.  It's so nice to not have to always be worrying about a career choice or where the next paycheck is going to come from.  I just feel more of an overall contentment in my life.  I would be much more content however, if I was a grandma! (hint hint to my two oldest boys!)  But even without that, I know it will come in time as well. And I love feeling that peace and contentment.
  • Wisdom.  I also love the fact that I make better decisions (well - most of the time anyway) because of the wisdom I have gained over the years. I'm not always second guessing myself.  I have more confidence in the things I do.  And it's so nice to really know things without doubting yourself so much.    

The list is anything but complete, but it's a good start.I have come to accept the BAD and UGLY side effects of aging.  Even the wrinkles.  After all, the way I look doesn't define me... contrary to what Hollywood says.  As my body ages, it doesn't change who I am.  I may look different, but I am still me.  A much more wiser me with each passing day.  Sure there is a down side to aging, but I am finding that there are so many more GOOD things that come with it as well.  It's actually very freeing.

I believe each day I am blessed to still be around and kicking should be a celebration! I am grateful for each and every single breath I am lucky enough to take.  Life is a gift! EACH and EVERY single day!  


   And ENJOY the RIDE!

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