In the fall and winter years of our lives, we may feel like the gusto is gone. There may be illness. There may have been great loss along the way. Covid isolation only heightens this feeling of personal robbery. So how can we ever feel vibrant and engaged again? How can we even get motivated?
Go get a piece of paper and a pen please. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Remember how I said we’d have some fun here? Well, you know how you often read those list of “things I’ve learned”. We are going to make our own lists, personal reflections, gleaned from our own lives. Try to start with say, mmm, five to ten. Make your list, keep it for frequent review and additions, and even send it to me if you wish to. I’d love to read it and maybe post it here if you don’t mind. We will each have different ones I’m sure. Mine may trigger yours, and visa versa. Try not to use those familiar cliché ones. Think back over the years and really note what you have learned perhaps in terms of decades or significant events like college, marriage, raising your children…
I know you’ll need additional time to truly count your blessings but this exercise is so worth doing. If you are currently discouraged, in creating your own list I’m praying you’ll be surprised to see the great value, joy and beauty in your own journey!
Alrightie, I’ll begin. The first one is so easy, so very clear to me now.
Things I have learned in my 68 years:
1. Nothing in my life makes sense without Jesus. Messed up times were the times I left Him out, trusted others or went my own way.
2. Everything on the outside changes constantly, like hair, skin, vision, weight, domicile, relationships, etc., absolutely everything.
3. The things on the inside stay the same. My mother used to say that inside you’re the same person you always were. I still have the same hopes and dreams I had when I was a girl. I still love the rain and the first snowfall. I still love the colour green and in fact I can’t get enough green in my life especially as I get older. I still love my first love. I still long for Africa. These are core truths about me that have never changed with time.
4. Rarely was anything ever as important as I thought it was….and isn’t that such a wonderful relief!
5. I did always recover even when I thought I would not.
6. I kept falling into the same pit until I decided to circumvent the pit, and eventually not travel that same pit-filled road at all. I believe I learned.
7. My life must be lived in Drive, not Neutral, and certainly not Reverse, no matter my age.
8. My heart grew a size every time I loved someone new: a new pet, a new friend, a new child, a new mate, but when I lost someone, my heart didn’t shrink back. It left a forever hole. These were hard, painful lessons, but oh, what a treasure I’ve accumulated!
9. I have become more hyper with age-pity my friends and family!
10. I’m very adaptable. I normally embrace all challenge and change-yet don’t move my furniture around…grrrr…lol!
11. It is absolutely toxic for me to live my life solely based on my feelings. You’ll probably hear me say this a lot.
12. I CAN change the world-mine! (then it snowballs!)
13. It matters how I show up in the world every single day, it matters profoundly!
14. Even at 68 I’m still figuring out why I need the approval of others and how that has affected me.
15. My life undoubtedly affects and impacts those around me (which relates back to 12 & 13).
16. Nothing I do is without consequences of some kind to other people, most often to the people I love.
17. I can’t recall any ah ha moments, no sudden light bulb experiences that many people boast about. Mine are more like ahhhh, so that’s why that happened… I take time to process and I don’t follow the herd well.
18. I’m not the risk-taker some people say I am. To take a risk requires courage and my adventures didn’t. They were too full of joyful anticipation.
19. My own company suits me well…I don’t think I understand the concept of boredom at all.
20. My heart sings loudest in two situations-in worship, and when my sons tell me they are proud that I am their mom!
21. I’m genuinely excited to see what the future holds!
Take a good look at your reflections.
So you see George (Bailey), “You really did have a wonderful life!”
Please consider sharing your own list here at www.agingwithardor.com