The past few months have been FULL of shifts about aging for me.
I recently had the honor of spending a couple of days with a group of people where I was at least 25 years older than my ‘peers’. Most of them referred to me as “M’am” or “Miss Lisa”. They said things like, “I think it’s so cool that someone your age still…”.
It was a startling shift. Not bad – just a shift.
This shift and Christmas prompted another one.
My 85-year-old mom spent a week with me over the holydays. I had the opportunity to witness her JOY when she figured out my DVR remote AND find an earring she’d lost earlier in the day. Little things, sure. And huge things – to her confidence and sense of self.
Mom and I took the opportunity to talk about a lot during her visit. We talked about the mystery of why people now need to carry cell phones with them where ever they go. We talked about the grace of a good handshake and looking people in the eye. We talked about how to engage in genuine conversation in an instant message/texting world.
Witnessing Mom’s triumphs and listening to the opinions and observations of a woman who walked to grade school in London during The Blitz, helped me see how I want to live into this new part of my life – the part where I don’t understand A LOT and choose to move forward (sometimes in fear) anyway.
My earlier shift coupled with the shift I felt in witnessing Mom helps me name that while The World changes, Life doesn’t. Life keeps moving forward in exactly the same way it always has. The World is just where Life happens.
Life will always provide lessons – when we’re willing to accept them. We get to choose which tools The World offers us will help me move forward in the way we want. And we get to let go of feeling “too old to…” or “less than…” when we choose to talk to the person in front of us without texting another simultaneously.
What shifts have you felt lately?
5 thoughts on “shifts…”
more a sea change than a shift – pretty deep for me – here it is: I don’t have to do anything.
and as a person whose secret identity has always been FIXER (not that I could but that I wanted to) – for the Prof. FIXER it is a very large shift to comprehend that Mary Oliver has it right in Wild Geese which opens with
You don’t have to do anything.
and thank you Lisa for asking.
Carol, how relaxed and what peace you must be feeling after this ‘shift’. thanks for the reminder AND for the perfect reference from Mary Oliver.
I’m right there with you (actually, a little ahead of you, years-wise) with the age shift thing. I have been especially aware of it since I made the decision to be honest and stop dyeing my hair. I was really enjoying the whole thing for a while, ready to take on the role of the (hopefully) wise crone. THEN, my whole idea was totally blown when one of my students, after meeting my husband (not yet gray) and finding out that I was older than he, asked, “How many years older are you than your husband?” I confidently, flippantly, answered, as I have for years , “4 1/2 years.” I waited for the usual “You’re kidding! You look so much younger than he!” Instead, I heard, “You’re kidding! I would have thought like….a hundred!” I have spent the last 2 weeks looking in the mirror and considering going back on my plan to live honestly. I don’t want to, though. It’s just hard feeling like the person I see in the mirror is not the person I feel like inside. It’s a shock sometimes when I catch a glimpse of her, unprepared. Inside, I’m still rock ‘n’ rollin’, wondering what I’ll do when I grow up!
Mary Louise- My vote is to be true to the rock n roller inside you! IF she wants to rock with gray hair…..so be it! AND IF she wants to roll with another color….so be that!!!!! Paraphrasing the Beach Boys: Be true to you!!!!! 🙂
Lisa- Yeah for your sea shift! We can’t fix everything for everyone …. not even ourselves. Roll with the waves is what I say!!!
Thanks to all of you, Lisa, Lisa, and Mary Louise for reaffirming for me that SHIFT HAPPENS!!!!!! 🙂
Judi ~ AMEN!
ML ~ LOVE how you’re choosing/shifting which mirror you’re believing. and love Love LOVE your new silver crown, Queen ML!
thanks ya’ll – it’s FUN shifting with ya’ll…