Thursday, August 30, 2007

How does it feel to be old?

The other day a young person asked me how I felt about being old. I was taken aback, for I do not think of myself as old. Upon seeing my reaction, she was immediately embarrassed, but I explained that it was an interesting question, and I would ponder it, and let her know.

Old Age, I decided, is a gift. I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometime despair over my body, the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror (who looks like my mother!), but I don't agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avant-garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60&70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love... I will.
I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things. Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion.
A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free.
I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day. (If I feel like it)



Thursday, August 23, 2007

Little Advice

1. Try everything twice. On Madams tombstone (of Whelan's and Madam) she said she wanted this epitaph: Tried everything twice... loved it both times!

2. Keep only cheerful friends.
The grouches pull you down (keep this in mind if you are one of those grouches).

3. Keep learning: Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain get idle. "An idle mind is the devil's workshop." And the devil's name is Alzheimer's!

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. And if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots and lots of time with HIM/HER.

6. The tears happen: Endure, grieve, and move on. The only people who are with us our entire lives, are God and ourselves. LIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love: Whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

11. Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second time.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ne cassez pas l'élastique!

En avril dernier, Maya Angelou a été interviewée par Oprah à l'occasion de ses 70+. Oprah lui a demandé ce qu'elle pensait de vieillir.

Et là, à la television, elle a dit "exciteé". En ce qui a trait aux changements de mon corps, elle a dit : il y en a plusieurs qui se produisent chaque jour... en particulier mes seins. Ils semblent faire une course pour voir lequel se rendra le premier à ma taille.

Le public a tellement ri qu'il en pleurait. C'est une femme tellement simple et honnête et qui fait preuve de sagesse dans ses mots!

Maya Angelou a dit ceci:
"J'ai appris une chose: c'est que peu importe ce qui arrive, ou à quel point aujourd'hui semble éprouvant, la vie continue quand même et demain ira mieux."
"J'ai aussi appris qu'on peut dire beaucoup sur une personne à sa façon de voir trois choses: une journée pluvieuse, beaucoup de baggage et des lumières de Noël entremêlées. "

"J'ai appris que peu importe quelle a été ta relation avec tes parents, ils vont te manquer lors qu'ils ne seront plus dans ta vie. "

"J'ai appris que "gagner sa vie" est bien différent de "faire sa vie."

"J'ai appris que la vie nous donne parfois une deuxième chance."

"J'ai appris qu'on ne devrait pas traverser la vie avec un gant de baseball dans chaque main, il faut parfois être capable de renvoyer quelque chose."

"J'ai appris que chaque fois que je d é cide quelque chose avec un coeur ouvert, je prends généralement la bonne decision."

"J'ai appris que même si j'ai des douleurs, je n'ai pas besoin d'en être une."

"J'ai appris qu'à chaque jour on devrait tendre la main à quelqu'un. Les gens aiment qu'on les serre dans nos bras ou qu'on leur donne une petite tape amicale."

"J'ai appris qu'il me restait encore beaucoup à apprendre."

"J'ai appris que les gens vont oublier ce que tu as dit, les gens vont oublier ce que tu as fait, mais les gens n'oubliront jamais comment ils se sont sentis avec toi."

S.V.P. envoyez ce texte à cinq femmes phénomenales aujourd'hui.

Si tu le fais, quelque chose de bien arrivera : Tu auras réussi à faire augmenter l'estime de quelqu'un.

Si tu ne le fais pas... l'élastique de tes sous-vêtements va casser et ils vont tomber à tes chevilles! Crois-moi je n'ai pas pris de chance que MON élastique casse...

Thursday, August 9, 2007

'Love ya!

One day a woman's husband died, and on that clear, cold morning, in the warmth of their bedroom, the wife was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't anymore. No more hugs, no more special moments to celebrate together, no more phone calls just to chat, no more "just one minute." Sometimes, what we care about the most gets all used up and goes away, never to return before we can say good-bye, say
"I love you."

So while we have it, it's best we love it, care for it, fix it when it's broken and heal it when it's sick. This is true for marriage ... And old cars .. And children with bad report cards, and dogs with bad hips, and aging parents and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it.

Some things we keep -- like a best friend who moved away or a classmate we grew up with. There are just some things that make us happy, no matter what.

Life is important, like people we know who are special. And so, we keep them close!

I received this from someone who thought I was a 'keeper'! Then I sent it to the people I think of in the same way. Now it's your turn to send this to all those people who are "keepers" in your life, including the person who sent it if you feel that way. Suppose one morning you never wake up, do all your friends know you love them?

I was thinking...I could die today, tomorrow or next week, and I wondered if I had any wounds needing to be healed, friendships that needed rekindling or three words needing to be said.

Let every one of your friends know you love them. Even if you think they don't love You back, you would be amazed at what those three little words and a smile can do.

And just in case GOD calls me home ...
Live today to the fullest because tomorrow is not promised.

This poem will give you Goosebumps

A drunk man in an Oldsmobile
they said had run the light
that caused the six-car pile up
on 109 that night.

When broken bodies lay about
and blood was everywhere,
the sirens screamed out eulogies,
for death was in the air.

A mother, trapped inside her car,
was heard above the noise;
her plaintive plea near split the air:
"Oh, God, please spare my boys!"

She fought to loose her pinned hands;
she struggled to get free,
but mangled metal held her fast
in grim captivity.

Her frightened eyes then focused
on where the back seat once had been,
but all she saw was broken glass and
two children's seats crushed in.

Her twins were nowhere to be seen;
she did not hear them cry,
and then she prayed they'd been thrown free,
"Oh, God, don't let them die! "

Then firemen came and cut her loose,
but when they searched the back,
they found therein no little boys,
but the seat belts were intact.

They thought the woman had gone mad
and was travelling alone,
but when they turned to question her,
they discovered she was gone.

Policemen saw her running wild
And screaming above the noise
In beseeching supplication,
"Please help me find my boys!

They're four years old and wear blue shirts;
Their jeans are blue to match."
One cop spoke up, ""They're in my car,
and they don't have a scratch.

They said their daddy put them there
And gave them each a cone, "
Then told them both to wait for Mom
To come and take them home.

"I've searched the area high and low,
But I can't find their dad.
He must have fled the scene,
I guess, and that is very bad."

The mother hugged the twins and said,
While wiping at a tear,
"He could not flee the scene, you see,
For he's been dead a year."

"The cop just looked confused and asked, "
"Now, how can that be true? "
The boys said, ""Mommy, Daddy came
And left a kiss for you."

He told us not to worry
"And that you would be all right, "
And then he put us in this car with
"The pretty, flashing light. "

"We wanted him to stay with us,
Because we miss him so,
But Mommy, he just hugged us tight
And said he had to go."

He said someday we'd understand
"And told us not to fuss, "
And he said to tell you Mummy
"He's watching over us."

The mother knew without a doubt
That what they spoke was true,
For she recalled their dad's last words,
"I will watch over you."

The firemen's notes could not explain
The twisted, mangled car,
And how the three of them escaped
Without a single scar.

But on the cop's report was scribed, in print so very fine, " An angel
walked the beat tonight on Highway 109."

He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare.

This morning when the Lord opened a window to Heaven, He saw me, and He
said, "My child, what is your greatest wish for today?" I responded: "Lord
please, take care of the person who is reading this message, their family
and their special friends. They deserve it and I love them very much.

This message works on the day you receive it. Let us see if it is true & if
ANGELS EXIST but some times, since they don't all have Wings, we call them

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Special Occasion

A friend of mine opened his wife's underwear drawer and picked up a silk paper wrapped package: "This", he said "isn't any ordinary package."
He unwrapped the box and stared at both the silk paper and the box.

"She got this the first time we went to New York , 8 or 9 years ago. She has never put it on and was saving it for a special occasion. Well, I guess this is it. He got near the bed and placed the gift box next to the other clothing's he was taking to the funeral house. His wife had just died. He turned to me and said, "Never save something for a special occasion. Every day in your life is a special occasion."

I still think those words changed my life.
Now I read more and clean less.
I sit on the porch without worrying about anything.
I spend more time with my family and less at work.
I understand that life should be a source of experience to be lived up to, not survived through. I no longer keep anything. I use crystal glasses every day. I'll wear new clothes to go to the supermarket, if I feel like it.
I don't save my special perfume for special occasions, I use it whenever I want to.

The words "Someday..." and "One Day..." are fading away from my dictionary. If it's worth seeing, listening or doing, I want to see, listen or do it now. I don't know what my friend's wife would have done if she knew she wouldn't be there the next morning. This nobody can tell. I think she might have called her relatives and closest friends. She might call old friends to make peace over past quarrels. I'd like to think she would go out for Chinese, her favorite food.

It's these small things that I would regret not doing, if I knew my time had come.
I would regret it, because I would no longer see the friends I would meet, letters that I wanted to write.. "One of these days". I would regret and feel sad, because I didn't say to my brother and sisters, son and daughters, not enough times at least, how much I love them.

Now, I try not to delay, postpone or keep anything that could bring laughter and joy into our lives. And on each morning, I say to myself that this could be a special day. Each day, each hour, each minute, is special.

If you got this, it's because someone cares for you and because, probably, there's someone you care about.
If you're too busy to send this out to other people and you say to yourself that you will send it "One of these days" , remember that "One day" is far away... or may never come.

No matter if you're superstitious or not, spend some time reading it.
It holds useful messages for the soul.