Our family just finished celebrating my mother’s 80th birthday and I was able to enjoy the occasion with awe. Pretty amazing anyone turning 80. My Dad turns 82 in August. They both look several years younger than their years. Immortal sometimes. I know they aren’t, just like I am not, but their spirit is so ageless I just can’t help but be impressed. They act like kids at times. It’s a better role model than most.
Take joy. That is what they do. What is life afterall if we don’t grab each moment and really make it count? The moment doesn’t have to be a giant splash. It can be making the almost perfect cake, or looking at the expanse called your garden even if it is too hot to sojourn in it and plan the next project. Or maybe it’s appreciating the dogs lying at your feet, all four that is who surround you as you write a few words about living in the present. A good movie on television also helps, especially one about a young woman with only two months to live and how those two months become an adventure to do all the things she ever wanted to do.
Most times I take a lot for granted. My husband, my parents, my dogs, my health are examples of where I can miss the mark. I go through the days on automatic thinking I will get to the other later, such as going for a walk or saying I love you.
The things that got in the way? Stupid stuff really. Usually around worry. Obsessing for the umpteenth time, for example, over what I said the other day to so and so who is likely not losing sleep over any of it. Gravity also comes to mind and its effect on my body. Oh, yeah, and the fine lines – character, a friend calls it – that mark my face. Walking would help with all that, but instead I worry.
I am not old by most standards, but sometimes I act old rather than rejoice I can move and see and taste the world around me. Back to the movie. As the young woman was waiting in line in the grocery store she imagined a great French love ballad and everyone dancing in the aisles. Watching the dance was pure delight. The kind of moment you want to live but are too self-conscious to do so. A shame actually when you consider so much is lost when you worry about being seen doing the thing you would love to do.
Worry is best thrown away with the weeds. Composted perhaps and made fodder for something beautiful, like a gazania in bloom. Like the young woman whose prognosis changes how she lives her life in a second, we might be wise to change our approach now rather than wait for when we have no choice. Care to dance in the garden anyone?