Nothing Remains As It Was
When you’re young, time seems to move so slowly.
I recall summer vacations from school when I was in elementary school. If we read 25 books during the summer, we were rewarded.
I read lots and lots of books. Books were my constant companion.
Those summer months seemed to go on forever. An unfurling ribbon with no end in sight.
“I give you this to take with you: Nothing remains as it was. If you know this, you can begin again, with pure joy in the uprooting.” – Judith Minty
But then you look in the mirror and you’ve become an adult. The clock kept ticking even though you were unaware of it.
I remember when I turned 30, I felt old. And I recall that sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach that said: “One day you will die.”
I can still feel the fast beating of my heart as anxiety took over for a time. The fist squeezing my heart finally eased up that day and life went on.
More time passed.
Then before I knew it, I was 40. For some odd reason, that birthday didn’t bother me at all.
And then 50 and 60.
All the time we are living and breathing, that clock is ticking.
“Love is a rose and you’d better not pick it; it only grows when it’s on the vine.” – Unknown
You look in the mirror and you see laugh lines. Sad lines. Anxious and happy and scary times all gathered there together.
Those lines create tributaries, flowing downstream, leading to even bigger bodies of water.
Where did the time go, you ask yourself when you pause to think about it?
You will live through joyous times and also heartbreak. Over the years, you will enfold people into your life.
And you will feel the tight grip of loss when they leave.
I look back now, and it is all a blur. Those years of summer vacations when I was a child. The teen years when life was so uncertain.
Becoming an adult and a wife and mother.
Until finally comes the day when you stand in front of the mirror and see that life has etched even deeper lines into your face. Furrowed lines reminiscent of rows being dug in the garden, readying the soil for planting.
Seeds were planted and sometimes they germinated and came into existence. And sometimes they didn’t.
Those were your hopes and dreams.
“Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.” – Harvey Mackay
It is so you can see that you lived. You loved. You felt deep losses. Laughed and cried and everything in between.
Those lines are there to remind you.
And though you look back and it is often more blurry than not, the memories from all those years are kept. Left there for safekeeping.
I blinked and suddenly I was in my sixties. And I can smile now at the child that thought summer vacation was endless. That child had no idea of what lay ahead.
What happens in the next decades shapes you and defines you. You are all the moments combined.
Time is flying. I noticed yesterday that my upper arms look like my grandmother’s. It shocked me, because I never noticed it before, and it made me sad. But — I still have lots of hopes and dreams to fulfill. I’m going to keep on living life to the fullest (although this darned pandemic is getting in my way)!
Hubs just retired, I’ve been retired for several years. We are being a little more blunt at this point in our lives simply because time does have a way of escaping faster and faster and therefore we are subscribing to Red’s quote from Shawshank Redemption: “get busy living or get busy dying”. Still working on my bucket list but hubs has a nice start to his. Guess I already know how easy it is to dither time and life away so you can see why getting busy living vs. the alternative is today and every day and not to be put off for tomorrow.
Thank you Brenda for this post and for all you ladies who commented because I realize that what I am feeling lately is just part of this Season of Our Lives, but, I have really been struggling with this aging process… but realize from this blog post that I am not alone as many of you seem to be experiencing the same thing …
I don’t feel or act my chronological age of 70, which I just turned in September; I am still working as a Teaching Asst/substitute at a Catholic School where I have been for 29 years and still love working with the kids and incredible Teachers! I have many Hobbies and I am active and in good health, for which I am incredibly grateful! I have so many interests, I Love All Animals, both domestic and wild, but at present have 6 rescue kitty’s! so I am at a lost as to why I am having such difficulty with aging… I try and Live just one day at a time and hoping that these feelings will pass with time.
I thought that I would share this quote with you and your readers, that I came upon a few months ago, in which I found hope and encouragement and printed it out and keep on my nightstand as a reminder when I find myself struggling a bit and I hope it might do the same for each of you…
” You are Never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream”…. C.S.Lewis
I have followed your Blog Brenda for many years now and I just love every single thing about it! Your Decor and use of color, and the incredible things that you can do in a small space and inexpensively, sharing your thoughts, your everyday life, Abi and Charlie and now Ivy and Gracie… You have such a gift of words that do bring feelings and emotions to the page so that they speak to each of us that are followers of your blog… I have learned so much from you Brenda and your followers. You are my very favorite blog and the one I visit first thing each day…. I really have come to feel that you are a Dear friend even though we have never met in person but did talk on the phone once years ago when John, Judy’s husband and your friends ,was very ill…
I rarely comment as I don’t have your talent for writing, but read and enjoy your blog posts and the comments of your followers …. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts and feelings here on your blog.
I love that you printed out the quote and put it where you will see it every day! Now that is female empowerment. I think the feelings about aging will pass. Probably come back again and rise to the surface, but that’s the same with all of us. The important thing is that you have your kitties for companions and enjoy your life! And though I’m blushing, you have made my day with your sweet words about this blog! Keep dreaming.
My mantra for 40 years now is “If Nothing Ever Changes, then Nothing Ever Changes”
I like that!
I think most of these tho’ts all the time, Brenda. This is a time in my life at 77, almost 78, that seems very bleak to me. Partly because of my health and partly because of having to live with my daughter and her family in my own house. I struggle every day to not let it defeat me. Some days I can see the positive side of things and others I can’t. Not knowing a solution is the hardest as I don’t know what, if anything, to strive for or look forward to. Sorry to be so negative but your post has touched a nerve that is always close to the surface. Perhaps 2022 will bring more sunny tho’ts. I just take it one day at a time and try not to focus on the past very much. As always, I appreciate your willingness to look at life honestly.
I’m glad that you try not to let your negative feelings defeat you. What would you strive for right now to bring happiness into your life? Would it be living alone or having something to look forward to or both? What would that something be? We’ll all help you look for a solution. We all have to take it one day at a time.
Brenda – The Love Is A Rose quote above was from a song written by Neil Young that Linda Ronstadt performed in the 70’s. Great song!
I remember that now that you mention it.
I remember when I was young I thought middle age was 40! Then when I turned 40 I moved it to 50! I really struggled when I turned 70, thinking oh my Lord, I’m really a senior citizen now! I’m 74 now and hoping I live to be at least 93 like my mother!
Well here’s to living to be 93!
I remember being upset about turning 30. Now all of a sudden I’m 70. As John Lennon said “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.”
And oh, was he right on that one.
Oh my goodness! How you take the very essence of it all and put it into one post, grabbing the soul right out until tears come. Astounding.
I try to bring feelings to the page so that they speak to people. I was shy and quiet as a child and prone to describing everything with words I wrote on a page. And I guess I’m still doing it.
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