Nature continues it’s stages of life.

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I remember being told
that time flies faster and faster
as people age.
The concept escaped me
when I was young.
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My first stage of life:   Infancy,
toddler…I only know what
I was told about that time
of my life.  It’s strange,  this is
doesn’t strike me as “aging”.
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My second stage of aging:  18 is about
as old as I can think about.
Time is hard to conceive as real.
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When I think about it,
the first time I can remember,
I was in grade school,
maybe second or third grade,
and I was aware of high school
graduation and can clearly
remember thinking,
“How does someone live long
enough to graduate
from high school. 
It seemed so far away to be eighteen.
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My third stage of aging:
18 is an adult and old is far away,
Maybe fifty.  Time doesn’t matter.
There is plenty of it.
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The years passed and there I was
eighteen and graduating. 
I can remember thinking about
the future and how “old” we were
and our parents and teachers told
us how young we were and not
mature enough to do what we thought
was our right:  to marry, have children,
move on to our own lives.
Could it have been our fancy hair,
make up and white gloves ?
We were always dressed “properly”
to go out shopping….
no jeans and tee shirts in those days.
I still recall, the blue steel heeled
high heels I loved to wear shopping
downtown Minneapolis….
and how they’d tap tap tap
on the sidewalk as I walked
from store to store.
(I repeat myself I know,
and I’m sure I’ll mention these
favorite shoes again Smiling face (black and white)).
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My fourth stage of aging:
adulthood means parenting
and when the children left
home, that was the end of
parenting.  I’d be free and clear
of that responsibility.  HA !
Real life happens when you
are having other plans !
Time has a sense of humor.
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Nursing school, marriage, and
two children filled my early adulthood.
I thought the days of children,
school days and growing up for
Bret and Stacey would take forever.
Now, the time has flown…
and flown for them…
they are sending their children
off into the world to fend for themselves
in a less kind world than I remember
when I was sent into the world
of being a “grown-up.”
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And when is that:  ?grown-up?
occur ???? 
What age, what period
of life.  It seems vague and fleeting
to me.
I think it happened when I was working,
sometimes 3 jobs, usually two:
nursing and teaching CNAs,
raising two children, and I don’t
think it sunk in at the time,
my adulthood was flying by.
Then there was the day,
I looked at a photo of my paternal
grandmother, and realized that I
was about the same age as she was
in the photo with me as a toddler.
She looked OLD, hairnet,
“old lady” clothes
and black sturdy “old lady” shoes…
It made a definite impression on me.
Did I look THAT old ?
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Working with the elderly
as a nurse, I had the opportunity
to ask people how  old they felt
“mentally” despite their infirmities.
Thirty, thirty-five, they’d answer.
Now I am past middle age,
…. it took someone to ask me how
old I’d be living if “middle age” was
close to sixty. 
It did seem unreasonable to think
I’d live to be one hundred twenty.
That gave me lots to think about.
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My fifth stage of aging:  what happened
to my youth ?
When did I get this old ?
I don’t feel old.  I can’t be old.
Time matters.  Time is fleeting.
It’s time to make plans and follow thru.
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So, now I am at the age
of “patch, patch, patch.”
A time of making bucket lists,
and thinking of decisions I made
when I came to a fork in the road.
Looking back,
knowing the decisions I made
were the best I could do at the time.
As did all those I came in contact
with…we do the best we can at the
moment with all we are dealing with.
My parents did…
and there is no blame to go around.
I reacted to what happened in my
life with what I knew and my
history the best I could.
I guess that is all one can ask of others,
and take responsibility for our
choices along the way.
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Sixth stage of aging:
reminiscing,  wondering
where the time went,
thinking my body may be old
but I’m not.
(I do not have a stage for dying.
It is live, then take last breath.)
Time to make sense of one’s life.
Time to do what needs to be done.
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So, a bit of fantasy, reality.
A bit of philosophy.
Now is the time for action.
Time is of the essence.
At any age,
the hardest thing to know
is that we don’t know how
much time we have…
but at a “certain age”
we realize, the numbers
are starting to dwindle and
it’s time to have fun,
continue to have younger friends,
and plan adventures.
If you hear I took a balloon ride
or decided to put sparkles
in my hair….
it’s okay.  I am making up
for lost time when I thought
I was an adult and had to
act like an adult…
be serious, take responsibility
and not have fun:
like I knew what one was.
I was wrong….
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Cheer for me.
I didn’t really have a first
childhood….
I was one of those
“old children”
I DO KNOW I can’t climb
trees, roller blade and
climb mountains with the
tendency I have for falling,
but there are things I CAN do,
that will raise some eyebrows,
cause some chit chat,
I can deal with all that.
Cheer for me,
aging, hippy dippy,
(I love George Carlin still.
I love how “hippy dippy”
sounds on my lips
and in my mind)
artsy fartsy,
seeing what “child like”
can do for the soul.
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The times of our lives
are unique to each of us.
My times, aren’t your times,
but we can learn from each other,
and validate each other.
Time flies whether we pay
attention or not.

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