I’m Moving On…. Nothing is predestined.

"The obstacles of your past can become the gateways that lead to new beginnings" by Henry Davis Thoreau

I hear myself saying out loud, “it’s ok, it is really ok.” It’s ok that I am now having a harder time losing 10 pounds, it’s ok that I can’t remember names as well as I once did. I suppose it’s ok that my husband and I no longer have the earning power to make money that we once did.

Change is unwelcome, especially as you get older and yet, change is the only thing in life that is for sure.

As we age, I think we are a little reluctant to embrace a different world. Ironically, at this age, we are facing the most changes in our life.

Some of the changes that stand out for me are: (1) Rearing children in a different way. (2) Marriage is not accepted by everyone in our society. Some prefer to live together. (3) Even though technology is moving forward, (cell phones, e-mail) I think people are feeling even more isolated. (4) Many employers shy away from hiring “older people”, thus making the older population feel unwanted and unappreciated.
Now that I think about it, maybe it’s not so much the change itself, as the realization that values and memories from childhood are disappearing. That makes us feel invisible. That tears our beloved memories apart, as if it never happened.

Remember your childhood. Remember how safe you felt. We never locked our doors. Doctors made house calls. Dry cleaning and fresh milk was delivered to your door. The grocer in the small town where I came from always let you have groceries, whether you had the money or not. He would keep a running tab but I am sure some of the people could never pay.(I am not suggesting that grocers go by this example now.) Of course, 50’s Music was the best! I don’t remember such a thing as an “R” rated movie. There are times when I feel that God made a mistake and I was supposed to be born in the “Little House on the Prairie” era.

Recently, when my grandchild came to visit, she didn’t know what a thermometer was, that is not the kind of thermometer I had. She knew what a digital thermometer was. Needless to say, she was confused when I had to “shake down” the thermometer before taking her temperature. She also showed me how to open “child-proof” medicine bottles. When I complimented this six year old child on how great she looked in her aqua tee shirt, she answered, “only people over sixty use the word “aqua.” We have a good relationship but I bet she tells her mommy how strange grandmother is at times, especially to use the word, “aqua.”

I have to turn this around quickly, lest you think I am negative and bitter. First of all, if you don’t have a sense of humor at this age, you need to get one.

Most of the time, I don’t REALLY listen to my husband and he doesn’t REALLY listen to me. Therefore, we have come to an agreement; Never preface a statement with “like I said” or “I guess you didn’t hear me but…….” We have to laugh at some of the things we do or don’t do. I think it is funny that we are “Mommy” and “Daddy” to our pet dog, Sunny, I’m sure my grown children think it is funny, too. If you can laugh at yourself and what you are experiencing, you will be a much happier and more age-accepting person.

Besides having a sense of humor, what about the changes I mentioned? Let’s look again. (1) Rearing children in a different way; this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I see my daughters wisely spending more time with their children versus trying to keep a perfect house all the time. A perfectly clean house seemed to be the prize in my younger days. Let’s see who can have the whitest diapers (I hung them on the line) or who can do the most. I would sew all our clothes, cook, do housework and when taking them to dance or swimming class, I would take some craft work to do while waiting.

You know what I wish now? Wish I had watched the classes, did less cleaning and played and read more to my four daughters. I think that my daughters are actually better at parenting than I was. Each generation seems to evolve. In my mother’s day, children were seen and now heard…..that wasn’t good. Look how we have improved and evolved.(2)

Marriage is not accepted by all in our society; Maybe this is a good thing. When I was in college, most of the girls came back to school after Christmas vacation sporting an engagement ring. That was the ultimate. Oh, how I worried that I wouldn’t ever get married and have children. You definitely had to have all of your children by the age of thirty. Marriage, for the sake of being married was definitely the ultimate for a young girl. Having said that, I really lucked out because I have a wonderful husband that loves me. We have grown together as time marches on. I really believe in marriage but I am glad the young women of today are preparing to earn a living and be independent. Marriage is a good thing but it is not for everyone.

(3)Even though technology is moving forward, I think people feel more isolated; What can I say about this? I do get so annoyed listening to cell phone conversations everywhere that I go, but then, if you need to get in touch with someone, you can. E-mail is great because it takes the place of letter writing and we are more likely to express ourselves. How about the cute e-cards that you can send out? I have to say that technology wins on this one, too.

(4) Many employees shy away from hiring “older people.” I do think that is true in some work cultures. However, I think they will be forced to accept older people more willingly as the median age of our society climbs upward. I think the baby boomers will get all of this straightened out. Until then, if you must work, try to find a fun job. Try to do something you have always wanted to do and don’t be so serious. You don’t have to run a corporation in your sixties. Let the baby boomers do it. We don’t have to prove anything anymore. We can just be ourselves.

I didn’t mention this earlier but I think as we grow older, there is a certain “knowing” that we really will die. When you are younger, you feel that you have plenty of time but it is different in your fifties and sixties. Just look at the obituaries in the newspaper. I believe you are happier if you accept this fact the best you can. Accept it by making or at least talking about funeral arrangements and get your life in order. Once you face it dead on, it doesn’t seem to be like a monster in the dark. I think most of us face this. It isn’t so much the dying, as hoping that we won’t die an awful, painful death. Keeping the death thing in mind, enjoy each day fully. The past is gone, the future is not here. So, we only have today. Life is a gift and that’s why each day we live is called the present.

Something wonderful has happened to me the last few months. Underneath the “knowing” that I really will die is an undercurrent of my strong Christian beliefs that there is another life……a wonderful life…and I know that for sure…I hear myself singing hymns that I used to sing years ago. In knowing how to live, I will know how to die……..I hear myself singing and I am happy that I am at this age…..it’s like a well-kept secret. It’s a happy, satisfying time of your life! I’m Moving on…..

Author's Bio: 

Has an AA from St Petersburg College. She writes poetry, short stories and articles. Co-author of "Character Keys to a Bright Future." Her web sites are http://www.goodcharacterpress.com/ and http://www.writing-write.info/