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As I began my day my mind was racing. Thoughts of the joys and challenges of aging were vying for my attention. Aging is an interesting developmental stage.

When we were 2, 6, 10 , 16, we could not be ignored. Our voices were loud. Our needs were clear - food, shelter, guidance, play, touch, love - and we moved into adulthood when we hopefully provided those things for ourselves.

Now, as the elders, the white haired baby-boomers, we still require the same things. Full circle. And how do we make our voices, our needs, heard. Like the two year old, repeat it over and over and louder and louder, then stomp our feet.

Pause. Anyone paying attention?

There’s another way, as we teach our two year olds still. Take a breath. Calm down. Don’t give up the need, the wish. Ask differently.

Joan Chittister wrote THE GIFT OF YEARS, GROWING OLDER GRACEFULLY. Each chapter is short, concise, rich with insight. And, my favorite part, at the end of the chapter are two perspectives on the chapter’s topic - viewing it as a burden and viewing it as a blessing. My mind conversation is expanded as I contemplate my burden view and my blessing view. I find I need to pause and consider both and not in a right or wrong way - in a “think about it” way. Pay attention way. What do I really think way.

I can get tangled in the burden - oh, there are burdens with aging - AND there are burdens in every stage of development. Sometimes the burden I’m experiencing overshadows the blessings. Does this happen to you? I am searching for understanding, connection with others who get how heavy my burden is.

But in reality it is the blessings of the events that draw people, relationships, to me.

Who wants to be with “Debbie Downer”? We can visit her alone. We all want to share joy, deep love, caring. And we want to continue to make a difference and be acknowledged as thinking, caring adults. Do not prop me in a corner like a faded blanket. I am still laughing out loud, dancing in the kitchen, banging the pots and pans - having fun. We are made to be resilient. We are proof of that. All of us have survived to “old” age. Let’s show the world we may be old, but we “ain’t dead”!

Find the blessing in your day, everyday.

Cheers to us!


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