The Landscape of Aging

parkway 300 003-2If you look at a few of my posts, you might be able to learn who I am – at least pretty close. I don’t have any hard evidence but I believe what catches our eye, what we find interesting, reflects our inner landscape. If I shared what my inner landscape looks like right now, you would think I was an adolescent trying to figure out who I am. My inner dialog has been asking questions like; who am I? and, how do people see me?parkway 300 098-2

I am sometimes very outspoken, standing out strong, being different than the people around me. I have always had strong convictions. As I have gotten older my convictions haven’t weakened but I have become aware of the the complexity of truth. I’m finding it is much more difficult to express what I believe because I have grown to know that beliefs about our worlds need to be supported with truths – whole truths. I still want to stand out, but I don’t want to become just another talking head – yelling over the other talking heads expressing opinions as if they were facts.

parkway 300 102-2

Other times I recognize how much I blend in with the crowd, and I like it. It’s not because I want to be like everyone else, but it is a recognition of the diversity of personalities. I enjoy how the random combination of genes created us to be very different but also how we share similar core feelings and experiences. I have grown to appreciate and be comfortable in my relationships with people as I have become more confident in being the person I was created to be.Β Parkway 100 062-2

One of the characteristics of getting old is that we become more of who we have always been and most people become more complex. Because I have been open to new experiences, I continue to develop new aspects of my personality.

If I were to pick a food that best reflects my personality it would be a well-made vegetable soup. Like all the flavors blending together in the soup, I have developed a rich blend of characteristics. I’m complex, but with nothing hidden. When we lean over that pot of soup we smell the complex aromas but when we give it a stir we understand the nature of the broth; we see all the ingredients. How fun it is to experience how different combinations of ingredients creates unique tastes. It is a simple dish, and with simple variations it has nourished people since fire was harnessed for cooking.

I like being both simple and complex. I like being a unique individual but also enjoy being part of something bigger.Β I like being who I am but am excited when I feel change happening. The change I am experiencing now seems to be finding a new voice born of wisdom. Would you like to join me around the table for a bowl of soup and stimulating conversation? I’m confident we will all be nurtured.

(My thoughts today were stimulated by these photographs I took on our travels down the Blue Ridge Parkway in Fall 2014.)

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23 Comments »

  1. Aging is certainly not for the faint of heart is it. πŸ™‚ I haven’t figured out if it is a valley or a mountain – going down or going up. Maybe it is just the fact that it is both – just another chapter in life. Absolutely love the first photo – gorgeous.

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    • Thanks, Judy. I taught a course on aging about 25 years ago, but it didn’t prepare me for getting old. πŸ˜€ There are a lot of facts out there – but people don’t talk about the emotional challenges. At least not in ways that have been useful for actually doing it. πŸ˜€

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  2. Pat, your posts often send me to introspecting, and today’s no different. I enjoyed your thoughtful ruminations, and loved your photo choices to accompany your words.

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    • Thanks, Heather. I think we all face the same few issues that repeat themselves throughout our adult life cycle – although the triggers are different at different ages. They probably surprise me because I think, I’ve already resolved this so I shouldn’t be wrestling with it again at 70. πŸ™‚

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      • Dear Pat and Heather
        Thank you both for your entry and comment that inspires me a lot. Seeing the complexity of life and personality of humans often makes me speechless. I love to read, Pat, your words. Today, it’s the third time that I went through your entry and have again discovered new ideas.
        God bless you.

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    • Thanks, Julie. I know I am on the right course because on some days prayer is just laughter with God. It appears like you are waiting for us to bring warm weather with us tomorrow.

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  3. Exactly put! And the photos accompanying it were well placed. As one on the other half of 50, I so concur with that “one of the characteristics of getting old is that we become more of who we have always been”, and yet, also open to new experiences. Liked this very much.

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  4. This, in my opinion is a very powerful post and I love the title too. You’ve put it so well here, “I still want to stand out, but I don’t want to become just another talking head – yelling over the other talking heads expressing opinions as if they were facts.” Brilliant post Pat.

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  5. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Pat. The thing about getting older is that there is no preventing it. And so it is helpful & probably even wise to embrace it. Yesterday I met with a longtime school friend and it occurred to me that we have known one another for almost half a century & we laughed and were amazed at the same time. thinking about it now makes me realize & appreciate that this is a gift that no 20 or 30 year old has. There are incredible benefits to having lived to the present moment and I am grateful to be alive here and now.
     
    My smartphone isn’t all that smart when it comes to blogging and it won’t let me sign in as pix & kardz but it is really me. πŸ™‚

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    • What a great comment. JB and I have been married for over half a century now. I really have a hard time getting my mind around that. I agree totally that it is a gift to have so much experience stored within my brain. It would be fun to say I’ve lived a century, but only if my body and mind holds out well enough for my to have a good quality of life. And I’m glad you are really you. πŸ™‚

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