2022 is a big year for me - and a few of my friends, as well!
In March, I will be completing my 65th trip around our bright, beautiful, life-giving sun. And with it comes all of the benefits afforded - Medicare, Social Security, retirement. How I ever arrived at this age is beyond me. I swear I was 21 just yesterday!
Each morning when I awaken, I peer at the world through the same eyes that I have looked through all of my life. Without the aid of a mirror, I would believe that I am the same person I was so many years ago.
But, the mirror is there, and I see the changes that time has bestowed. I'm not complaining. And though there are many things that I can no longer do - like a cartwheel (I'm sure I'd break a wrist) - there are so many things that I can do that I love. In fact, there is a lifetime supply of things that I enjoy. I feel fortunate.
A lovely woman on instagram @iconaccidental is writing a book entitled How To Be Old. She is dedicating it to her mother who taught her that it is never too late to reinvent and make the world what you want it to be.
That word "reinvent" got me thinking about how I am going to live these next years of my life. To me, reinvention is definitely the key to aging gracefully. Our bodies do not allow us to remain the same but constantly push us towards metamorphosis. Our challenge is to change our minds to complement the changes in our bodies.
For me, staying in somewhat constant motion has been important. The phrase "use it or lose it" rings true. Without movement, we lose fluidity. And I believe this applies to not just our bodies, but also to our minds. If we don't push ourselves to expand, we stagnate.
To quote Dylan Thomas, "I will not go gently into that good night...."
And to quote Hunter S. Thompson, “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”
And so, with each passing year, I try reinventing myself. I continue to push myself to learn new things. Painting is one of those things. As long as I learn and improve, I consider myself a success. Most importantly, it brings me joy and enhances my ability to observe subtleties of the world around me.
My plan for the rest of my life, Lord willing, is to keep doing what I do, until I can no longer. At that point, however, I will not stop, but will simply do the next thing... and the next. I hope to be known as that slightly odd, little old lady who lives in the woods with her chickens, cats, and donkeys. I hope to be able to care for my animals (whomever is alive by that time), and tend my gardens (though I'm sure they'll grow wilder over the years), wear long, flowing dresses, gather eggs, and paint and write of the beauty of my world until the day when the eyes of my youth finally close. If, by that time, I am ever compared to Tasha Tudor, my life will be complete!
And yes, an eternal optimist, I have always looked at my world through rose-colored lenses. I will also be the first to admit that I am very lucky, and for this I am filled with gratitude.
My Mother always said "Life is not a dress rehearsal." That lesson always stuck with me. Thanks, Mom.
You might notice that today's blog has nothing to do with today's photos. The photos were shot yesterday as we worked around the farm, and later as we ran a couple errands.
On the subject of painting... I painted this on Monday. Then I threw it out into the internet to a group of painters and asked for tips.
Yesterday I repainted it, utilizing their tips.
We have much to learn from others. If there is something you long to do... DO IT! Re-invent yourself! It's never too late!