A trip to the airport had me up and about earlier than usual this morning. On the ride home, just Gaston and myself in the car, my mind went to, as it often does, the elder stage of development and what it must be like for some.
It occurred to me that, at 54, although I see the world differently than I could have earlier in my life (isn’t that always true!), I still fee quite youthful. The world is an exciting playground with which to explore and express. I easily relate to younger people, as I can remember the various stages I passed through before them. Of course I don’t know what any one person, from any one generation, may or may not be feeling, but that is not the point of relating. For me, relating is remaining curious and open to all perspectives, in a way that honors all humanity.
And truly, I feel as alive and vital as I did when I was younger, maybe more so in some respects.
Which got me thinking about elders. I’ve never been older than I am, at least not in this lifetime, or that I can recall, so I can’t really know what it feels like to be 80 or 90 or 100. (or 60 or 70 for that matter!) Is it as big a surprise at that age to look in the mirror and see the changing body, skin, hair, teeth, all of it, as it is for me to notice a new shock of gray hair, or sagging chin-skin? (My new passport picture was the tip off!) Is being ignored by the younger generation frustrating or a welcome relief?
Whatever the answers may be for any individual, one thing my curiosity allows me is to benefit from the gifts that every person has to offer. Each time I suspend an assumption and delve more deeply into not knowing, the more I grow and expand and embrace all that life has to offer. What we judge as “good”, or “bad” or anything in between and beyond…..
Thanks, I needed that!