it goes on.

It's a gentle thing. a collection of moments, evolving into a life. Disclaimers aside, I am enjoying it so. I am fairly certain my memories are intact, at least the best of them. And I also think it is safe to say, my memories are selective. It's easy for me to remember the big stuff. the headliners. but it's the little things that make my toes curl. However. One of the loveliest things about memory, in my humble opinion, is that they can be easily taught. they are open to influence.  And it never requires much nudging, at least in my case, to call to mind all the twinkly bits.

I'll remember, for sure, the very moments my boys were born.  how happiness came to me the day I wore a new-to-me vintage lace dress. a stolen moment by a lake is forever locked in my heart. and how, thanks to one solid childhood, and loving family, it really is all that it's cracked up to be. I'll not soon forget unconditional love. or how waking up by the ocean is a one-spot-on-show-stopper. I will long hold onto this big lump of gratitude. I'll think back fondly on the way things were and dream of the way they will be. as I settle in. life is deceptively simple, sometimes tragic but mostly, a big boatload of magic. confirming the universal truth, once again, that it goes on. yeah. it goes on. No matter which way I spin it, at the end of the journey, there's that.  This thrills me to no end, because I'm sort of an unconditional optimist. I have been know to top off half empty glasses, just to bring them up to snuff and quite possibly just a pinch above. And really, how can that be bad? 

If you're anything like me, you see the problem right away. it sounds hopelessly cliche and common  and maybe just a tad bit trite.  Oh man! where to start? Doesn't sound promising, when I see it in writing, but there's an awful lot going on in my head just now. This is not exactly one of my best kept secrets, but let me assure you, I do have my wits about me. Not bad, for an old broad. a.n.d. while I'm not exactly going over to the dark side, as of late I have found myself doing some rather strange things. I have taken to dissecting my life. searching for anything that needs changing or removing. also, that which contains even a hint, or the slightest trace of negativity, anything even remotely dowdy with a minutia that would make a forensic scientist proud. And I can stop old age talk in it's tracks. in ways that never cease to astonish even me.

But.  But. 
Despite my best attempts to slow it all down, another year has come and gone, and I am contemplating it in my usual, quiet way (just go with it). And as is my tradition every single year, I did a re-cap. journals, re-read. scrapbooks, in progress. photos, everywhere. and my new favorite, smash books. the result is layers upon layers of the past unfolding. my life overflowing with memories that are casually whipped about. one gorgeous, ravishingly delicious delight after another. While I believe that I have yet to reach my stride, my peak physical years sadly have come and gone, and today, well, the lines are winning. I'm getting a bit fuzzy, and a few streaks of gray sophisticated silver runs through my hair. which by the way has become extremely unruly. keeping in shape takes more effort every day. still... my inner child is alive and well. thriving even, thank you very much (!!). I have always been a rebel by nature, and the youthful me is grappling to stay in control. still full of energy and mischief, not content to sit and twiddle thumbs or let society call the shots. It may be said that silliness does not become a woman of a certain age, and while I have no control over the passage of time, how I spend it is my choice. my spirit is my own creation, to do with as I wish. 

My personal fountain of youth, is not just wrinkle free skin and shiny hair, rather it is a feeling of complete joy, that inner peace, embodied by the young at heart. I am trying to recapture the carefree feelings from childhood, when those feeling came naturally to me. And in all honesty, it gets easier every day. Being happy  hardly seems a predicament, to look at it.  After all, it's not the years that age us. And I don't know about you, but I think the difference between those who are eighty years young and those who are thirty years old is the ability to let go.  The more we hold on, to the things that don't matter, the more stuck we become. A rule of nature is that which stops flowing stagnates and putrefies. So, not flowing is out. stagnating and putrefying doesn't sit well with me either. letting go is a nice compromise.  And because life is short, being miserable is not an option. Did I mention being happy? Because what's the point if your not? And then there's the letting go. of old ideas. grudges from the past. pain you carry with you. holding on to these things only makes you feel tired...and old. I know, right there's a lot going on here.

still, I take great pleasure in my girlish silliness. my lack of respect for the rules of behavior that are said to apply to people my age. True, I am now squarely centered in that “woman of a certain age” category. I look in the mirror and see the lines on my skin. I feel the weight of the years softly sitting on my shoulders. gently pulling me home. gravity I have found is also not my friend. My faithful bones creak a bit and my back has just the slightest slouch. I'm trying to exercise, stretch, do yoga more. breathing has become more conscious. But for all of the outward changes, the slow but inevitable metamorphoses that the years bring, they cannot even compete with the inward shift in the opposite direction.

So “remember when!” followed immediately by “I was so young!” is a game I play. less rules, more childish chit chat from someone who does not feel old. though the years have rolled by. Indeed, I laugh  in the face of Old Man Time and plan to hold on to my childish glee with an ironclad grip.
There may be a brief moment when we achieve the perfect balance, when we reach some ideal age, that place in time where it all comes together effortlessly, perfect, pure and sublime, I like to think that time is now. Tonight I'm playing Joni Mitchell on repeat and thinking about life. how fleeting it is. how it rushes by, a whisper blown away on the wind. aging is a strange process, yet somehow it feels pretty magical.


 chocolate sandwich cookies with orange filling
(go here for recipe)


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