I hit another milestone today, one of those ten year markers that loom larger and larger as they approach. We may try to ignore them, but we know they're coming, ready to snatch us by the throat and snarl in our face, dripping their nasty glee all over our orderly lives. The life we think WE control......
As I contemplate another 10 years of all this fun, I have a few random thoughts, things I have learned by screwing things up or ignoring the danger signs for way too long:
1. I've about had enough with the "smart" phones. Here's a reminder for those who can't see the signals of annoyance from across the table because your table partner's smart phones have stolen them away: If the person with you doesn't have THEIR phone out on the table or in their hand, yours shouldn't be, either.
It's a boundary that we can all recognize (I think), so the next time you go to meet a friend for ANYTHING, watch their phone. It will inform you of how they plan on interacting with YOU. They have decided that YOU are more important than whoever it is that keeps tap-tap-tapping on your attention. Don't they deserve that same respect in return?
But if people routinely slide away from you after the initial greetings and begin to avoid your invitations for....well, anything, it may be too late to salvage their friendship at all.
2. Walk. Or better yet, join the gym. Really. I watch my 93-year old mother struggle to lift her leg high enough to get into my car, and I recall all the times I encouraged her over the decades to start moving a little more. Which she ignored. This isn't New Age silliness; it's important and it can keep you mobile. And your loved ones sane.
3. Use sunscreen! A dermatologist told me a few years ago that if everyone did she would be out of work. And yet, she still suggested it to me, so that must mean something.
4. Does it ever seem to you that the way we live is a bit insane? Are we enjoying ourselves; have we made anything GREAT AGAIN lately at all?
My daughter and her family moved to Costa Rica, for Pete's sake, and seem happier dodging the bulls that make the occasional traffic jam than fighting the traffic here. They work from home but go surfing or paddle boarding or swimming every day, too. In the middle of the day!
If things do seem to have spun out of control for you, too, spend some time reevaluating how YOU'RE living these days. Are you on that silly phone all the time, both for work and to read what everyone else is doing? Do you spend time with your kids, playing games, reading together, just being silly? How long has it been since you all went on a picnic, ants be damned?
Then, use the turn of this new year as a way to "authorize" some changes in your family. Who else is going to take care of it....and you?
Here in my little corner of the world, I'm going to go back to some habits that have brought tranquility and peace to me over the years. Lighting candles for no reason, jumping in my hot tub more frequently, sitting by a fire in the morning on my patio.....and staying off social media!
My birthday has reminded me that life is a palette and I have the brush in my hand. What's your creation going to be this year?
Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art