#MidWeek POV #wwwblogs Aging Gracefully. Or not.

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Me? I don’t THEENK so!

In less than a month, on glorious St. Patrick’s Day, I’ll turn seventy-two. SEVENTY. TWO. It boggles my mind, especially when I look into the mirror and see an old lady looking back at me. Most days, I still think of myself as young. Barely an adult. Then I remind myself that I wasn’t cast for a permanent run as Sweet Young Thing, and start thinking about all the things I want to do in the time allotted to me. Of course, I’ll have to live to be  134 to accomplish half of them. 😉

I’d like to hear how you good folks feel about aging. How do you deal with the new aches and pains, for instance? I have good days and bad days. Sometimes I spend part of the day grousing that nothing looks the same as it used to look, nothing works as well as it used to work, and some things aren’t even in the same PLACE they used to be. What’s up with that? I purely hate it when my parts stop working before I’m done with them, too! (Eyes and ears come to mind, immediately.) But by and large, I’m blessed to be doing as well as I am, and enjoying the heck out of my writing and meeting readers in central Florida. Life is good, for the most part, and I know I’m a lucky lady.

In honor of growing older, here’s a poem I wrote while contemplating my 70th birthday, now long gone by. Hope you enjoy it! 🙂

46E3UDc

On the River

Crystal green flows beneath me,
Leafy arches rise above,
  Dip, glide.
     Dip, glide.
          Slide.

Duckweed parts as I float by.
I wonder where they went,
Those ducks?
Gone overnight, it seems.
Another parting, another loss,
And I slide by,
Under all that green.
  Dip, glide.
     Dip, glide.

Just there, in deepest shade,
Sleeping emeralds cling.
Tree frogs rest in their
Smooth, damp skins
Waiting for the silver moon.
They’ll open their eyes for the silver moon.
Sleeping now,
As I pass by.
  Dip, glide.
     Dip, glide.

With arms raised to that same moon,
I once danced along the shore,
Young and wild and full of joy.
Moving to music
That stirred my soul,
And washed in that pale light,
I danced.
Years ago, in that pale, pale light.
I remember it all,
And so much more,
As I slide by.
  Dip, glide.
     Dip, glide.

A scaled ribbon of vivid lime
Scribbles across my bow,
Curving by in his own silent slide.
I smile at Dickinson’s “narrow fellow”
Tasting the air with his tongue of flame.
I feel no “zero at the bone” for him,
For I have known far worse than he,
And survived.
With a nod of my head,
I pass him, too.
And on I go.
  Dip, glide.
     Dip, glide.

Time and time and time goes by,
And still, green fronds protect me from above,
Green water lifts me from below,
Carrying me ceaselessly on my way.
Slower, now that Youth is gone,
Yet, sometimes a froth of foam and spray
Reminds me of those early days,
When all the water rushed clear and cold,
And teemed with Promise so bright
You could almost catch it in your hands.
That bubbling spring where it all began,
Now lies so far behind.
Far behind, and long ago,
While I move on.
  Dip, glide.
     Dip, glide.

Always forward,
One stroke at a time,
The only path from Here to There.
One stroke following another,
And I, all the while,
Still cherish the trees above,
The water below.
I wonder as a turn grows near,
What adventures wait beyond the bend?
Will they make my heart beat fast again?
How many shimmering curves lie before me yet?
How long does my river flow?
  Dip, glide.
     Dip, glide.
          Dip, glide.             
              Slide.

42 thoughts on “#MidWeek POV #wwwblogs Aging Gracefully. Or not.

  1. I’ve still a way to go before I hit seventy… and hope I’ll do so with some speed 🙂 I am not a fan of the stiffening and loosening process… all the bits seem to have their wires crossed and do the wrong one…but on the whole I’m enjoying this end of life far better than the beginning. Like you, I feel no older inside. Just more comfortable 🙂 Hope you have a fun birthday planned, Marcia!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I swear, I’m the oldest person I know! Hahaha. But you’ve just revealed one of my secrets for staying active . . . hang out with folks who are YOUNGER than you are! (Leave those old fogies in their rocking chairs, and travel with the people who are DOING things.) Yes, stiffening when they should be loose, and loosening when they shouldn’t! The heck with that. It’s a poor system that lets your body fall apart just as you are finally getting some sense in your head, isn’t it? (And by “you,” I mean all of humanity, of course!) 🙂 I have nothing planned for my birthday, but I’ve asked my husband to build me a new potting bench, in the hopes I’ll find time to garden this year. Gardening is important to me, and it has fallen by the wayside since I started writing. I’m inviting it back into my life!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Being old is more a state of mind than body, I believe… and my body can go hang if it thinks it is telling me what to do over the next few decades 🙂 I might have to treat it a bit more gently and with a certain amount of fond indulgence, much as I’d treat an elderly car… but hey, I love my little old car 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • I agree that aging involves a positive state of mind and is mostly about having the right attitude. But boy, there are things your body can throw at you to really make it difficult. Still, every single day when I wake up, I think to myself, “Here I am, still here, and still crazy after all these years.” (If I had a theme song, that would be it.) And I know as I rise and face the day that I’ve been given another chance to do it all better. I love that about Life. No matter how badly we screw up, we get chance after chance to do it better. Until we don’t. At which time, we better hope we’ve given it our all while we could!

          But that’s just me. What do I know? I’m OOOOOLLLLD!!! 😀

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  2. I am totally with you, Marcia! You put into words my very thoughts, though, I still have several years( not many) to catch up with you. I wish I would be as active and full of wit when reaching seventy as you are now.
    Loved your poem. Deep. Let me answer to it with one of mine, called The Fairy:

    The clear rill runs happily,
    Down sweet and greenish slopes,
    And carries on a blue-bell leaf
    My wishes and my hopes.

    I beg a fairy of the rill
    To watch it night and day,
    Until its waters reach the sea;
    Not waste it on the way.

    She looks at me, waving her hand
    And bursts in playful laughter:
    “Don’t worry your cherished craves
    Are cautiously looked after !”
    …………………………….
    But as no wish has come true, yet,
    I go back to the rill
    To find its waters long dried out….
    No fairy on the hill?

    I gave up hope, lost all dreams;
    But what I most regret:
    The clear waters of my youth
    With the fairies it had !

    Warm hugs for your anniversary!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Carmen, and thanks for sharing your lovely poem. (Wish it had a happier ending, and that all your hopes had been met.) My life has been a lot of things, but never boring! And thinking of it as a river I’m paddling down gives me a perspective that makes it all seem to fit into the grand scheme of things better. Except for that part about how my bad back probably has me stretched out in the bottom of the canoeing, staring straight up! 😀

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  3. Pingback: #MidWeek POV #wwwblogs Aging Gracefully. Or not. – cherylanne57

  4. I still think of myself as a teenager – well, in my head – certainly not the body as I can totally understand your comment on ‘things’ not being were they used be be!! Everything dropped seven inches south when I had my first child. I was a kid of the 80s and loved everything about it, the trouble is I still think I’m there – and so is everyone else. I was a huge fan of Michael Praed (Robin of Sherwood) and nearly fell off my chair when I saw a recent photo of him. The same goes for Marty Pellow and Tony Hadley – when did we grow up? In my head I’m a seventeen year old with great ambitions and then I’ll walk past the mirror and think ‘that can’t be right!’ ha ha 🙂

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    • I can totally identify with that, Shelley. Every time I read of the death of another famous person, I think, wait? What do you mean he was 84? That can’t be right! He was only a few years older than I am! *pause* Oh.

      It’s like Time is playing some kind of Cosmic trick on us, isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I turned sixty last year and it was a shock! I’m still in shock. 🙂 Like you, I don’t feel ‘old’ inside. I feel young and full of spirit. My body is not exactly co-operating, though. I love it when older people are still doing what they love and well…just doing! I’m not going to sit around and be one of the old grumps. I’m going to write and play! 🙂 Have a wonderful birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good for you, Jackie. That’s the way to do it! I’ve still got another three weeks, before the ONE switches to a TWO, but as you can tell, I’m thinking about it already. 😀 I’ll have fun, whatever happens, because I made it another year, and I’m doing the thing I most wanted to do in life. Finally. 🙂

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  6. While 72 sounds like a big number to me, I recall that not long ago 60 sounded huge and now I’m 63. I still feel remarkably good, no aches or pains and I can pretty much do what I’ve always done. I don’t look the same but I feel mostly the same as I ever did. I think I do, but then again, my memory isn’t as good as it once was! All things considered, attitude remains sassy and I think that matters most. Certainly aging beats the alternative still, right? Happy birthday in advance. Have a blast!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 72 sounds like a big number to me, too, Debbie! 🙂 Glad you feel so good. I did, too, 9 years ago, but since have had some major issues to deal with. However, I got through them, and I’m still going! You have the right attitude…that’s the one that says a LOT of what aging brings to folks is in their own mind. And yes, aging beats the alternative. For a while, anyway. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve decided not to be any age. When I told my daughters I was going to grow old disgracefully they both looked at me and said, ” what do you mean- going to be!” I have achieved my aim!! Good luck to us all for a long time. And Marcia, love the poem, and enjoy your garden – while you write. Jx

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s something to be said for achieving your goals early! Well done! Now you must set another one, and achieve that one, as well. 😀 Yes, the best to each of us as we soldier on, because really, what other choice do we have? Nothing is acceptable but to keep on keepin’ on, and enjoying every minute of every day. I’m going to do better with my garden this year. It once was VERY pretty out there. And the bones are still there, so I just have to find a few hours each week to tidy up, trim back, and replant. I’m gonna do it!!! Honest, I am. No, really. I mean it. 😀 Most likely.

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  8. Writing poetry is a marvelous gift…and you have it, Marcia. I was deeply stirred by “On The River” and the meaning behind your moving words. My Austrian grandparents had an expression: “Old too fast; smart too late.” The truth is, though, that life is for learning. That’s what the journey is all about.

    Yes, it’s harder to do things as we age, but we’ve no choice but to meet those challenges or give up on life. My arthritis pales by comparison to brain cancer. As I sit beside my dying friend, wishing I could rewrite the end of her story, I’m thankful for everything, including my pain. Talented as my friend is, she has no no time left to pursue creative endeavors. She’ll never paint another beautiful watercolor again…

    No mistake about it: Growing old is a privilege. Here’s to making every day count!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You couldn’t win my heart better than by complimenting my poetry, Linda. 🙂 I’ve been writing rhymes since I was four years old, and even though most of my poems don’t rhyme any more, it’s still a deep love of mine. Novels sell better, but poetry makes my heart sing.

      And everything is relative, as they say. Pain is difficult to endure, but there are levels to it, and ways to cope, usually. But watching a friend die is a sure way to make you recognize how blessed you are to still be able to wake up every day and pursue your dreams. I’m so sorry about your friend, and I know words can’t fix kind of loss. I’ve been in your shoes, and it’s a humbling, painful thing. Bless you for sitting with her.

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  9. I’m working towards my goal of becoming an eccentric old lady one day. I just have my doubts I’ll recognise it when it happens!
    I recently passed my middle fifties, and I just can’t believe it! To be frank, I’m refusing to think about it as much of the time as I can. I’ve made one concession though – as I’m still a working professional sportswoman, I’ve finally accepted that my body isn’t able to stay supple on its own. I now have physio once a week, and have begun to diligently perform all the exercises I’m set instead of doing them once and going, “can’t be bothered – they take up too much time,” as I did until recently. And lo and behold, they are having a positive effect!
    I asked my physio if I’d left it too late to resurrect the body I used to have, and with the optimism of youth, she said firmly “no!”
    I’m not so sure, but at least I’m doing something about it now. I’m hoping to have a fair amount of time (fingers crossed) to keep it going – I’m still caring for both my parents, aged 95 and 96, so the long life genes are there!
    What do you have planned for the upcoming birthday?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eccentric old lady doesn’t sound bad to me. I might be there already. 🙂 Good for you, taking steps to improve your physical condition and overall health. It’s never to let to make changes, even if you can’t get all the way back to your youth. I have great faith in you, because look . . . you’re DOING it! Yay, you!

      I haven’t made any special plans for my birthday, though I do hope I get my new potting bench built. I’d like to start making time for my garden again, and that would be a step in that direction.

      Have a great evening!

      Liked by 1 person

      • What a great idea for a present! Have wanted a dedicated potting area for years but keep on ending up making do. I adore gardening, haven’t had enough time to do more than the essentials in recent years (there’s this thing called ‘writing’ that keeps me busy) but I’m going to try Robin Hobb’s approach: “I do all my writing while gardening. Sitting at the keyboard is just where I work”.

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        • Before I started writing 2-1/2 years ago, I gardened at least a bit every day. And when I wasn’t gardening, I was sitting on the shady patio, reading, and otherwise restoring my soul, which is what a garden does best! 🙂 Last year, I simply couldn’t leave the computer, and my garden fell into a terrible state. 😦 But I’m figuring out ways to manage time at least a bit better, and hopefully, I can restore it to its former glory. 😀

          Ooooh, I love Robin Hobb! I came to her late, having just discovered her Farseer Trilogy a few months ago. I thought I’d read one, and then get on with books I want to read and review, but I fell face first into her worlds and haven’t been able to extricate myself yet. And now that I’ve discovered Liveships, I want one!!! 😀

          Great quote from her, btw. And a good plan, if you can stick to it. As soon as I get an idea, I find it won’t let me do anything else until I write it down, though. I’ll have to work on it.

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            • If you do it, you HAVE to let us know how it works for you. I’m getting desperate to find ways to do it ALL, and so far, I’m giving myself an “F” in Time Management. (As in a “Failing” grade, and not just that I’m swearing at it, though I might do that, as well. 😀 )

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              • Lol, I’ll give it a go when summer comes around and report back.
                I just listened to a webinar by a couple of prolific authors recommending dictation over typing for first draft (using a programme called ‘Dragon’ – very appropriate for a fantasy author!) but it sounds like it takes quite some getting used to initially. Think that’s a step too far just now, for me, at least.

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                • Even my PHONE doesn’t like my southern accent, and my voice recognition on my PC doesn’t either. It never got used to me, though I’ve heard Dragon is better. However, I have to SEE my words in order to know if I like them. So I’d only use it for notes, but not actual writing, I think. Would love to know if anyone has tried it for drafts. I don’t think it’s for me, but you never know. 🙂

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  10. Beautiful poem Marcia. There’s much truth in that poem even though they are questions.
    You area huge symbol for going after the brass ring. I know the numbers in our age can be scary, especially when we have a long list of to dos in our lives. But you’re as young as you feel (even though some days we may feel our age) but most of the time you’re a powerhouse of energy, wisdom, and kindness, and you spread cheer to everyone. Don’t forget to take in all the moments in between trying to accomplish all you’re setting out to do. I hope this is your best year ever! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Deb, for such kind remarks. I feel exactly that way for so many people I’ve “met” through blogging. I’m inspired daily by what so many have done in their lives and are still doing. It’s very nice to think I might have made someone else feel good along the way. And so glad you enjoyed the poem. It just poured out of me one day a couple of years ago, and it’s included in my book, Summer Magic. It has very special meaning to me, so it’s always nice to hear that someone else enjoyed it. 🙂 Have a super day, my friend!

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  11. A lovely poem, Marcia. I still can’t equate what I see in the mirror with what I feel inside. Ages ago I decided to grow old disgracefully ( I’m doing my best 😉 ) Hope you have a fabulous birthday and enjoy your garden.

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    • Thank you, Cathy. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Poetry is still a huge part of my heart.

      Growing old disgracefully is a good way to approach it. (It’s the “growing” part that counts the most.) And thanks for the birthday wishes. I’ve still got 3 weeks to go, and I’m counting down until the day actually arrives. I’ll don my Leprechaun pin, eat cake covered in shamrocks, and watch the St. Paddy’s Day Parade. (A little something they do in Orlando to celebrate my birthday! 😀 😀 😀 )

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I loved your post and your poem. I remember when I was 27 and my Aunt Mary had just turned 65. She told me that she felt strange being a “senior citizen” because she felt young inside. With all the “wisdom” of my young self, I thought, “Yeah, right. You must feel different and old.” Well, now that I passed that milestone––and then some––I know exactly what she meant. Our bodies grow old, but we don’t. As for dealing with growing old, I found a new perspective when I had cancer 15 years ago. For a few weeks, I was afraid I wouldn’t be 60 or 70 or more. Now, I’m happy to celebrate every year. So . . . Happy 72 to You !!!! We’re the lucky ones!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, LIz! Yep, like I said above, every day when I wake up, I think, “Hey, I’m still here! Another day, another chance to do it all better!” And that’s what I try to hold on to, though some days are easier than others. 🙂

      Remind me on St. Patrick’s Day, so I don’t get so involved writing that I forget it’s my birthday. Oh, wait. That won’t happen. I have a book club to talk to that day. 🙂 Hope they have cake! Hahaha.

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