Image via @ginnybranch on Instagram.
Yesterday a wise reader wrote in to Ask Amy in the Chicago Tribune...
... Something valuable I learned is that you can only give of your excess. If you give to others from your essence (that which you need to keep yourself emotionally healthy), it will create a vacuum in your own life.
That vacuum will fill up with all kinds of negative things--resentment, frustration, substance abuse, etc. Giving to others is a beautiful and satisfying thing, but only if you can afford to give it.
-Learned the Hard Way
I've never minded getting older. At least until my 60s. I still don't mind terribly. I just hate the age spots. More than the wrinkles.
First thing in the morning CA and I resemble Neanderthals until our muscles and ligaments get warmed up and we can finally straighten our backs. Some mornings require Yoga stretches. Most mornings require Advil.
I love being a grandma, and I love being invisible. Middle-age and Elderly women are like celophane--invisible. That's freeing. No worries. Sweatpants out and about? No one notices. No make-up? Ditto. I have freedom to move about, observe, and eavesdrop at will. I'm invisible.
I try not to "sweat the small stuff." I know I've acquired some wisdom from living. A perspective on the "bigger picture."
I have time to grant wishes for my Fun Kids. Bake cookies? Sure. M&Ms or shapes? Teach sewing? Let's get out the machine. Pillow? Purse? Pocket heart? Take your turn. We can make anything. Tic-Tac-Toe? Will you be "X's" or "O's?"
A Bear Hunt? Get your flashlights! Let's sing a-long. "We're going on a Bear Hunt. We're going on a Bear Hunt. I'm not afraid. I'm not afraid..."
Let me brush your hair. You have beautiful hair. You're such a nice boy/girl. I'm very proud of you. Did you know that grandma prays for you every day? Bunches of times a day.
The hardest part of getting older? Aging parents and siblings. Confusion, mania, depression. Illness, surgeries, anger. Theirs, not mine. Mine are a whole different issue!
I think more about death. My life as a widow, or CA's as a widower. Our differing funeral wishes. I want no fuss, no muss--cremation and a simple graveside service. CA leans way into the traditional--visitation (wake), a coffin, and the full funeral rites. We don't have to match.