In a doctor’s waiting room, a very talkative grandmother tries to get her granddaughter’s attention. The 15 year old tries to read. The dialogue goes like this:
– You can read your book at home.
– I can read and listen to you at the sane time, grandmother. I finally learned how to do it.
– You can keep your book. In my younger days, I was reading books all night long. I was 18.
– I am 15, grandmother.
– You can still read your book at home. What’s in you backpack?
– School things.
– Look at this! The grandmother seems surprised by the way the girl’s colorful backpack is made.
She then goes on about the lost value of Christmas, her neighbor crazy driving, religious tolerance … .
The appointment was for the young lady. I thought “How sweet! The grandmother accompanied her grandchild!” I almost wished she would never stop talking. I wished she would turn to me to get me to listen while waiting for her granddaughter to come out of the doctor’s office.
Then I got it. It’s their special thing: a 85 year old grandmother – 15 year old granddaughter dialogue, tune, reverberation.
Here is to all sweet grandmothers-granddaughters joy of sharing!
I have a black dress with a beautiful flower print, three quarters sleeves, midi length. I call it my 90s dress. As in “a dress to wear in my 90s”.
I picture myself in my mid ninetees wearing it with an orange scarf, a flirtish small purse, mid heels, by my partner’s arm, heading to my daughter’s house for an afternoon picnic.
This is my pledge. A pledge to a long, healthy, happy life, surrounded by people with whom I share a commitment to nurturing. I love the feeling this pledge gives. It makes me grateful and wise about how I use my life resources.
I once met a psychiatrist who cautioned me about the way I use my resources, in a period I worked for five big clients simultaneously, under tough tight deadlines. A did not know the word No at that time. From an Yes person, I turned into a robot. The psychiatrist asked me to pay a visit to her hospital. Seeing Mentally alienated people was an wake up call. It showed the bottom which brought in the salvaging perspective. The mind is a servant. Put it to good use and it will serve you. Make it run endless, meaningless errands and it will rebel. Payback time will get tough. The bottom will be quick to hit. Regaining balance will be challenging.
Back to my dress. It was on my “to donate” list. Until its orange flower print gave me that sense of perpetuation. Was it its stand-out orange pattern, with its energising sunny colour? Was it the contrast between black and orange as in a competition for a bet on the bright side of the life? It can be both. It regained now a prominent place in my wardrobe. This pledge is printed out, folded and kept in my diary, as a claim made with an open heart and humility to a long, healthy, prosperious, loving, fulfilling life for the good of all.
People are my inspiration. For To Do as well as for Not to Do.
Just back from people’s observatory, my mind made a mental and spiritual commitment to avoid doing a number of things when I’ll embrace seniority. My guess is that my mind will keep adding or deleting items from the list. But there always room for a good start. So, I decree that my senior years shall be free of:
- Lipstick. Leaving traces of lipstick on my grandchildren foreheads? No way!
- Dyed hair. White is beautiful! Kind of cloudish!
- Gossiping: being caught up in the poisonous net of word of mouth is taking away precious time to enjoy the calm years preceding the entry into another stage. Occasional gossips about what a neighbor was wearing at the Sunday Mass or Yoga class (depending on my preferences in the years to come) are allowed :).
- Envy: especially targeted at younger people. We all have our plates full of what we order life to bring us.
- Excessive fashionism: occasional Armani bags allowed :).
- Commitments to a job to hate. I’ve witnessed too many seniors being torn between a self-imposed commitment to other family members and the need to go to a job that takes away too much energy. Baking with joy, working with kids, gardening are allowed and fully encouraged.
- Financial worries for descendants. My dear descendants, I know you are bright, smart, entrepreneurial and able to multiply everything I have put together for your and other’s good.
- Arrogance. Who would want to listen to or talk to an arrogant octogenarian?!
- Being stuck in unhealthy relationships of any kinds.
- Regrets, of any kind.
- A grandiose sense of self-importance.
I have still to think about scuba diving, ice scatting and bungee jumping 🙂