Choose What Kind of Old Person You Want to Be

When I’m old, I want to be in a weekly flash mob.


There is a book I’ll write some day…Choosing to Grow:  OLD. The tricky part will be that I don’t want to wait until I’m old. I know well enough that if I am going to age gracefully, it starts with the habits I have now.

Age happens, and there is nothing…did you hear me? NOTHING…we can do about it.

There are limited hours in the day, limited amounts of energy to expend, and we have to choose how we use the time we have.

My quick glance through Google this morning identified a problem. There are age-defying skin products, age-defying fashion tips, age-defying fitness programs, turn back the clock regimens, and BE YOUNGER ads everywhere. I am pretty sure this is a multi-gazillion dollar business. The movement afoot is about NOT aging.

SHUT UP!!

What a waste of time! (and we’ve already established that we don’t have very much of it!)

The more time people spend trying to turn back a clock that is stubbornly moving forward, the less prepared they are for the inevitable future.

I would actually listen to a company that sold products to celebrate the age I am while helping me to plan for the age I will be.

I can hear the tagline now: “Be the best at the age you are…and plan to be the best at the age you will be.” Now I just need to find a product to go with it.  The thing is, I fear no one would buy it.  Everyone would rather just pretend they can make themselves younger rather than working to age gracefully.

So here we go…for those of you who want to choose to grow in a beautiful way through your life. Spend a few minutes thinking about these questions.

How do you envision yourself as an old person?

Will you be bitter? Will you be kind? Will you be like a neighbor I once had?

When we moved in, my neighbor Edna introduced herself with a plate of food and a hug. She winked at me when she told me she likes to hug people…especially if they don’t expect it. I adored Edna…and I want to be just like her when I grow old.

If you want some motivation to think like an old person now, check out this awesome article: Think like a senior citizen and supercharge your life with happiness.

We cannot change the momentum of aging, but we can choose how we approach the process.

You’ll have to excuse me, I have to go…I have a flashmob dance to practice.
                                                               

Copyright  2012    Meagan Frank                 www.meaganfrank.com                    Choosing to Grow

Ashes to Ashes

Where’d You Grow Wednesday, Februrary 22, 2012?

You’ll have to excuse the philosophical nature of this post. I can’t really explain why these thoughts have been swirling around in my head this week, and I’m hopeful if I write them down I can move on to something else. Something shallower…something that doesn’t make my brain hurt so much.  Growth happens that way sometimes though, right?.

This past week, and today most certainly, my mind has been trying to wrap itself around the concept of time. Taking it, wasting it, relishing it, ignoring it, living fully despite it, embracing it, running out of it…

Today is Ash Wednesday, and as a Catholic I know what that means. It means I fast. No meat today…or any Friday in the next six weeks. It means sacrifice is on my heart and service is on my mind more pointedly for forty days. It means I should live with intention to strengthen my spiritual life, and I so honestly hope that I do. It is a special time of year…and a timeless tradition.

There is something else though.  The tradition of this holiday and Lenten remembrance carries the weight of time (history) while bringing to light the changes that so clearly happen because of time. I’m not the same woman I was a year ago…Last year I was feeling unbalanced and frustrated by feeling unsettled without a definitive place.

Ash Wednesday has come again and the traditional expectations for humble reflection is the same. Upon what I reflect and how I have moved from there to here is marked more clearly because I carve out this time each year.

 All this week there have been a number of things that have challenged me to a new place in my thinking.

I watched two mind-blowing movies that addressed the concepts of time, life, reality, and mortality. The first was The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Benjamin’s life is marked by an old man who gets younger while everyone around him grows old.

The other thought-provoking movie I watched was Inception.

This was the second time I had watched both movies, but the first time I had introduced my oldest child to them. With new eyes (because I’ve changed) and through his eyes (watching for the first time), I saw two new movies.

That’s how this Ash Wednesday and this upcoming Lent will be too.  The tradition remains, but my participation, my reflection, and my growth will inevitably be different.

I captured two images today that comment on the effects of time.

The pieces of a broken mug from my husband’s hockey-playing days…

My husband's award from 20 years ago...

And, if you look closely at the next photo you will see another testament to time. The small hands at our kids’ school pushed and moved this pile of snow to create a large snow ball. It will take more time to melt this than the other snow…but there will be a point when it no longer exists at all.

Sloppy spring snow ball

Broken through time.

Built over time.

Both happen simultaneously, and I look forward to breaking old habits this Lenten season to build a better version of myself.

Okay…thanks for indulging me.  Maybe I can let this one go now.

Where have you grown? What is it about time that twists your head into knots?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this or any other blogpost I write. I am much better at conversation than monologue 🙂

Happy Growing!

 

If you want to learn more about Meagan or her current book project, visit her at www.meaganfrank.com.

 

Copyright 2012  Choosing to Grow                           Meagan Frank