Monday, January 3, 2011

A Grey Matter

For those of you who read this on my Neff Road Blog, you can skip reading this blog today. I am posting what was written last Friday because I think it is important. Thank you for checking back. Last week was quite a mixed bag ranging from an unexpected trip to Seattle to illness. It is a new year, so let's get started.

I wasn't going to write today, but a thought occurred. From the missing of loved ones? From the passing of another year? Whatever the source, this thought needed a voice.

Yes, my friends, we all get older. Those of us over 60 know that the body aches and does not always cooperate. The thought we had in one room is gone when we get to the next. The grey and white hairs have become the natural color. Our families are requiring less of us. Many of us have lost dear ones. Some of us have had our struggles this last year. But I have good news. There is hope for the year 2011.

More and more I think of the wisdom I have gained regardless of the things I have lost. I embrace the knowledge that has come from loss. I embrace the me who has evolved over these years. I have a brain, folks! I have a brain that has barely been tapped. The grey matter in my thick head (as some would say) has only begun to be explored. Now how exciting is that news?!

My younger years consisted of growing up, marrying, raising children. I didn't have time find what I believed sorting through everything I'd been told. I didn't have time to think of me and my place in the world. I barely had time to think of the world.

We may be older, but we are considered younger. The longevity of life has lengthened. So we need to grow with it. I have friends who are senior citizens who have conquered Facebook in order to keep in touch with old friends and new. Other friends are authors. Some have working careers. I'm not sure we knew that we could still be valuable after a certain age. I don't think we have allowed ourselves to embrace this thing of aging.

Millions of dollars are spent in diet programs, face and body lifts, botox, hair color....everything to make us look younger. Well, I'm not younger. You can dress up a dog, but it's still a dog. We may be older, but we still have a great deal to contribute and to learn. Why stop now?

I have often wondered why nursing homes don't supply voice recorders for residence to record their family history....their stories. Slide projectors and video recorders can help keep the memories alive and awaken new part of the brain. Volunteers can assist the elderly in stretching their minds, by sharing their stories. A family tree can consist of more than just names and dates. It can consist of personalities and stories. The residence homes are full of incredible history...history we can all appreciate. We are creative and full of wonderful thoughts and ideas.

My hands are painful and hurt. I can not hold a pen for long, so I type. The computer has become my paper and pencil, my tool for expression and communication. I started on the computer when I was in my late forties. My first fear of tackling this new technology was soon dismissed when I found that I could figure it out myself. I just had to say "I can".

We have a gift, older generation. We should know by now that fear is a frame of mind. We should know that adventure has no age limit. We are of value. The grey matter might be a bit fuzzy, but the more the fuzz is removed, the clearer the light. What a wonderful thing to discover that we are on a new adventure. We can read, write, explore our thoughts and share. We can be new again by expanding our brains.

A new year is just hours away. Enthusiasm for each day of our lives is at hand now. Come on, adventurers. Let's make 2011 the year we make a difference.

Happy New Year, my friends.

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