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Monday, May 3, 2010

Once We Were...Now We Are...


Once, we were young and carefree, limber and full of energy.
We were hopeful and spent money as though it grew on trees; thought raises came yearly, like rains and winds and taxes.

Once we could stretch our limbs  and touch every part of our bodies, thought we'd live to be 100, with
friends who sat and talked for hours; with more shoes than feet; with more coats than arms.

Once we ate everything and had all our teeth. We worried about hair and wrinkles and PTA's.
We had children running around and occupying every nook and cranny with their things.
We had things to organize; things to buy; things to do; things to give away; things to achieve.
We had more things to do than hours to do them in.

Now?
Now, the list is shorter.

Now, this moment, it's good to have any part of any list.

45 comments:

Brian Miller said...

smiles. yet there are so many wonders we never noticed when we could...

Terra said...

I"m with you, dear blog friend.

becky at abbeystyle said...

Although I love simplicity and work toward it every day, I don't want to get to the point where things will be too simple...

NitWit1 said...

Men to every point. My list is short; so seems the time in which to do the short list.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Lovely post, Rosaria. Yes, we had so much. Then I had gorgeous high-heeled shoes, nearly as many as Imelda; now just give me some that are really comfortable & that I can wear with socks. Time's a-wastin'. :-)

Hilary said...

I'm not so sure the list is shorter.. it's just very different. A great post, as always.

Fire Byrd said...

Maybe we swop activity for peace as we get older. And that certainly works for me.
x

Entre Nous said...

Amen.

An English Shepherd said...

True :-)

Wizz

Tabor said...

It is so true as our pace slows and our senses diminish we think very differently about everything.

Phoenix said...

I'm young so I can't offer much perspective to this post...but I like to think that when I'm more mature and years have passed, I will be more comfortable in my skin and maybe(?) finally figure out what I want to do with this life...

That in itself seems like such a gift :)

Lyn said...

I can relate to what you are saying... after having raised two daughters and the last one ready to leave for university, I find that life has slowed considerably = but not in a bad way. I am discovering new creative outlets and ways to give back. Lovely post.

potsoc said...

Considering the shorter time left to do the list, I'm not so sure the list is shorter...relatively speaking.

ellen abbott said...

I agree with Hilary, just a different list.

Snowbrush said...

I never spent money with abandon, but the rest is true.

Now, I'm especially sad about those friends. Friendships came so easily when I was young, and now I don't have a one that I greatly value.

Polar Bear said...

YOU AQLWAYS POST SUCH GOOD THOUGHS. tHANK YOU AND CONTINUE . YOU ARE SPECIAL. pOLAR bEAR

Robyn said...

This is beautifully said...

I think the list is up to the writer.
Some experience a short list at a young age and others later in life.

Possibly we're all the same in essense, but at different times.

Woman in a Window said...

But there is always a list, isn't there? Isn't there always a list?

I'm not like that though, not quite. My list is different. I resent the list of things to buy and places to go, things that have to be done. Or rather, I try not to resent it, but try not to live by it either. My list is a walk, stop and check the status of bud, touch my lover, laugh with my kids: have it all be genuine. And so may my list stay through the years.

make a new list, rosaria. you've lists and lists and lists in that beautiful body of yours. and the day will not be long enough still.

xo
erin

L said...

Makes me sad to read that. But one good thing...now, if I had the list of things to do that I had 15 years ago, children running around, homework to be supervised, large quantities of food to be cooked, I couldn't cope...so thank god for the smaller lists.

Eva Gallant said...

Man, that list gets shorter every day.

willow said...

Oh, gosh, do I ever hear ya.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

You always make me feel very hopeful for the future, whatever it brings. May I thank you for that. x

Helen said...

I love the way you bring clarity to things ... you are so right.

Enchanted Oak said...

You make me think of Ulysses, by Tennyson. "Though we are not now that strength that in old days conquered heaven and earth, that which we are, we are..."
You are wiser now.

Arkansas Patti said...

Thanks for stopping by. Sorry you got caught behind the caravan.
What Firebird said. Comfort and peace sure please me these days.

Marguerite said...

Although I couldn't imagine not having the frenzied lists, it might be a nice change, at least for a day or two! Great post!

Rachel Cotterill said...

Which state do you prefer, do you think...?

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Terrific post. Bucket lists, anyone?

Martin H. said...

The shortest list of all, should be the list of things we wished we'd done.

Rob-bear said...

Not so sure about the list being shorter, but it is different.

If my task in life is to accomplish everything on my list, I'll never die.

Which may, or may not, be a good thing.

Villa-loredana said...

Hello dear, as always I liked to stop and read you and admired your pic, I'm with you with age and all, I must admit that this year is the longest for me, I'll be retired from 1.01.2011, and to enyoe and dedicated to me, my Hubby and our house. I'' be back, since than regards from Loredana.

lakeviewer said...

I'm so thrilled to see so many of you took this thought for a ride.

Brian--yes, we wish we had noticed earlier. I thought all my young life that I was lacking in something, looks, brains, power, money. I noticed what I thought I didn't have; failed to appreciate what I had. Wise man for your age, my friend.


Terra--good to see you around.

Becky--Yes, we strive for simplicity because the world can be overwhelming. But we are also attached to a certain rhythm and pace, it flows in our veins. When it's gone, we do miss it.

Nitwit--The short list is all we can handle as our bodies begin to give us trouble.

Lizzy--Shoes, yes. When we moved here I had no need for heels and fancy clothes. I do miss sometimes getting fancied up and frequenting places where everyone else is fancied up. Shoes, clogs and hiking shoes here.

Hilary--It's different, for sure. And not because we choose it that way; it's a necessity of this life. We juggle the week between the many doctors' appointments and the volunteer obligations. If we lived closer to our children, we'd include those encounters as well. Health issues are the priority now.

Byrd--We do put Peace and Serenity way up on our list. We'll stay home and watch a crappy movie just so we don't have to drive at night, or in bad weather. We do what we must,so we have time to do what we want.

Entres-nous--Welcome. Thanks for the visit.

WiZz--You already know about priorities. Dogs have a good sense of these things. Humans think they are God and can do everything. Ahh!

Tabor--We are forced to reconsider things we took for granted for decades.

Phoenix--Here is what I would do differently if I had to do it all over again: 1.Prepare myself to do everything well, not choosing to specialize, but pursue my passions as they budded. 2. Appreciate my body as it is; not obsess over things like weight, size, etc... 3. travel! As long as you're learning and pursuing your passions you'll be extremely happy and content with your status in life without betting so much that things might improve.

Lyn--That's the perfect time to seek new adventures for yourself and your mate. Love that freedom.

Paul--Isn't that what keeps us from dreaming big? You ask yourself all the time, am I going to have the energy to really enjoy this? Or, is it worth the expense? Yes the end is felt every day.

Ellen--You and Hilary are at the top of your game. I understand that perspective. Enjoy your place in the world right now.

Snowbrush--Friends are not tough to make; they are hard to maintain. Friends share mutual interests for as long as that interest lasts. I guess we have to have interests to find and keep friends. I joined a writers' group and readers' group; I love these people; sometimes we meet outside those circles and just talk. Yet, I would too appreciate closer friends as we had in our youth.

lakeviewer said...

Polar Bear--We are all interesting in our own way, right? It's always fun to see how others cope, what life deals them. Mutual interests take us all over the world as bloggers. Good to see you.

Robyn--I like that, we are all the same in essence. Yes, and our lives take the same ups and downs. What is unusual about each of us is the circumstances that shaped us, that gave us strong features that begin to surface early on and are our calling cards in our maturity. Remember when I said something in Avatar reminded me of you? I know snippets of you; yet, I connected you to that natural spirit world in Avatar. I instinctively liked you for that feature. It doesn't mean that I am always looking for that in everyone I meet or become friends with. It just means that among all the qualities I admire in people is that inter-connection to the natural world. You had an Italian grandmother, which probably placed you and me in the same contextual field from day one.


Erin--There are always lists even in your old age. There is passion and curiosity and sensibilities. The main difference is the intensity of effort to achieve those things on the list. I want to write at this time in my life. I don't have decades to plan things. So, this feeling that time is running out is always with me. You might remember that I state this theme at the beginning of my memoir. We are constantly in front of a mirror called Time.
I love your exhortations to make lists and lists...Yes! We must! We must live fully each day, even if living means just remembering. Thanks for this boost.

L--Don't feel sadness; feel the whole entity of this time capsule. We will all get to a point when we need to slow down, and pass the torch, as our bodies ache and our feet are bleeding. Passing down and looking ahead keeps us alive in your hearts, in your pursuits, in your passion. We can only do that at this point; and we are happy enough.

lakeviewer said...

Eva--Keep on laughing! You got your own formula going and I'm on that wagon as often as I can get on it, when my legs as strong enough to climb, that is. Love your sense of playfulness.

Willow--With your many talents and interests, your list will always amaze the rest of us. I guess that's how life is played: some in the race, some in the stands, some chomping at the bit to get out of that, some to get into that. Stay young my friend.

Fhina--You are a woman of substance, important and wise. You notice more in a second than most of us in a lifetime. Thanks for the visit.

Helen--I think of you as my neighbor, over the mountains, someone who shares our weather woes. Actually, the winds are spent by the time they reach you!
Good to see you here. Hope to see you on the coast at summer time. E-mail me when you plan to drop by. I have a guest room!

lakeviewer said...

Chris--I'm not surprised that you quoted Tennyson. Or Dylan Thomas. Old age is on every poet's mind. We taste it every time we are challenged, you know? And it frightens us. We need to think of it as the next adventure/experience. How good can it be?

Arkansas Patti--You too moved after you retired, so we have that in common, plus the fact that I spent a few years in the south, with that heat and humidity. Is Arkansas less hot and humid? Good to see you.

Marguerite--Whenever I feel down, I think of the good times in New Orleans, the beat of that music, the spice of that food. You'll keep on dancing on through.

Rachel--I prefer this one, this meditative, slow pace. However, it took me months and months to accept this. I thought my life had ended, had lost its meaning. I had to find new passions, new interests, new meaning.

lakeviewer said...

Trish and Rob--Thanks for the visit. We all have bucket lists, especially as our health begins to decline and we feel the end in sight.

Martin H-Welcome. I do hope you do everything you want to do, when you want. Nobody likes to look back and moan.

Rob Bear--Greetings. Keep your list active; you'll have to live a decade more just to get through. Not a bad plan, eh?

Loredana--Benvenuta! You'll enjoy retirement. Besides, aren't you in Paradise already? If I could afford it, I too would move to Italy. You do know that I grew up there and still speak some functional Italian. Arrivederci.

Rob-bear said...

Somehow, Rosaria, I think it will be more than a decade. Fortunlately, I'm not retiring until September. (And probably not even then; most people who know the Bear say he's not a "retiring" creature — except when he puts a new set of tires on his Volvo.)

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, this is such a wistful post...and such a reminder to those who are so busy to slow down and enjoy the moment! A powerful and poignant post, dear friend! Love, Janine XO

Man of Roma said...

I'm not so sure either the list is shorter. And, I feel much more energetic now than I ever was when I was younger. Weird. But that is me. I possibly had some rocks on my heart that blocked its beating, and now, for some 'not easy to explain reason', these rocks have gone.
I feel my heart to be freer to beat and my spirit desiring all the things I could not do, and that I now can do, and I keep my body exercised as well as my mind (or at least I try), and I dance and sing, and I play the guitar again, and try to help others more than I ever did, and I would add, every day is much more precious since I better understand life has an end, so every day I see it as a gift, each day that I wake up, each day that I see the sun or that I see the rain, each day that I quarrel or am peaceful with my neighbour, each single day, realizing this, all anxiety disappears, “I am still here” I think, and I thank God for that, or who the hell did all this, or even just nil - and I am happier than I ever was.

Reya Mellicker said...

I've been thinking lately about how, as the body settles into old age, the spirit can expand and rise. Conversely, when we're young, the body must rise while the spirit tries to settle in. Young adulthood is about the spirit spiraling outwards into careers, families, houses, etc.

There's a grace to older age, too. And you show us all about it every time you post.

xx

Everyday Goddess said...

i'm using your old list at the moment. PTA, child, Girl Scouts, stuff everywhere...

but I bet your new list has some great items on it!

shopgirl said...

Very sweet post. I agree with you and I'm not even there yet.

Tina said...

i agree. i wish i cud just freeze time sometimes!

Tina from
Mummy Diaries
Gossip Avenue
Travel Shack
Game FreakZ

RNSANE said...

Now my list involves trying to find a less expensive place to live and the need to sort out what I can bear to part with ( that is really hard because I love so many things ) and what will go with me to the last part of my life. I wonder where the years went, really. I feel myself weary, Rosaria. My energy isn't there. I know part of it is depression. I am still sad, 15 months later, at the loss of my job!

fiftyodd said...

I could really relate to this post!