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Friday, January 21, 2011

With every year...

Our evergreens  dwarf us in this photo;  my husband is reduced to a paltry size.
On a sunny January, the maple is bare, looking sad, but the cedar and the century old pine are loving the  80 inches plus of rain they receive every winter.

They look as though time has stood still for a long time in this yard.
The changes have been subtle: branches have been torn down by winds, naturally pruning dead wood.
Roots have grown deeper.


People seem to grow by spurts. As infants, as we double our size and every hair is counted, every tooth celebrated, every inch charted, our  parents fret about our normalcy. In adolescence, we take up the job of worrying about our normalcy.

We count every hair, every where, measure everything, wanting an inch here, fewer pounds there, fretting about our size, dissatisfied with how we look or how much we weigh. We have a running feud with the mirror, the scale and the yard stick.

We seem to be dissatisfied with everything and everyone, especially our parents.

Only after we grow into our fifties, we begin to accept ourselves, more and more with each year that our mirror compares us to our mothers or fathers.  Yes, as we look more and more like our parents, we begin to see all those fine attributes that were too subtle to show up when we all lived under the same roof.

I've become a better person, a better mother, and a more beautiful woman in my sixties. In another decade or so I'll forget any flaws I had in my youth. I'll even forget that I'm old.

I might forget my name too.

How wonderful to know I have beauty and normalcy in my senior years.



 

38 comments:

Donna said...

So true Rosaria! I remember once, when I was in the fourth grade going to a friend's house that I wanted to impress. Her family had everything money could buy and her mother was gorgeous. My mother was to pick me up at school and I didn't want friend to see her because she always wore rather plain "house dresses" on weekdays. I tried to disappear in the crowd but mom wanted to meet my friend before I went home with her the next day. She saw my reluctance and realized my embarrassment. I knew immediately that I had hurt her feelings. To this day I feel just terrible about that.
Now I see how I am aging like my mother and am proud of that. She was a beloved woman by many and if I have half of that going for me, I'll be glad. Your words are wise, Rosaria...great post!

Patricia said...

Very wise thoughts, Rosaria...thanks for sharing. For me, I seemed to think it was my life's work to become "better," I was always a work in progress. It is only in these golden years that I have taken the time to relax and just be, and discover what was always within me just hoping for that pat on the head. Most of the time, now, I realize that I am good enough! What a gift! It takes a long time to grow up. :-)

Mary G said...

I didn't pay much attention to my appearance in middle age but was proud of my nice skin; the indignities of the sixties that really bug me are crepey skin, skin tags, blue marks on my legs, that sort of thing.
Much as I blush to admit to that much vanity.

RNSANE said...

I wish I felt as good about myself in my senior years. I don't want to be a skinny waif but I would like to be about fifty pounds lighter. Otherwise, I'm pretty happy with the way I turned out - other than that I wish I were still actively involved in forensic nursing. The things I found hard to accept in my mother
her bigotry, her isolation from friends, I never developed. I accepted her as she was, knowing I could not change her ( though I certainly tried for awhile! ).

kickoz said...

Wow! Blogs of Note! congratulations ... It's my dream ...

Retired English Teacher said...

Acceptance of who we are and where we are in life is a wonderful thing. Thanks for the reminder.

quilterliz said...

Hi Rosaria.Greetings from Australia. How true your comments are. At 14 I couldn't wait to be 16 and then it was full steam ahead to have my 18th birthday, then it was 21 that I was aiming for and before I knew it I was 30 with a family, now I am 59 and wonder where the years have gone and realise that I too have changed over time. I don't care so much now what people think of me, once I would have worried me greatly. I don't think that I am like my mother, yet, but it won't worry me if and when that happens. I can't say that I was ever embarrased by my folks as I was growing up or if I was I have no concious memory of it. It was a second marriage for both of them and I was a very late child for my mother, she was 43 when I was born.When we moved to our farm here some years ago we planted many native trees and throughout the years they have grown and matured and like them I have done the same and no doubt will continue to do so, but, I still retain the spirit and joy of life like a young girl.

rosaria said...

Donna--yes, so many things to worry about growing up.

Patricia--I heard it's extremely hard for children in Korea, China, Japan, always studying, always worrying about their futures.

Mary G--There are many old folks where I live who are in worse conditions, real problems with health and dental needs. That's when we really compare and feel lucky.

Carmen--you are still mourning your old self. At some point, you'll embrace your new state and see that everything is transient, and that things could be worse, our situation could be more precarious. Hope you find peace and acceptance.

Kickoz--your dream to be blog of note? You won't change at all with such appellation. What's important is the fact that you want to connect to people and to learn.

REtired--Our time is more precious because we see the end is in sight. Now, every minute counts.

Quilterliz==Welcome! Enjoy the journey.

That Janie Girl said...

True, girly, true.

ds said...

YES!!!

pranky said...

that was beautifully written!!

Miss Sadie said...

Rosaria? Normal? I think not.

How about exceptional!

Yes, that's much better.

becky said...

It always shocks me to look in the mirror. I feel as if I'm 35 but the face there doesn't match.

Ruth said...

My words pop out just like Donna's: So true Rosaria! As someone famous said, I'd like the mind of a 50-year-old and the body of an 18-year-old. :) But really, with the maturing mind comes acceptance of the aging body.

Hines-Sight said...

Inspriing today! You've probably been so busy with all of your comments since you were on Blogs of Notes, but if you have time to go to my blog, you'll see that I feel like I have now turned a new corner at 42 since my blog was born. I had a very hard time with my birthday last month. I realized I had two children under five, and time was slipping by me. I realize I'm very young and I hope to have a lot of life to lead ahead of me, but at my age having children who are this young, is becoming more common, but I"m still in the minority. Most of my friends who have children the same age as my children are a good ten years younger than me. After a challenging day, and realizing I will probably be close to 50 before I can probably go to Europe again, I was depressed and really wanted to turn back the clock. But now, I've got a little pep in my step, and as we age, life only gets better. Great wisdom from you today!

potsoc said...

As the captain said in that 1940 something war propaganda film:"Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead."
In my time, 20 was the magic number that songs celebrated. The morning of my 20th anniversary, in the mirror, I saw the same old me and nothing changed in my life. What a let down.
Since then I have enjoyed growing older. Will be 4 times that in two months and still enjoy it because as the old song goes "Every year brings something new".

Arkansas Patti said...

Wonderfully said and universally felt.
You had me nodding in agreement at most of the stages.
The mind I wake up to and the face in the mirror as I brush my teeth don't really match, but I am content and pleased with both.

LindyLouMac said...

Ciao Rosaria and best wishes for 2011, I am back at last catching up on so much that I missed while I was away from the blogsphere! I always followed your Italian for Beginners Blog but why did I not know about this one? Better late than never I am now your latest follower.

yaya said...

This post is so timely for me. I just had a very similar conversation with my Mom, age 84..She was feeling very sad about some things she did or didn't do in her young mom years. She had 6 kids and she and Dad did a great job of raising us. But I understood where she was coming from. We sometimes wish we had taken more time with our kids, not doled out the punishments as harshly, but we can't turn the clock back and redo. We can celebrate this time we are in, be happy, healthy and enjoy the day. I care less about what people say or feel about me and just hope to slide into my 60's a better person spiritually and..maybe...physically!

Eva Gallant said...

So true!

Suz said...

I've been pruned a few times myself
by circumstance and storms
wonderful post
from a wonderful woman

Maggie May said...

Yes, you are so right. The things we didn't like about our parents..... we find ourselves doing the same as we age.
This seems to be the way of life.
Very good post.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

ellen abbott said...

Well, this one made me laugh. Although, when I hit my 50s I 'knew' myself somewhat, got rid of all the 'projects' I had started and never finished, finally admitting that I would never finish them. I'm starting my 60s now. Nice to know in a few years I won't have any faults either! hee hee

jarheadxbox said...

Its always different for me to see a perspective from someone in another generation than myself, going through another life experience. It helps me to put my own stupid fear of turning thirty into perspective.

The Quiet Riot said...

I hope I never reach normal. As I move through this journey through time, I am finding that I actually like myself. It's a good feeling.

Linda Myers said...

I don't much like looking at myself in the mirror as I see my 62-year-old face. I keep expecting myself to be thin and young. The idea of accepting my physical appearance as it is - it's probably time for me to do that!

Helen said...

Rosaria, I love the way you think! As I leave my 60's I know who I am, where I've been ... it's all good (even the bad.) Wrinkles, sags - yes .. I try to keep fit and eat healthy .. I love life!!!!

Today is a ski day for my visiting son, my daughter and grandson. Tomorrow it's back to MN and way below zero temps for Christopher. Too soon.

Rose said...

Oh, I so love this post....only I am 55 and sometimes have to think what my name is...

one tow said...

nice

Meeling said...

Lovely...I'm 40 but I feel the same "contentedness" with myself increasing with the years...I can only hope that that content feeling gradually deepens over the coming years.

Great post!

Jo said...

Oh, how true. I am just now growing into my own skin, even though my skin is not quite what it was in my 20s. :-)

Sara said...

Nice blog. Great post. Thank you.

Pat transplanted to MN said...

:) Made me smile. It is so true, we accept more of ourselves as we add the years...wait wasn't it just the other day I thought that I might check into getting an eye lift--I have one lid that is sagging too much; genetic as I see it in photos of my Grand mother and Greats. I remember in my 20's wondering why the old ladies, who were in their 40's were not sitting off in their rocking chairs! I had a friend who had many face lifts in her 60's who said, "you wait, you'll want one too..." So far I have not I feel I have earned my skin. It's what attracted me to your blog--I'm 65 and now what! I think that often!

Woman in a Window said...

Isn't it strange, that it seems like such a normal evolution. Well, at least for you and gratefully, for me too. I am so very pleased to be forty.

xo
erin

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Rosaria .. older and wiser, more tolerant .. and surprisingly more inclined to be more open and willing to learn, try things etc ..

We learn so much about our life and understand more about others and their lives - realising their situation .. as Donna says .. and certainly as I've come to realise recently.

Thanks .. with every year - time is less make the most of them and every minute ... Hilary

Amanda said...

i agree that it isn't until we grow older that we can begin to appreciate the wisdom that comes with age instead of obsessing endlessly about aging itself.

it's a true gift to have the presence of mind to enjoy life in this way, and i always appreciate your insights.

Boodhooram Ignoramus said...

your write many beautiful truths.

spread your wings said...

I just found your blog and how great it is. so beautifully written. thanks for sharing these wise thoughts.