Sunday, May 21, 2006

Practice for growing older

I'm practicing for being old. Today's teenagers would say that I'm old already, but I don't feel old. A bit slower at times, and, when I'm fast, I'm not fast as long as once I was.

Actually, I've practiced a bit for being young today, too. I rode the jet ski up and down the creek, hitting the wakes and turns neat curlicues and almost blowing off my hat at only 27 mph. That was the fast part, and it lasted about 20 minutes at most.

The rest of the afternoon, I sat in a comfortable chair under the tree or on the porch, sipping cool water and watching the boats and jet skis. A friend and I talked about things in our lives that have haunted us, and how wonderful it was to be rid of the haunting - yet still very uncomfortable with certain situations that bring back those memories. And, we talked about coping with minor disasters.

She's a very brave person, and she's one who perseveres. If she can't do it "that" way, then she'll try something different. And, I admire her very much. Her emotional buttons are easily pushed but seem to reset very quickly.

My emotional buttons don't go off as easily now as earlier in my life, and they reset more easily. I think that's good practice for getting older. Coping with change and disappointment and frustration and goodbyes is simpler now. My heart grieves, but life does go on, and I just have to keep doing the next right thing. Sometimes, I have to worry about the impact of change for the future, but mostly I just have to worry about today. And, I don't do a whole lot of that any more.

I want to gain some of my friend's perseverance, though. I tend to drop something if it doesn't work out the first time. She's always thinking of better, more efficient ways to do things. Although I sometimes think of better ways to do things, mostly I go on the same way I always have. I like the challenge of new things, but I don't like to change old things.

Some old things need changing. The way I phrase things and my tone of voice in certain situations, for instance. I have been working on my tone of voice all of my life, and still I hurt those I love sometimes because I let the old voice range and phraseology pop out of my mouth. Worse, I don't always realize what I've done until I'm told, "When you said XXXX, I was hurt." Then, I am very, very sorry. Maybe those times happen less often, but I wish they didn't happen at all.

I think that getting older should bring some moderation in my presumptive, preemptive tone of voice. Everything else is slowing down and not working as well. Why not that? I guess I still have some work to do on me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...