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Posts tagged ‘aging’

Hearing 40

Reflections are not what they use to be. Mirrors are not utilized much now; the image looking back at me is sometimes unrecognizable and hauntingly older than my mind says I am.  Have you ever had that moment? When you glance at yourself and then glance again – because at first, you didn’t recognize yourself.

Life can be a lot like that as well. Most people have an idea of what they want their lives to look like by certain ages: 30, 40, 50, 60.  It’s true that we do not always meet the goals and lofty ideas that we set for ourselves. But it’s also true that some of the most random things that occur (completely unplanned) can be the most beautiful.

Personally, as I age, I appreciate many of the same things the younger version of myself did. To sit outside and just listen has never left my heart. No matter where I am, I can do it free of charge and it bothers no-one.  Why? Because I love what I hear. I hear God’s creation, his peace, and when I’m lucky…his still small voice.  Try it. Go sit outside. Sit in the grass of your yard. Sit on your porch or patio. Sit on a sidewalk. Just be. After a long pause ask yourself, what do you hear?

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I’m in my back yard in the Tennessee Valley. I hear at least 15 different types of birds singing back and forth with each other. Each one a sweet song and in a different pitch. The wind is blowing and the blades of grass are rubbing against each other. Footsteps are behind me as a brave squirrel is going up and down the Elder tree.  In the distance there is a faint sound of laughter and delightful squealing as the neighborhood children chase each other.  Often a loud car may zoom by in the distance. (They really need a new muffler.) I can hear water flowing through the ditch gently and occasionally I can hear small frogs jumping in and out of the water. There are tree branches scraping in the wind and there’s a whistle in my ear as the chilly breeze picks up. It’s spring in East TN and it sounds peaceful. Longer I sit, I would hear more.

Age has taught my eyes to see things in a different way than the younger me ever could. I see so much beauty now all around me and it’s also easier to see through people. One thing I saw wrong was my life at 40.  But, that’s a post for another day.

Be well. Know you are loved.

 

Chrissy

 

 

Apples to Apples

She called me the other day to tell me that she had gone to her first cousin’s nursery.  As I mentioned in a previous article she loves flowers. It’s something that gives her peace, tranquility, and gives her a productive way to pass time. She was really excited about the availability of herbs there. She exclaimed happily, “there’s Rosemary, mint of all kinds, cooking herbs like basil and Sage – bushes and trees. Your heart will be happy when you see everything.”  Before I realized it we had been talking over the phone for over 20 minutes! The best part was that she could hear me. It was a two-way conversation. 🙂 She and I have not had very many two-way conversations in the last couple years. Her hearing has been slowly leaving her for the last 15 years. And over the last couple years it’s been so bad when she calls, she just tells me something, can’t hear my response, then she’ll just hang up when she’s finished talking. 

She’s in her eighties now.  She and I had a very rocky relationship for the first 20-25 years of my life. On my side it was a love/but-don’t-want-to-be-near-you thing from time to time & on her’s it was a love/frustration thing.  I’m quickly approaching my 40th birthday in a few days & maybe this is why I’ve chosen to write about her.  It’s therapy for me. It’s an understanding of who I was as well as who I am now.  I don’t think that 40 is old, but I’ve always thought of it as a halfway point in life. Now that I’m here, I realize how awesome she is and I was never able to see that before.

Edna Hensley

Mom, me and my brother – around 1980

By age 40 she had already lived a very eventful, energetic, entertaining and absolutely amazing life.  She taught herself to play guitar when she was about 10 years old by watching the older gentleman in town play. She was fiercely independent and generally self-taught in just about everything. She had worked on the farm, went out with her sisters, was a waitress at Blue Circle, and sewed at Standard Knitting Mill. She had a couple of short-lived marriages, experienced living independently, and enjoyed attention as an entertainer. She met Dad in a club (he was the entertaining musician of the night) & joined up with his talent to hit the road as an entertainer. She recorded in Nashville and was courted there by some big-time small names.  She used her resources & connections to boost & mold Dad’s career. When she realized some of the contractual deals he had made in the music industry, she took over and became his manager of sorts. She started negotiating his deals.  With her resources, resilience, and intellect they made a lucrative living.

She married  for the rest of her life, for better or for worse, in 1968. She was 33 years old. She had always wanted children but for some reason biologically could not bear any herself. She prayed and she had almost the entire city praying with her – that she would have children. And one day, in 1976, her prayers were answered.

There was a phone call from a lady that they knew on the south side of town. This lady said if you still want a child you can have my youngest, but you have to come and get him right now.  Dad went to pick up the ugliest baby boy in the world, who would become my brother. (If you ever read this dude, you know I love your ugly face.) They had him for several weeks when they received another phone call from another lady. This lady said to them, I’ve heard that you wanted a baby and I’m on my way to the XXXXXX Home for Children with both of mine. To make a long story short, this is where I come into the picture.  There’s an argument over whether I was two-and-a-half or three months old at the time, regardless I was a baby. I was a pretty sick baby, so she leaned toward my experienced Aunt Evlou to help for the first few nights.

At 40 years old she adopted my brother and I. At a point in her life when other people would be considering retirement, taking it easy, trying to finalize how they want to enjoy the empty nest years, she became a parent. I never gave it much thought in previous years, but now that I am approaching that very same age I realize what a heroic feat that was!

At this point in my life, I am very close to the empty nest years. I cannot image chasing a little one around and changing diapers at this age! Most of mine have moved away and I only have one teenager left at home (on a daily basis) – who will leave me soon I’m sure. I am considering the future, and how I would love to retire one day. I’m dreaming about buying an RV and traveling, or purchasing the boat my husband wants and sailing up & down the coast for a few years. I’m considering how I want to rearrange the rooms in the house and could create an office and workout/hobby room in those empty spaces. My Mom was considering how to convert a music studio into a nursery and buying formula, diapers, while seeking parental advice. I wake up in the middle of the night to text messages asking me for gas money; she woke up in the middle of the night to check on two infants breathing.

To be continued…

 

Date Night Concert

My husband & I spent a couple of months re-connecting this year & I finally got to see my first real concert! My husband scored free tickets to a Tim McGraw concert back in August. It was standing room only, but it was super cool. At first I was able to sing along with a couple of songs and then he sang some of his newer stuff and he lost me. When I say newer, I mean anything he cut & released after 1997. This is when I realized why the kids think I am old.  After 1997, I began listening to Christian music almost exclusively – not completely, but almost.  Anyway, all the songs & music were beautiful though.  IMAG3130 IMAG3131 IMAG3139

I looked around and most of the people there were our age older. Then I noticed that Tim McGraw was no longer a spring chicken. Isn’t it funny how we go through life, living day to day, and time slips away from us? Think about it, can you remember each day of your life from 20-30? 30-40? 40-50? I can’t. My mind doesn’t realize that I am older, so why is my body aging?

This question  is as amazing as the great pyramids.

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