Time for Living

A face that I love….Fred

I’ve always had an odd tendency to think of myself as older than I am. If someone asks me my age,  I’ve noticed my response is, “I’ll be 57 this year”, or if it’s about my sons, I’ll give their ages as “Going to be….” This didn’t really bother me until the other day I said to Jack, “Now that I’m pushing 60…”

Well, I am currently 56, and while I have no problem with turning 60, it is more than 3 years away, and the thought that I am soon entering my 6th decade, makes me feel anxious about time…like I need to rush to accomplish something before my time runs out,…. and this is not a comforting thought.

So I’ve been affirming, over the past few days, “There is plenty of time. I do not need to make anything happen. Life is unfolding perfectly and I am a part of Life.” I was feeling very good (and unrushed) the other day as I petted Fred and noticed that he had a black whisker. I couldn’t believe it….such a small little thing, but one that I hadn’t seen before. I’ve looked at, kissed, and petted his head for 7 years without seeing the one black whisker.

This made me pause and think about what other things I might be missing by rushing (mentally and sometimes physically) to the next moment, the next project (before this one is barely started), the next house, town, stage of life…it doesn’t really matter what it is, if I’m not present, I’m missing out on my life which can never be anyplace but where I am right now. What little thing (that makes you smile) will you notice this weekend?

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished“. Lao Tzu

One of my favorite songs “Time for Living” by the Association is in the link below,

31 thoughts on “Time for Living

  1. last Monday I turned 72! Not sure how that happened, and still waiting for that wisdom that comes with age to kick in, but in the meantime, its cool! I love this age, retired, all the time in the world to read and knit and take waks. To do exactly what I want! I have wonderful friends, who I have fun with, some are younger, always have some young friends, they listen to your stories, fix your computer, and make life a joy! I can still get the giggles, always at the wrong time and place! I realized a few years ago that I cant change the world, but I can enjoy my part of it! I have contributed, helped, donated, volunteered, and now its time to just, let me say this again, do or not do exactly what I want and have a great deal of fun in the process!!! Dony worry about getting older, you will hardly notice!!

  2. Dear Mary: once again, you have touched on a subject close to my heart and experience. I lost a job that was most of my identity almost three years ago. I believe one of the lessons I’m learning through the grace of God is to see and experience the whole of my life, not just a vocation. It’s taken a long, long time but I think I’m getting the hang of it! I am grateful of the life I have today, and find I am more at peace. Thank you for reinforcing all of the goodness around us. Best to you… Maggie

  3. Good Morning
    I can retire in February of 2013, at age 62, my one goal, my first goal for retirement is to never be in a hurry again:)

  4. This post hit me on the head this morning. I am so impatient. Always pushing for the next thing. We just moved to a new temporary home in a town we lived in a couple of years ago. We are crammed into this tiny place while we look for a new forever (!?) home. I want it NOW. I let the need fill me with anxiety. And forget to just live and be concious of each day. Each moment.

    Thank you!

  5. While I love looking forward to things, and I do (happy anticipation, daydreaming about the future is one of my favorite things to do!), I can see
    how it can sometimes make this very moment seem almost temporary. Each morning, as I sit and look at my daytimer of things to do or not, I am always surprised at how quickly the past week zipped by. I’m very conscious of
    the passage of time…and every once in a while a day will seem so long and I love that! And it is typically a day when I have stayed at home, puttered, sat by the pond for a while, read a bit. And there is a lesson in this for me. I will be 61 this month. For me it is a consideration of balance. Certainly not wishing my life away, but excitedly looking forward to what is next. Sometimes this does turn into ‘rush’! This weekend I will notice new buds on two small evergreen trees that we had in the house for Christmas trees. We planted them as soon as the ground softened (they sat in their buckets outside all through the Vermont winter!) and have carefully nursed them…each new bud or tiny speck of green that I see on each branch will make me smile! And will help to remind me that everything has it’s time. A great way to go into the weekend! THANKS MARY!

  6. Dear Mary….who could not kiss and hug that face….Fred doesn’t look like he worries about how old he is! Age is a funny thing. Animals just are…no matter how old or young they are. For them each year…..each moment is a time to be joyful and experience life to the fullest. I too rush myself into the next experience…future-think my life past each day. It’s one of the reasons why I love being around animals so much. They bring me back to right now. Just right here, right now, oh so sweet to be alive. Thank you Fred for that kissable face and that look of pure bliss-in-the-moment!

  7. An unusual aspect of the time slippage you are speaking of occurs when you speak of your approaching your sixth decade. The actuality is that you are currently in your sixth decade, approaching your seventh.

  8. Mary, I think one of the hardest things to do, for me, is to stay in the present. That and fear, are two things I struggle with and rationally it is a waste of my time. I can do nothing about either. I’m 74, to be 75 this year, I cannot believe I’m the age I am because I don’t feel whatever 75 is supposed to feel like. But when I lost one of my Australian Shepherds two years ago to hemangiosarcoma, I thought long and hard about getting another pup. Two months of thinking brought me to this: if I wait around for the grim reaper to come and get me, I might loose on out loving another Aussie pup and since I do breed rescue, I know that whatever Aussies I have, will be carefully rehomed by my Rep. The pleasure and love from this now year old pup has far surpassed any doubts I had about my age and being too old for a puppy. I look at growing older as a fitness programme…what am I doing for myself physically; what am I doing for myself emotionally (part of which you contribute to here). Trying to stay in the present requires a constant reminder that tomorrow may not come and today is what matters. My mind however continually manages to fool me into believing I’m omnipotent, that growing old is for someone else, not me. Yesterday, having lunch with old school chums of fifty and more years ago, we talked about our mothers, many of whom played bridge together. They apparently, I was told for the first time, kept a money pot going on the bridge table…..the last person alive got the pot of money. No money pot but we’re where our mothers were all those years ago.
    SandyP in Canada

  9. (cough) Ahem (cough). Hate to be the bearer of “bad” news but, Mary, you’re already in your sixth decade. When you join those of us across the great 60 divide, you will embark on your seventh. Jump in! The water’s fine.

    I’ve always had the opposite problem – thinking I’m younger than I am. Probably the consequence of being the youngest child in the family and, with a late December birthday, always the youngest in my school classes. Now my mantra is “It’s no too late. But it’s later than you think.”

  10. http://writingourwayhome.ning.com/profiles/blogs/how-to-write-small-stones

    This is a wonderful link to a daily exercise to ‘write a small stone’ – it can explain it much better than I, and it is all about really starting to notice the little things, eyes open, ears open, heart wide open! And the book available on Amazon of writers’ small stones, people just like you and me, will really jumpstart your practice if you wish. – I loved all the affirmations today that age is just not about the number of years we have accumulated, or decades behind us or about to be entered. It’s all about the now, – today. I am having fun noticing the progress of the lemons growing on my tree that I will pick next winter. To see the flowers bud in March, and then the tiny head-of-a-pin beginnings of the new lemons – now they are about the size of a kumquat. Have to say though, at sixty-one, I’m used to my spider veins, less than nubile skin, laugh lines, but how in the world does my 34 year old son have a couple of gray whiskers in his beard? Say it isn’t so! My baby???? Hey, how about this for a weekend assignment – cover all the mirrors in your house and party like it’s 1999!

  11. Loved this post, Mary. I’ve been in moments of reflection and not rushing to another direction as I’ve announced that I’m retiring Frankie from her work as of July. I realized how uncomfortable it feels for me thinking about “the future” but then realizing how important it is to “just be” in the new phase of my life now with Frankie retiring. My life was so wound around all we did together out in public that it was hard to let go. But now that I slowly am, I know all will be well. There is truly an art in being still and listening– but when one does– well, it’s really the only way to live, right?

  12. I will smile when I think of the comments here and the commentors and of course our mentor Mary!

  13. Always been a problem for me, thinking and fretting about what’s to do next. I retired early about a year and a half ago and it took me several months just to slow down. Oh what a great feeling! Just to think I didn’t have to do such and such right now before work, I could do it later, or maybe it needn’t be done at all. Well, a part-time job came up, something totally different from what I had done for the previous 35 years and so I began working 12 hours a week…enough to pay insurances :). I love the interaction with the people I see every day, but I was so proud of myself a week ago when the boss asked, can you stay late on Thursday? No, sorry, I said, I have lunch plans with friends and we have been planning for a long time. That is something I never would have done before, I would have said okay, been resentful and missed a fun and laughing lunch with friends I have had for so very long! BTW, I’m 57, too, and not sure what that’s suppose to feel like. Have time to go to the gym now, spend more time gardening, knitting, and loving the Dalmatians and the family and friends. Took me a while, but I may be catching on…who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks??!!!

  14. Since my husband is away for a month, I have been tending our garden. That’s something he always does, but I”m taking my job very seriously. I haven’t paid much attention to the details of the garden until now. Now i go out every day and inspect each plant. I notice the changes in their growth and what flowers have emerged. I’m finding it to be a lot of fun. I think I’ll start talking to them tomorrow and see how they respond.

  15. Hi Mary, I guess I can’t identify with the need to slow down. I’m the biggest procrastinator there is! I’m “turning 63 this year” but it’s no big deal. I finally sat with an astute financial planner today and feel good about the results. This is something I’ve put off for months. I ‘m beginning a new yoga series and attending some stretch and sculpt classes at a nearby gymn. Looking towards volunteering at the nearby animal shelter and eventually my dream of returning to horseback riding lessons as I did as a pre-teenager. My biggest dream is to someday own a horse (financial planning today will help with this!)
    But for this weekend my man and I will be doing “squirrel wars” once again with our two new feeders. I’ll watch the beautiful birds and find peace. I love our yard bunny and the oodles of turkeys too.
    Have a peaceful weekend Mary, Cindy

  16. Katy bar the door!! Tomorrow my hubby is venturing about 400 miles south of us to inspect and complete a deal on a 40 foot motor home we have talked about for years on our ‘bucket list’. If all goes well, we’ll have our rolling turtle shell to spend touring this magnificent country of ours. (We’re both professional drivers so it’s not at all intimidating—except for the idea of being full-time gypsies!!)
    I’ve been retired for 5 years and at age 60, many friends and family tell me we’re out of our minds! What if this; what if that?? I have my own trepidations, mostly about leaving my garden and home, but I hope I can live every moment appreciating THAT VERY MOMENT! And eventually wandering hither and yon, meeting as many wonderful people I’ve come to love here on this site.
    Look out world—here we come!!!!

  17. Mary, thank you for keeping us in a somewhat sane place. I’m slow but I’m thorough, but like the rest of us, I don’t notice things at times. Thank you for the gentle reminder. BTW, you’re still a baby! I just turned 62.

    • Susan – I love the “slow but thorough” description of yourself. There’s a lot to be said for that approach!

  18. Somewhat like cheryl-by-the-sea, #1 on our bucket list is trading our 36′ 1966 Gillig bus for an under-twenty-foot trailer so I can also drive us all over the West. It makes me happy to see the converted old bus going strong, and we recently crammed ten fiddlers in it for breakfast down river, but we would love to trade down to mini-size. Suggestions welcomed & happy weekend to all!

  19. A “little thing” I observed today that made me smile were two cats sitting in the bedroom window while a fat robin in the crab tree just outside was turning every which way sounding the “CATS!” alert.

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