This cute, furry-legged fellow ambled across our deck a few weeks back. Any rock climber would envy his ability to ascend a vertical face. What? You don’t think he’s cute? That’s the funny thing about the mind, isn’t it? One persons’ fascination can be anothers’ terror.
This morning at Trader Joe’s, I met a charming, very talkative, older man. We discussed our interest in healthy foods, scorn for Big Pharma and concern over the opioid epidemic. As we spoke, a woman with wrinkly skin, hideously, tattooed legs and dyed, pinkish, red hair stood listening nearby. She smiled at me a few times to reveal a mouthful of missing, broken and discolored teeth. Suddenly, he noticed the woman and his eyes lit up so brightly you’d have thought he was seeing his firstborn for the first time.
“Oh! I want you to meet Janet, my beautiful wife of 49 years!” he exclaimed beaming with pride.
His exuberance must have rubbed off on me, for at that moment, I found her as beautiful as he did! As we spoke, she even seemed to radiate. Mindset is everything, isn’t it? How we ‘see’ a thing makes it what it is. And that initial perception affects our choices, decisions, moods and ultimately, even our futures. Aging is like that. For some it is a feared reality. For others, it is merely the next adventure.
Recently, I read an article that said that, ‘being mature’ and ‘being old,’ are two, very separate things. These were listed as, ‘signs of maturity’:
- Understanding that aging is a natural part of life and accepting it.
- Being alive to the wonder you experienced as a child.
- Paying attention and learning from others who are aging well.
- Not trying to ‘be young,’ but wearing your age with pride.
- Appreciating how little you know.
- Accepting that others’ faults are no worse than your own.
- Realizing that few of your beliefs/ideas originated with you.
- Being at ease with your imperfect life.
- Making a will, arranging for death and then getting on with life.
When I first read the list I thought that I was pretty ‘mature.’ However, after meeting that couple this morning, I have decided that I need to add another sign of maturity to that list:
- Finding beauty in ALL creatures, eight-legged and otherwise.