One of the good things about turning fifty is the chance to join AARP and receive the bi-monthly AARP Magazine. On a trip to see my in-laws, I had time to rest, at different intervals during the day, and read the October/November addition. Now, I don’t know if the editor meant to have a theme running through the issue, but I caught something important as I read.
Actor, writer, comedian, Tim Allen was featured on the cover. “Engage in life as much as you can,” says Allen. “It takes energy. But if you don’t find your center point, you end up sorta drifting through life sideways.”
Actress and singer, Bette Midler, appeared in the What’s New section of the magazine. Under the title, What I Know Now, she says, “When you have had your head down doing something – even something you love, love, love – and you finally pick your head up and see the world around you, it’s just so beautiful. It’s just…oh, my God, I’m so glad I lived! That’s when you realize you need balance. I seek that now all the time.”
In my free time, I do have my head down, doing mostly things relating to writing. As most of you are, I am in love with words on a page.
I’ve often found that the days go so fast, even faster now that I’m growing older. Just lately, I found myself wondering if I’ll ever get the chance to just sit and be. And if so, will I be happy after being busy for so long?
This weekend, my husband and I are visiting his parents in two, side-by-side, adult foster homes. His mother has grown stronger than she was one year ago. It’s nice to sit and talk with her, fill her in on our busy lives. She sits and smiles as she listens, and listens well as she’s lost most of her eye sight. Still, I catch her looking up toward her son as she has for many years.
Unlike my mother-in-law, my father-in-law hasn’t improved since we last saw him. His Alzheimer’s has progressed, his memory has failed him, and he can only say a three word phrase (on a good day). My husband said, “I don’t know what to say, so I guess I’ll just spend some time with my arm around his shoulder.” It was beautiful to watch.
Back to my magazine, under the section, Ponder This, I found this tidbit of information: 18 is the number of minutes in an average day that Americans ages 45 through 64 spend just relaxing and thinking.
“You don’t want the end to come and you say, “I wish I’d loved more, I wish I’d smelled more roses,” Allen says. “You have to do that now.”