C: Change

These are very short excerpts from Susan E. Schwartz and my book ‘Aging & Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry’. Susan E. Schwartz is identified by SES; Susan Scott by SS and italicised. This is from chapter ‘Complex, Cooking & Change’.

SES: I heard a woman speak about aging, but with disgust. Her body would go, she would not be attractive and would lose her strength, beauty and energy. It was awful to listen to this rendition about what little life held for her. Here is the complex around aging speaking. Such attitudes chip away at the sense of the self. page 27. 

SS: The call for change is always present as is the capacity for change – it is not really erased with age. Capacity is there when the right attention is on self – and others. Too often we get waylaid and forget the self part. But, we can recover with persistent attention to our capacities. Having the energy to open the door might be the question if we hear the call to develop and maintain self-regard. Yet a lifetime of internalized conflict can prevent hearing and answering the inner call. page 28.

We have to dare to be ourselves,

however frightening and strange that self may prove to be.

May Sarton


33 Comments on AtoZ Blog Challenge C Change

  1. Hi Susan. I don’t resent getting older. I try to stay youthful in mind, spirit and body (as practical). I read somewhere “don’t let the old lady in” (or old man). We had an eighty plus neighbor once who told my husband and me “don’t quit walking.” We watched him walk around the block almost daily rain or shine. He had good incentive. His wife died crippled up with rheumatism, but she too had a sparkle about her that always seem to say go out and enjoy your life. Take care!

    • Good on the 80 plus neighbour who walked regardless – may he keep on trekking. His wife sounds like an example who, in spite of her crippling disease, kept the sparkle alive. Maybe that’s what it’s all about – keeping the sparkle alive. Thank you 🙂

  2. Hi susan, its so comfortable to be as we are; without having to change 🙂 thats why perhaps change is not a welcoming for some of us. We all know that change is the only permanent thing in life 🙂 🙂 like it or not…. I have been dying my hair too…. and my daughter reminded me that I look good with a little bit of grey hair 🙂 also tells me – accept mamma its ok to grey:) 🙂 she has a point and I value it 🙂 🙂

    Deep down even though there are insecurities, I would like to age gracefully accepting the limitations and enjoying what is in store… thanks for sharing both SES and SS:)

    • I can’t make up my mind about my own hair Genevive … I am very indecisive about this step of going grey naturally. My younger sister has beautiful short silver and grey hair, but we have different skin tones, she is fair and I am dark. O my that I should have insecurities about this, with all else that is way more important .. 🙂 .. I still haven’t bought the hair colour that I was planning to do .. thank you for coming by xx

  3. I stopped dying my hair this past year, to see how the grey was coming along. It’s coming along rather vigorously, I have to say. Yet I kind of like this change. 🙂

    • I want to try that too … maybe to be dyed grey silver to begin with … and let that be that 🙂 Thanks for saying – was going to get a hair colour tomorrow and DIY as I usually do …hmmmm…maybe ….:)

  4. Yes, this is a powerful post and change definitely is part of the process. But each year also adds value and a unique change in our physical and mental well-being. Life is different, but there is always beauty, if we look for it.

    • That is lovely Gwynn that ‘each year adds value and a unique change in our physical and mental well-being’. We are more appreciative of life and the joys it can bring, from the smallest and apparently mundane – eg a chocolate chip cookie. Thank you ..

  5. Hi Susan, Excellent post! Millions seem to struggle with the whole aging obsession, fixating mainly on losing our facial attractiveness alongside our trimmer bodies. Personally, I stopped wearing make-up when I got to forty, couldn’t be bothered and eighteen months ago stopped hi-lighting my hair. Now I know the natural look isn’t for everyone out there but I absolutely love it, especially those “silver fox” hairdo’s! Love Jan’s reply! “Soft and worn like a much loved dolly” … It’s all about being real, being authentic and happy with ourselves. Warm wishes, Deborah.

    • Hi Deborah, thank you for coming by! I wonder if it is gender-specific? Men also have to face their bodies and psyches, but it does seem as if women, younger ones too, are generally more fixated on appearance than men are. Or perhaps we as women don’t really know how they really feel? For that matter, men possibly also don’t know how they themselves really feel, being as they are not overly inclined to Eros. Raising a glass to real-ness and authenticity which you embody so well .. all warm wishes to you, Susan

  6. I think lots of humans resist change… and tend to perceive it as ‘negative’.
    The reason being that we get into our comfort zones and don’t want to move beyond. Growth means getting out of that comfort zone…embracing change…and exploring.
    But it CAN be scary.
    Writer In Transit

    • Thanks Michelle for popping by. We become entrenched in that comfort zone, irrespective if it’s holding us back. Strange huh? Imagine opening one’s arms to change and embracing it –

  7. Hello dearheart! Not doing A to Zed this year as I’m flying out today to get a new hip. So talk of aging is so appropriate! It is hard to not feel old when hobbling about but I don’t mind the other parts of aging. My hair has been white and left so since I was forty. Makeup was never my thing but for playing dressup. I like how I look -soft and worn like a much loved dolly – and once I get my new hip I’ll be mobile. Not moving is deadly but age is not the cause. I’ll be checking in on your posts.

    • Jan, so wonderful to hear from you and firstly, best of luck with that new hip! I hear so many success stories! Follow the surgeon’s, physio’s instructions, rest up, do the exercises, follow your own instincts etc and you’ll be a brand new dolly (much loved!) and hiking among the snow and ice in next to no time. Yes I know spring is on its way … you’ll be frolicking among the daisies .. Best of luck, and again I’m thrilled to hear from you 🙂

  8. Society’s focus on very young women saddens me. It’s the reason so many women feel the end is near when they approach 30, never mind the later years.

    Recently read a “scientific” article that claimed women prefer to date men a few years older, while men of ALL ages prefer women in their twenties. What a sad commentary that is.

    • Thanks Holli for coming by – it’s a mixed up world when the focus is so much on younger women who also feel that their lives are over when they hit 30 or 40 – because they ‘know’ that men prefer women in their 20’s? .. collusion on their part to keep the fantasy intact ..

  9. Getting old, to me, is like freeing myself. I no longer have to stress over perfect looks, skinny body, and make-up. I’m all for change.

    • Thanks Robbie, good things indeed in the push and pull of aging, the positives and the negatives … I just popped by your website, but there was nowhere to make a comment. My elder son is an animator and he would have loved to see your characters. He is away right now – I see Sir Chocolate is off to Cape Town soon. My younger son lives there ..

  10. True, aging brings a lot of changes in our physical and mental make up. But we can enjoy it with the right attention on self and right attitude.

    • Thanks Shilpa for coming by … right attention to self and others and attitude to self and others will bring right and good changes 🙂

  11. You nailed it with this one. I tire of hearing women moan on about how aging is so terrible and how much they have to do now to look like how they always have looked. They will not allow themselves to change/evolve, and then seem to take joy in complaining about the changes they’ve made in their lives to make sure that they do not appear to change. It all drives me crazy.

    • I hear it too Ally Bean – and it can be crazy making for those hearing it; maybe also for the one moaning … even a little more crazy? I don’t know – When someone goes on and on about aging and how horrible it is, I usually say something. I’m not on the spot right now, so I can’t remember. But what IS disturbing is hearing mothers talking about aging in derogatory terms in front of their daughters – and sons – some impression huh?

    • I don’t know what to say Susan. I am grateful for the comments. The A-Z hosts used to have linky-links which made it a lot easier for me for example, to find people and comment. Maybe others are having the same difficulty because of no linky-links; maybe some read and don’t comment. We’re all so busy and going through some very strange times in different parts of the world .. Thank YOU for coming by 🙂

  12. What a powerful admonition from May Sarton. You’d think we’d get better at change with experience, but I suspect it will always be challenging for us humans.

Comments are closed.