Y_lady Y_lady Y_lady

I can live alone, if self-respect, and circumstances require me so to do. I need not sell my soul to buy bliss. I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all extraneous delights should be withheld, or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give.

Charlotte Brontë

Is it youth or is it time? Is youth really wasted on the young? How to be wise at any age? Is it youth we pine for or is it time to do and to be? Do we take advantage of the years as we learn more and more how to breathe into them?

How often it seems that what happened, whatever it was, occurred just a moment ago. Yesterday and yesterdays blurred. Time slow and then fast and then gone. The conflation of time is strange as we feel young and old at the same time. We have no choice but to accept the years. In fact, how awful to not be accepting and to rebel against or devalue who we are and what we have attained. Certain things have to reflect the sands of time. Yet, there is such a struggle to let this be and be content that it is so.

The yoke to the outmoded becomes apparent in ideas about aging that deduce there are no possibilities, merely limits. This isthen followed by no respect for wisdom, superseded by lack, yoga positions no longer attainable, and yearsthat are denied rather than respected. The yearning for youth is another yoke, as if youth is the best time and there is no glory in the present day. How perverse and actually without truth is that?

And, the reality is that there is value to the years. In fact, we should not look, act or feel the same throughout life. No animal stays the same, nothing alive stays the same even to the smallest microbe, so why should we? After all, we live according to the nature and we are part of it.

The saying yes to age has to be and is a truth, whether we like to admit it or not.  We know this because we have aged into it. Why spend time yearning for what we cannot have and, in fact, could never be? We waste away the years and moments of the present if we merely pine to be another way or age or size or talent. Maybe the yearning is really to be all that we are in the here and now, at this moment. It is not manifest in things or achievements but in being able to deal with the anxiety and responsibility of our entire self. This requires a listening to the instincts, being a woman and honoring all the changes and advances, the limits and the expansions to body, mind and soul. With each limit comes the challenge to find another way.

What would the world look like as we said yes to age?

27 Comments on Y – Yes

  1. Hi Susan – I read your Reflections post – very good synopsis of your A to Z journey. I’m sorry I didn’t get to your blog during the Challenge, but will return to look through some more of your alphas. This Y hits close to home. I honestly don’t mind aging because the wisdom and ability to cope has been phenomenal, but both my Hub and I have been very physically active our whole lives and cumulative sports injuries and crashes are now limiting what we do, and that is hard.

    My dad’s succinct advice (as he still golfs and ages gracefully at 88) is to keep learning something new, especially if you are in the midst of having to give something up. So far, I’m taking that advice and it is helping.

    • Sammy, I came upon yr comment only today in September! Belated thank you for it! Your Dad must be an inspiration! The elderly have much to teach us.

  2. I’m with Charlotte Bronte on this one.

    Last night I watched “The Pennsylvania Ballet at 50” on TV. Julie Diana, principal dancer, gave a near perfect performance in “Diamonds,” from George Balanchine’s “Jewels.” I had neither seen nor heard of Julie Diana before. This weekend she will retire after 21 years of performing. She began her professional career just as my daughter and I quit studying ballet after many years.

    I have written more about this and will publish it in a blog post.

    It all seems like yesterday. Time is relative.

  3. “Is it youth or is it time?”
    Yes, that is the crux of it, isn’t it? Things become more poignant and important and less important and … I really enjoyed reading this entry. The fleetingness of fair face and the opportunity.

    • Thank you Sara … the paradox: ‘.. more poignant and important and less important and …’
      Have a great weekend.

  4. “Is it youth we pine for or is it time to do and to be?” This reminds me of two favorite quotes: “Of all losses time is the most irrecuperable for it can never be redeemed,” and “all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” Time is more precious than youth. Youth focuses on the exterior. It’s superficial and fleeting. Time allows us to focus on the development of the inner self. We grow through our life experiences and the benefits of that can be profound and lasting.

    • Thank you Melissa, for your very wise response which gets to the heart of developing the inner self while being rooted in the world.

  5. Charlotte Bronte is one of my husbands favorite authors. We might as well say yes to age. It comes whether we want it to or not, and is much more enjoy it and experience the richness of is so much more if we learn to accept it; no more than that, if we learn to say ‘yes’ and embrace it. Love your posts. So thought provoking. Maria, “http://delightdirectedliving.blogspot.com/”

  6. Yes! I do say Yes to age but at the same time, I don’t allow age to dictate how I should live or even how I should feel. To me, an Aged person is always 15 years older than I am and when I turn 101, 116 will be aged. That’s just the way my brain is wired.

    Thanks for a very thought-provoking series. I’ll be sad when it finishes tomorrow.

  7. I embrace my age. Sure, I think fondly of my twenties, but in retrospect I have to say — I was so much more … naive, shall we say. When I turned forty someone asked what was harder, turning forty or when I turned thirty (the end of my twenties). I said turning thirty was probably harder, because that was all about me (I didn’t have my son at that time). Turning forty, or any other age from now on, is a privilege — I get time with my family and what can be better?

    Thank you, Susan. Your posts get me into a reflective mood, and I like that. I enjoyed coming in here immensely throughout this challenge, and look forward to many more visits to your blog, post AZs.

  8. The conundrum of age. I remember being told that high school would represent the best years of my life. Far from. Far from. And it seems to me someone said the same about my twenties. Hardly. I’m in my mid-thirties…and finally really coming to figure out who I am, finally really appreciating that as a good thing, etc. I imagine I will come more and more into myself as I move through my forties and fifties, etc and so on. That said, it hit me just recently how I have wasted a lot of time, time from my teen years, time from my twenties. Not a wish to go back per se (though I wouldn’t scoff at the option) but a realization how fast time slips and how I need to do more now so I’m not looking back in my forties and fifties and wishing.

    Thought-provoking post. Thank you.

  9. Your post is very inward-looking. I enjoy my age, just not the aches and pains that go with it. However, your post immediately makes me think of Hollywood and the people who work so hard at not showing their age… not being real. To me, that is a sad society… that we no longer respect aging.

    For me I appreciate what I have learned along the way and only aging and experience could provide me with those treasures. Thank you for your wonderful post.

  10. Susan, Am facing an invitation for which I really don’t know I want to say Yes, but I had previously decided to put m myself in the Yes mode… ah, decisions! Thanks for the opportunity to reflect.

    • Dear Beth;
      Reflection is like looking in the pond and seeing oneself looking back in the mirroring and re-mirroring…
      Thank you,

  11. This is such a wise post, Susan, thank you and the Charlotte Bronte quote is lovely. There’s little point in trying to turn back the clock to youth for obvious reasons, and much greater value in living in the present by accepting who we have now become. We will always have a past, present and future, and happiness doesn’t lie in trying constantly to go backwards!

  12. Hi,
    Very interesting point o of view. As a fan of the Bronte sisters and their ideas about life and aging, I really enjoyed reading this.


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