49 And I Ain't Budging!

by Susan C. Litton, Ph.D.

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  • I used to never get angry. Then I discovered my anger. Then I didn't know what to do with my anger. Then I learned.
  • I used to feel that everything was my fault. Now I just feel that most things are. Maybe in 49 more years . . .
  • I used to find yard work overwhelming. I told myself that I preferred for my yard to have the "wild, natural look" that forests offer. All my neighbors probably referred to it as "that @#$%! weed patch" instead, but it was the best I could muster. This spring, I discovered the joy of planting flowers and fruit trees and I get great pleasure from watching them grow and just enjoying their presence. Of course, the birds, chipmunks, rabbits, insects, and raccoons eat the various edibles before they ripen, but maybe that's not the most important thing.
  • I used to be insulted when someone offered to help me carry something heavy to my car. Now I'm grateful.
  • I used to think that I had to have the answers to the great questions of the world: Who am I? Why am I here? Who is God? Is there a God? What's my purpose in life? etc. To settle for anything less than total and absolute Truth seemed like a cop-out. Now I'm content with simply knowing that some questions are beyond what we can fathom in this existence. Some questions, while perhaps not unanswerable, may currently be beyond our ability to answer and/or understand. That would not have been an acceptable answer to me 10 or 20 years ago. It is now.

I have a dear friend who's been teaching me the fine art of having adventures. I've watched her struggle with some extremely difficult issues and manage to find fun in them while also accepting their darker realities. Through her I'm learning that sometimes one's limitations are really just adventures in disguise - adventures waiting to be discovered - adventures that may lead us to new levels of understanding or perhaps just provide some good times along the way.

Wrinkles? Aches, pains and age spots? Decreasing abilities coupled with an increasing waist line? These are adventures?! Well, as I said, I'm 49, and I ain't budging . . . . yet.