Saturday, November 24, 2007

Some Thoughts on Turning 60 - Part I

I wrote a poem earlier this month, a poem I should keep foremost in my mind - a sort of anthem if you will, to act as a reminder of why I am actually happy to be 60.

Yes, I find it strange and actually A LOT weird. I don't feel 60. Perhaps I won't feel 90 when I get there either. I wonder if true age is a state of mind? I've known young people who seem so old. They even dress old. But it seems that the older I get the younger I feel. And, as I age, I realize that the greatest gift age has given me is the gift of

Wisdom
A few things are truly important to me and how they fit into my life comes from experience and the wisdom I've gained along the way.
Wisdom has taught me a lot about friendship. Thoughts of friendship and its place in one's life has been on my mind for several months now. Friendship has so many faces - long-term, short-term, new, cyber, real world. What more is friendship than a connection we make with another person? What is the glue that binds this connection and determines its strength?

Long-term friendship holds with strong glue - but - does it really? Since friendship is a connection between people and people often find themselves in seasons of change, it stands to reason that the glue needs to be changed too. Friendship is a structure that requires maintenance. Without it, a friendship can flounder.

The sad thing about change is that while it is happening, it can lead to confusion for others. I've noticed that few people show patience when unusual or unexpected personality flashes occur. Few people step back and ask what is going on. Close family members might but people are, for the most part, reactive. Once I noticed this, I started becoming more watchful of the people in my life.

But changes, when they do occur, are living creatures. They demand a lot of us and the roads they lead us to sometimes aren't pretty and nor well-paved. So sometimes we find ourselves saying good-bye most unexpectedly to a friendship, a relationship. Perhaps we feel a sense of relief but I think more often we must feel a sense of regret, a sense of loss.

Along with friendship, the making and/or losing of connections, I also find myself traveling a faith road. This road has taken an unexpected u-turn and turned me back to my past. I've written previously about my dismay with the Church today and especially the state of worship. A month after returning to the Latin Mass, I find that I have rediscovered the reverence in worship that had all but disappeared for me. Some might think that I have returned to something that isn't relevant in the 21st century and certainly no one born around or after 1962 would have a memory of the Latin Mass and how meaningful it truly is. For me, it has become a matter of not knowing what you had until you lost it.

I find now that the reverence of worship I experience each Sunday actually fills me with a light that carries me through to a closer awareness of my daily life. And, since my daily life is firmly rooted in the 21st century, I am more aware of the moment to moment needs of others. Considering the level of global communication we share now, how could I not?

This aspect of my character has always been active but the weekly immersion in reverence of worship has actually acted as a sort of weekly booster shot to be more immediately responsive to need. This immersion is also teaching me to be more discerning of need, to understand that angels are not necessarily knocking when the need presents itself. Thoughts of angels causes me a lot of concern and after a bit I will be pursue this train of thought in Part II of my thoughts on turning 60.

17 comments:

Lea said...

This picture of you is so precious! I want to hold her in my arms!!! I see the woman in her face and the child in your face now... beautiful words Annie of what matters to you and what you are discovering and sharing here. It is a gift to us, your wisdom of 60 years young... Thank you...

trailbee said...

Turning 60 isn't like turning 29 or 30, it's this huge, enormous milestone which screams experience and history.Once we accept the shock of certain truisms, we realize that we are in a really good spot. A votre sante, Anne.

Jone said...

What a precious, cute baby! You turning 60 with a heart much younger. I enjoyed your perspective especially with thoughts on friendship and fatih road. Simplicity has become the word for me of late.

miss*R said...

YOU are a wise woman! Your words here are wonderful.. thankyou so much for sharing.
to understand that angels are not necessarily knocking when the need presents itself. - I look forward to what you have to say in part 2.. I am going to ponder on what you meant by these words.

you were a gorgeous baby, Annie! Look at that hair :)
xoxo

Rositta said...

I turn 60 in March and hope to feel as gracious about it as you. I'm not sure I can though. It's not the number or the wrinkles,it's the physical ailments that go along with it that bother me. Beautiful post...ciao

Wanda said...

Sixty was a good turn for me! That year I called it the 20-40-60! Twenty years at the church, Forty years of marriage...and Sixty years of age! That was six years ago, and I'm loving 66!
The picture of you is so absolutey darling!!

Mary Timme said...

A wise minister once told me that unless a service brought you into closer relationship with God, it had not served it's purpose. Each time we gather we are to be reminded of who's we are. I love that. Both on Sundays and Wednesdays. Couldn't live without it, at least not well.

Susie said...

What an adorable picture of you Annie. Your sweet smile hasn't changed a bit. I'll enjoy reading your thoughts as you approach 60. I'll be there next year!!
xo

Thinking aloud said...

what an adorable picture!!

**Friendship is a structure that requires maintenance. ***i find a lot of truth in this sentence...
having quite a bit to go before turning 60, i'm going to store these words and mull them over because nothing counts more than experience!!

Stephanie said...

That picture is so very sweet....

Our physical years are so very closely tied to our mental years and all the contributes to that health. You are young and vibrant in so many ways....like your face book! I can't figure this beast out:)

Bimbimbie said...

As always Annie you provided food for thought ... sweet baby photo *!*

pepektheassassin said...

Is this You??? Well, of course it is! What a cute baby you were, (and are). I am not very glad to be 68. Well, I guess I am. Better than the alternative, as they say. Yes, I am still glad to be around to share the lives of my family and friends. And the web has only increased my blessings!

AnnieElf said...

OH yes, Pepe, this is me. LOL. And yes indeed, much better than the alternative. Drop me a line via my email so I can get you in my address book, OK? Hope you see this.

qualcosa di bello said...

this is such an inspiring post, your beautiful baby self seems to hold all this wisdom in her sparkly eyes!

returning to the reverent worship of the Latin Mass fills us & sends us out into the world so marvelously. i can't help but notice that it, unlike the very me-focused novus ordo Mass frequently found today, takes the focus off us & onto our Creator in such a humble, reverent way. we are no longer blocked by our self-focus, but instead we are able to be filled & go forth! you have expressed lovely thoughts on this.

UL said...

Such a pretty photograph, thank you. I loved your thoughts on friendship and faith. Both important chunks of my life without which I wouldnt be complete. Thank you for the reminder.

paris parfait said...

A lovely baby and a beautiful, wise woman! Lovely post, Annie. xoxox

AscenderRisesAbove said...

could you be any cuter???? !

ascenderrisesabove.com/wordpress