SUDDENLY, THE YEAR TURNS

Suddenly …


Age is a very strange thing. You are a child, then you are young and these days, you are young for a very long time. Young really up through your fifties and for many people, pretty youthful into their sixties. Then, it changes. Maybe a little. Sometimes a lot and quite suddenly.

Macro birthday bouquet

The face that has been almost the same since your twenties is different. Older. Not just wrinkles, but there’s a “look” of maturity that tells the world — and you — that’s you’ve been around. You’ve seen a lot. You know things. Older eyes are different and it’s impossible to explain what that means. It doesn’t mean they do not sparkle with joy, but there is a knowingness that is missing in young eyes.

More birthday bouquet

This year has vanished even faster than usual. In fact, this entire last decade has been a wink and a shrug. I do not feel older this year than last. Actually, I feel better this year than last, but I’ve been gradually recovering from earlier surgeries and it’s nice that there’s a semblance of progress. Still, I sometimes don’t understand how I got here. I remember the years. I mostly remember what I was doing for most of them … but how do they add up to such a big number?

Yet here I am.

Macro bouquet

This twirling, whirling, busy world is a bauble in the great universe and we are just little crawly dots on its surface. In the even greater scheme of things, we are barely here at all. I’m not sure whether or not that perspective is comforting or chilling. Maybe both?

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. Retired! Yay!

36 thoughts on “SUDDENLY, THE YEAR TURNS”

        1. I lack a subject. Words are great, but I don’t really have something I feel i need to say. If I ever have something that seems bookish, I might write it. But these days, elderly writers are not what publishers are looking for … and one self-published book is plenty 😀

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      1. 3Love your description on how our faces age… I recognize the changes you mention in your face in my own now that I am 70… and yes, there is that “knowing”. part. Happy Birthday to you… P.S. the pictures of the flowers are beautiful and well done by you…. Here is to another year of your writing and photography and editing there of. Salute!

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  1. Too bad that, Like the flowers, you’ve photographed, our lives and bodies can’t be renewed? There was something about that “youngness” that insulated us from reality. I believe that getting older is a product of becoming aware of our surroundings.., and not, necessarily, in a good way.

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    1. Those flowers aren’t renewed. They die. They’re just like us. New flowers come up every year, not exactly quite like the ones last year but close enough. New humans show up every year, too. It’s pretty much the same deal.

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  2. Happy Birthday, Marilyn! Good to know you are feeling a little better this year than last year. May you continue to recover, healthwise, and may you continue to entertain all of us with your posts and awesome photography.

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    1. I’m sure you understand when I say “better” is good. It’s not as good as i wish, but it definitely is better. It’s been two whole years since I needed major surgery and I’m really NOT dead. I haven’t even had a close call with death. That’s stupendous 😀

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  3. That perspective absolves us, as does “She’s doing the best she can Barbie.” 🙂

    My recent adventures with my left hip going south have been very educational. We lose some of our identity as we get older, retire, etc. I’ve had to face what I require in order to recognize myself as myself. I don’t think its negotiable but I also don’t think it’s a battle I can win long term. It is one I’m going to fight, though.

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    1. Blogging has been a huge help for me. Writing is a big part of my identity and aways has been. Writing — and getting read — keeps my brain awake. Photography keeps my imagination alive. The physical stuff is what it is. I deal with it. It’s not fixable and it’s not going away, but as long as I keep my feet under me, I will manage. I went through what you are going through about a decade ago when my spine seriously deteriorated from bad to unmanageable. I had to give up things i love and i went through a real siege of depression. But in a way, that life went from pretty bad to vastly worse made rethink priorities.

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      1. The fact that I went through this (for 3 years!) from 2004 to 2007 has definitely clouded this experience. BUT now I have a doctor in whom I believe and hip surgery has progressed since (I wrote wince!) 10+ years ago. BUT when I can no longer walk THEN I will have to reassess everything. So, I have to — in the meantime — redefine myself OR be sure I don’t have to confront the moment. This cortisone shot has been a huge teacher, too.

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        1. I was thinking this morning about trying to find a doctor who could give me a shot in the spine and realizing that there simply are none out here and I would have to go into Boston. Balancing how much I don’t want to go into Boston against how MUCH I would appreciate a well-placed cortisone shot. Right now, remarkably, I think NOT wanting to go to Boston beats out relief from pain. Go figure, right?

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          1. Yeah — I don’t know. Back in October, when this saga began, I was told it was a 50/50 chance that a cortisone shot wouldn’t work. AND I originally thought I’d drive to Salida (1 1/2 hour away) to get it but that doc only gives them at 7 am which means I’d have to spend the night there. To do that there was a huge production. “You’ll probably not want to drive afterwards, so you’ll need a friend to bring you up and take you home.” Huh?

            I was surprised by the one I ended up getting. I saw the advantage of cities. I also drove myself and took a walk with my friend afterwards.

            I dunno. I think (now) that pain creates its own inertia and magnifies difficulties because, with pain, things are just MORE difficult.

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  4. Love how you put your thoughts out there. I often think about it, but I cant seem to put into words. Except it’s “hard”. There are so many things I want to experience and I feel I have about 10 years to go…however, I did meet a 70 yo man in a half marathon who was doing fine! He is my hero. I’m hanging on to that idea.

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    1. I put a lot of thoughts out there, but not most of my feelings. I’m very private about feelings. But the rest of life? It’s just stuff we do, the way life rolls and I don’t think mine is much different than anyone else my age. So I feel safe with that 🙂

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  5. Happy Birthday, Marilyn. Thanks for showing us not just how to age gracefully, but philosophically, too.

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    1. Whatever I’m doing, graceful ain’t it. I’m a mess. Philosophical? Okay. I can go with that. About the only part of me that still works in a recognizable way is ye olde (old!) brain 🙂 Thanks Dorothy. You are one of the very few people on earth who can remember me “back when.” It doesn’t even seem that long ago, you know?

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  6. Belated Happy Birthday Spike! 🙂 Here’s to yet another full circle trip completed around our Star!
    (They do seem to take less and less time nowadays though, don’t they?? Do you think the planet is speeding up, or is space simply shrinking and becomming smaller – like us?) 🙂

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