On Aging

So, I told you a couple days ago about some of the lectures this week in school. As I said in that previous blog, I’m kind of hung up on Annemarie Colbin, PhD. She says the best things about eating and living…she makes so much sense…kind of like Mom-sense. So I was reading through some of her presentations, and I ran across some things that really rang true with me about aging. First of all, our eating has a profound impact on how we age, whether we are healthy and strong, or sick and weak. I think we all have figured this out by now…but the media has glorified and commercialized aging so much that we feel like we need to eat special processed foods for people over age 50, take special vitamins, use every cream and potion to prevent wrinkles and sagging skin…well you know the scene if you watch even 15 minutes of television or pick up any popular magazine. It’s so hard to feel like you don’t have to pay attention to all that stuff and run out and buy every special product that will keep us “young forever.” And I admit it…I am one vain chick. I’d like to have no lines and wrinkles, beautiful thick hair, a fabulous figure, and amazing health throughout my whole life. But let’s face it folks; that ain’t happening. So, am I saying that I am just going to let myself go? Oh, heck no!

I will feed my body the right food that will nourish and build strength, prevent illness, and keep me looking younger longer (plus, I’ll get my hair done…ok, so that’s not really natural; I hope you understand). I will also exercise and do yoga to stay limber and in shape. And, I will have a positive mental attitude that will keep me from having a stroke or heart attack from all the stress! Annemarie puts it all in perspective when she talks about how aging is part of the life cycle and we should embrace it and realize that as we age, we grow wiser. We have more depth to our souls. And that is as it should be; we are meant to grow wiser and offer our wisdom to our younger counterparts, who will hopefully also learn from our wisdom…ok, so I’m not completely there yet…but I’ll get there someday.

Anyway, I’d like to share a little of what Annemarie Colbin had to say about her conversation with a tree about aging; this is an awesome story and I hope you’ll all take a little of her message and use it in your own life.

“All the while

I was whining and complaining to

myself about minor creaks and aches

I thought I had, about getting older,

uglier, perhaps sicker, about how I

wasn’t like I used to be. At one point

I looked up and saw a large, beautiful,

old tree. As I admired it, I distinctly

felt or heard some communication

coming from the tree to me.

This is what it said:

“Come over here. You are admiring me

now. Look at my wide branches, there is

plenty of room for birds to play, to put

their nests here. I give lots of shade to

heat-weary travelers. I add oxygen to the

air, even protect you from the wind if

necessary. I am useful – but I am old.

My branches are gnarled, my bark is full

of holes and pieces have fallen off. I look

wrinkled, not pretty. You want pretty, you

want smooth? Look around; there are the

young ones, smooth and pretty, but they’re

good for nothing right now. There is not

enough room yet in their branches for

the birds; they barely make some shade.

What counts is function – how you’re

doing, what you’re doing for others – not

form. Remember that.”

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