I find myself increasingly connecting with people who remind me a little of someone else. I seem to reference lost friends or faraway friends in conversation with more frequency. TIME has started to play on my mind more.
It is no secret that as you age, time seems to speed up and health become more important and talked about. We pay attention more. We look back more. We worry more. In my house, Ill health and funerals are a regular conversation over breakfast these days. My family in Ireland table funeral attendance with more frequency. We are starting to lose people. That’s a bit morose isn’t it? Lets not think about it. But you know, the longer you live the more you lose. So, life becomes more precious.
It would be easy to become fearful and to hide inside and hold it all close. To resist change and interaction. To distance ourselves. I think we are all a bit guilty of that. As we age, we become increasingly fearful risk averse people. Myself included. We collectively struggle to venture out, take on a new challenges, risk change, difference or any kind of danger.
So that’s it is it? Stay home and watch TV ? Well, no. I hope not. For me, journal writing and reflecting over the past few years have become a common feature in my life. I have set myself a challenge. I am a list writer after all.
Years ago, I developed a project to photograph people with their lists. I learnt to print make, (badly I may add) and used my hands to overlay their words with their lists. I wanted to capture a moment in time, actions and thoughts of things that were important to them.
Here is my current list. It’s called: My aging list of tasks. Some of the tasks I am good at and some are a work in progress. I have learnt that with age, I need to be kinder to myself about achieving all of this.
- Every year to fundraise for Cancer treatment to help family and friends treatment. It’s good and a chance to spend time with friends and family doing something important. One out of two of us will develop cancer as we age, so it’s a must. It’s become personal for me. Both my parents and various close relatives and friends have experienced cancer. Some no longer here. My sister is currently taking a miracle cancer drug to treat her benign Giant Cell tumour.
- To spent more time with family work less, enjoy life more.
- To be more creative in life and work. Writing, reflecting and making. Do something. Whatever it is, just do it. I am currently creating a scrapbook of ideas/thoughts and actions.
- To take more risks. I am already a bit of a risk taker with often terrible consequences but I still stand by it both personally and creatively. You learn a lot.
- To be brave. Challenge myself. Stop saying things like “this isn’t me or that is me.” Its me if I have done it.
- Get involved. Politics and the environment have become more important to me as I age. I genuinely feel that we all have a duty to both of those things. Get involved and do something good. Be change.
- Stay in touch with friends in whatever way you can. Be it writing, email, texts, face to face and in groups. I give myself a hard time when I have little to no time to catch up with friends. But, I have learnt that I do what I can, where I can. After all, stressing about not seeing friends is silly. I wouldn’t want any friends of mine to stress out about not seeing me either.
- Be impulsive. Do unexpected things, go to unexpected places, do unexpected things. Even if its rubbish. Last minute plans are always exciting.
- Make new friends– younger ones and older ones…If it works it works! Find new people.
- Volunteer. I help out at the local school, a local music charity, gardening and fundraising.
- Learning. Giving myself time to learn something new be it training and development, a conference, an event. Connect.
- Look after myself– stay healthy, walk, move, eat.
- Sleep– go to bed earlier. Sleep is good.
- Be good to yourself.
- Laugh and make memories.