Friday, October 25, 2019

Get Busy Living

The other night I watched Tyler Perry's "The Family That Preys Together." Kathy Bates was incredible in it, as she is in most everything she does. She was a middle-aged woman who was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's and decided to live life to the fullest by taking a trip across country with her best friend.

One night into the trip, she wakes up crying unable to be consoled. It is then she tells her friend about the diagnosis. That powerful scene hit me very hard, not only because of my mom and what we went through, but also because I am heading into higher birthday numbers.

I sat and cried after the movie ended. I began thinking about my life, what I may have accomplished, and what good I can do with the time I have left. I'd been journaling a lot and writing things I want our children to see when I'm gone. Writing, to me, is a powerful way to share what I can't say sometimes or what I want to impart upon people who I may not have reached in other ways.

I did get caught in a self-pity party though. My bones are aching, my hair is thinning, my body is spreading into a different version of itself. I see lines on my face that weren't there before, and I tire much more easily. Fear crept in and made me realize that I've lived most of my life already, and that the remaining years won't be as long as the former. Wow, talk about a downer!

I spoke to someone who helped me to look at life right now in the way it should be viewed. With eyes wide open, heart full of love, ready to embrace whatever the coming years offer. In the movie "The Shawshank Redemption," Morgan Freeman's famous line is "Get busy living, or get busy dying." Yes, that is a wonderful way to view the years. I can choose to ponder the aging process, worrying over every small change that is occurring, or I can beat it at its own game by a renewed sense of passion and purpose every single day.

My father got busy living no matter what curve ball was thrown his way. When he couldn't refinish large furniture projects any longer due to health issues, he began to make small crafts instead. He told me he didn't want to die in a rocking chair, doing nothing. And he didn't.

Age is just a number. And when that number gives you the willies, or makes you pause for a moment and say, "Wow, I can't believe I'm almost _________ years old," we can console ourselves by thinking about our blessings. We can give ourselves powerful self-love with positive self-talk. I still have hair, my body works great, I am able to walk and enjoy the outdoors, I get a great night's sleep and enjoy naps. I work with my hands, I can hear great music, read excellent books. I can talk with loved ones and good friends. Our lists can go on and on.

Today I'm choosing to stick out my tongue at a birthday number. Maybe even thumb my nose at it. After all, the most fun part of getting older is getting away with a few things we weren't able to do a few years ago. We are now the outspoken ones. So let's get busy living!!

Monday, October 21, 2019

A Day With My Son

If there's one person I love spending time with, it's my son, Matt. He is the type of guy that has patience, understanding, a sweet disposition, and usually a lot of positivity. Yesterday we took a small trip to Living Treasures animal park, and then a state park in our area, Kooser.

Since we are both animal lovers, we took a lot of time at the animal park. We bought carrots and bagged, crunchy animal food. We had cameras ready and a beautiful day ahead of us. We stopped for lengthy visits with animals all over the park. And it was a good time of day because we were greeted by some very furry, very hungry creatures.

Our next stop at the state park was for picture-taking. It was then I noticed my son as if seeing him for the first time. How he lined up his camera shots perfectly. How he was never in a hurry to see the next thing, but was content to be in the moment, enjoying what visions awaited him through his camera lens.

 In the hustle bustle of life, I am used to seeing people hurrying to the next thing and the next, eager to get their fix on the prize of the moment. Matt seems to want to live in the moment. I have seen his photographs in the past, some of which are almost prize-winning in my opinion. I'm grateful that he has an eye for beauty in nature. I'm thrilled that he has a heart for God's creatures.

Sometimes when we are together, we have long talks about this and that. And some days we are content to be quiet in the moment. Every mother has a sixth sense about their child though, and I realized something was bugging him after our day was over.

I wanted to fix everything he talked about. I wanted to say life is fair and everything turns out perfectly each day. But life isn't fair, and at times, it's less than perfect. But if there is one thing I can say to him, it would be: Don't change who you are through the bad times.

It's easy to get caught in a web of anger when we are in a bad spot. It's easy to almost have a personality change and become something or someone we aren't usually. But if we continue to smile through the rough patches, believe in the best, don't compromise our beliefs in bad moments, and keep a positive outlook when times are less than perfect, I believe we can chase away the old devil.

He runs from the good and just dances with glee when we are morose and bitter. Let's show him who's boss and Who we believe in--God and the good in humanity. Let's, as parents, pray for our children, calling favor, faith, and blessing over their lives. Let's not give in to fear and doubt, but let the moments that define us be ones of light, life, and the knowledge that we are in the Best hands!

Awesome multi-colored peacock at the park!

My favorite animal yesterday. An albino wallaby! I wanted to take him home...

Great shot before a small bridge at Kooser.

I just love a babbling brook.

The eye of the photographer.

My son's family friendly YouTube channel: