Categorized | Features, Laurie's Scribbles

As You Become Older, Do You Become “More”?

Older

As Laurie gets older, she no longer skedaddles down stairs.

By Laurie Stone

Someone once said we discover who we really are as we age. I used to wonder if that was true. And yet as the years have crept by, some personality traits seem not only hardwired, but, God forbid, more pronounced. Here are seven ways I’ve gotten worse (or better) in my 60s. Can you relate?

More Introverted

As a young adult, I could party with the best of them, stay up late, drink and debate politics endlessly. But there was always a part of me that needed to balance this with quiet, alone time. Then I got older and that balance shifted. Yes, I still love and need dinner with family and friends, but I also crave alone time more than ever, with space to read, write, daydream — always with a small lap dog at hand.

More Fragile

I used to skedaddle down stairs like nothing when younger, barely paying attention to the steps underneath. My body was a strong, reliable vehicle doing my bidding without fuss or bother. But these days are different. Going downstairs, I hold tight to that railing, taking more careful steps. I watch where I walk outside, more vigilant of dips in the pavement or slippery spots. I see how precious and delicate this vehicle of mine has become, and alas, how breakable.

More Confident

There’s nothing like time and experience to give us courage. I used to be confident in the business world, but quick to bow to the “grown-ups” in the room. Now, although out of the business realm, I’m proud to be one of those “grown-ups.” There’s an assurance that comes with age, a steeliness that comes from the ups and downs of life, the tests and hardships none of us escape. I once asked my elderly father what he feared. He thought about this and then shrugged. “Nothing,” he said. I believed him.

More Compassionate

I was kind when young, but often too busy to notice those in need. Then I got older and life slowed down. I started seeing the more vulnerable among us. Walking in New York City last summer, the homeless seemed more present than ever. Before I would’ve walked past, intent on getting where I was going, but now I found myself reading their signs of “Please Help!” or “Need Money for Food” with great sadness. Sometimes I put cash in their cups. They’re somebody’s son or daughter I told myself, something that never would’ve occurred to me in my 20s.

More Silly

My mom and I drove to Massachusetts last summer and ended up getting hopelessly lost. Years ago, I would’ve grown angry, blaming myself — not to mention the faulty GPS that kept routing us to every slow back road it could find. Except this time, the absurdity got my mom and me chuckling. At one point we had to pull over to the side of the road, we were laughing so hard. I could almost picture my younger self sitting in that car, rolling her eyes at our frivolity.

More Awed By Nature

While my eyesight has grown worse, I see the beauty of the natural world with more clarity — birds at the feeder, ladybugs, snow falling on fir trees, the sky, the ocean, ducks quacking on our brook. I used to feel that I had to go to some famous museum or faraway city to see amazing wonders. Now I realize many are in my own backyard. The other day I watched in amazement at the reds and golds of a sunset, more beautiful than anything found in a museum.

More in Love with Ordinary Days

When young, I envisioned having an “important life” filled with exotic travel and great achievement. I was always looking for peak moments — graduations, weddings, promotions, things to validate that I’d arrived. But I’ve grown older and realize what I really love are ordinary times, the small things. I take nothing for granted anymore — from my first sip of morning coffee to snuggling in a warm, soft bed each night. I see how much they give comfort in this turbulent world.

Yes, there are now more days behind than in front and that thought is daunting. But strangely, even that’s a gift. Life becomes more precious.

We do change as we get older — but we also become more of what we were to begin with.

It’s something to ponder as I hold fast to that railing.

Laurie Stone writes from the woods of Easton, Conn. Her blog, “Musings, Rants &Scribbles,” shares thoughts on growing up, older and (hopefully) wiser. Follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

 

2 Responses to “As You Become Older, Do You Become “More”?”

  1. Diane says:

    Ohmyword! All of the above! I, too have gone from invincible to cautious. From frivolous and self-absorbed to caring. From shy to fearless.
    From oblivious to observing.
    And I, too am so grateful for this time!!!
    Wonderful post, Laurie!

  2. ROSEANNE HOMOLA says:

    This is absolutely beautiful Laurie–just like your sweet soul. Thank you for sharing your writing! I’m in the same mind as the one you share here. Be well

Trackbacks/Pingbacks


Leave a Reply