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Mindset by Wendy

What an important post. Being Old vs. Growing Old. To me, being old is a mindset and it sounds like your friend, Christine Purves, had a mindset of Being Alive. 

Very much like retirement means, withdrawl, I think being old is a way of living small and slow and tired. Sure, as we grow older, we do slow down, and we do get tired more easily. Accepting that as normal, in my opinion, helps us grow old gracefully while living life.

I like the idea of Being Alive. My father used to wear a pendant that said ALIVE. In the last months of his life, he had kidney failure and COPD. He went into hospice care in December of 2008, at home. But he still wanted to live. We would take him to parks nearby so he could put his little dog into his walker and take short walks. He liked taking the little dog to Lowe’s and visit with the people there. He was still working on a play he was writing about Irving Berlin that he hoped to produce at the retirement community where he lived. My Mom completed that work for him after he passed.

I think of my Dad as Being Alive as he was Growing Old.

Thank you again for this post.

Almost ten years ago, Christine Purves, one of so many ElderChicks who has inspired me, wrote the following toward the end of a well-lived life:

I am quite different from the person who last wrote. Then I was still climbing trees. Now I am 95 years old and live in a retirement home called FRIEDA House. But it is very comfortable. We have our own bathroom! And we never have to move. We are permitted to die here. Now that is a comforting thought for me. No kidding.

I still belong to a community book club. We just read “The Buddha in the Attic” and next will be “The Roundhouse.” I hope to interest them in “Refuge” by Terry Tempest Williams.

We Mennonites have a church bus that gets me and a man with Lou Gehrig’s disease in our wheelchairs plus 10 or so walking members – canes, walkers and so on- to church Sunday mornings. A friend takes me to the home games of our Bluffton University basketball games. Fun.

My eyes work much better than my ears – I feel fortunate that ANYTHING works – so enough for now. – love to you readers.

I’ve been asked to speak about “Growing Old vs Being Old.”  What do you think?  Does everyone who lives out one’s natural length of years become Old?  What does that mean?  To you?  To others you observe?  To our elected and appointed government officials?  

Please click here and tell us!

July 4 this year feels different from many other years. I am financially (and physically) unable to travel out of town, so I am here, in my neighborhood, which I love, by the way. The heat is abated. We have 72 degrees with a breeze. Couldn’t ask for more. Walking around my hood, which is Logan Square, a really exceptional hood with plenty of artisanal small businesses that are lively and wonderful, I see many people coming to visit from other hoods and other places. Our local, inventive, market-driven restaurant, Lula Cafe, is brimming with people enjoying a quiet but friendly July 4 weekend. I found a tiny little vegan coffee spot with a lovely, inviting bench outside to sit and sip my cold brew. I went to the bookstore next door, City Lit books, to pick up the book I ordered, I walked over to New Wave cafe for an Italian soda, and I will saunter over to my daughter’s salon, Sparrowhair, to pick up the hair product she has for me! She, by the way, is out of town in Minneapolis with my son-in-law and a couple of friends to enjoy fireworks and Paisley Park. Love to Prince. I see green, I feel breeze, I am thankful. Another 73 years around the sun.

Of course, the question got me thinking so:

I reread the Preamble in the Declaration of InIndependence this morning and sadly I won’t be celebrating Independence Day this year without additional thoughts!

A holiday is nice but the meaning of the holiday, the symbolism of the holiday, counts the most. 

Year after year we see change but this year has seen a drastic turn from the “Preamble of the Declaration of Independence”: 

We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Remember all women and people of color – African Americans and Native Americans were not worthy of these words in 1776. We approved the 13th, 14th , 15th, 19th , and 26th Amendments to create a space for everyone to be “created equal” and vote. Today, we are seeing the rights in the Preamble and the Amendments being stripped away. 

Supreme Court rulings, Voting Rights rulings, and the January 6 hearings are showing a total lack of regard for “deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”. 

What we are seeing today is a show what “privilege” means when you think you can get away with rulings and crimes because you believe and know you can. The states, so far, that have limited women’s rights and voting rights- major people involved in the January 6 insurrection all have a 1776 common thread. 

I appreciate all people of race and gender who are fighting for the true pursuit of “life, liberty, and happiness so we can own decisions that affect our individual lives. 

Due to the courts we are now 50 states not the United States. The United States only when it suits the power brokers in charge. 

Independence but not for all with no longer a majority rule in effect. 

For a few minutes- let us reflect what this holiday means as you enjoy a day off, fireworks, and a good time with family and friends – because tomorrow life will go on. 

#ElectionsMatter