Because I’m a bit of a recluse, people who know me often don’t converse with me face-to-face for months on end. And so when they do, they see changes in my looks, relative to the senior years of life, that are quite melodramatic. Particularly because for the last forty years, I did NOT look like I was getting older. I looked like I was getting ‘better’.
But now ‘better’ is out the window. I’m just getting ‘older’.
I can no longer hide the ripeness of maturity. I suppose, I could if I made more of an effort, but when I do the math, I need to budget time wisely.
Daily bathing, cooking, vacuuming, laundering, and bed-making take double the time that these tasks used to take. And then there is the time I need for writing, knitting, and reading, and self-reflection. Add to that extra time for cleaning my teeth and more frequent bathroom visits and I have no time left to color my hair, moisturize my skin, and apply cover-up to darkening age-spots. So with beautifying routines virtually eliminated, with each passing day, I sport a few more gray hairs, a few more crows-feet, a few more age spots, and a few more coarse hairs on my chin (though I watch cautiously for the latter and pluck them out promptly). Pluck. Pluck.
But the age of maturity, with its crows-feet, wayward chin hairs, etc… are the signatures of sage wisdom, fullness of experience, and expanded comprehension of every stage of life prior to my present one. Though outwardly only superficial transitions, nevertheless they prove, that I am no longer a raw recruit of anything – physical distresses, emotional anguish, or even philosophical questioning.
There’s no denying it. Life is wisdom. And so, assuming this is true, that would be me. Big wisdom that cannot be denied. With my chin hairs, crows-feet, graying hair, and age spots – I am there.
Yes, There I am. At the place of knowing. Big faux academia – you betcha’! [Accreditation - Roberta Smith, ELD, SR]
I know this is true because this week I was asked the same question, by not one, but two individuals. The question being as their eyes focused on my gray hair, crows-feet, age-spots, and ultimately on the 4” coarse looping hair on my chin –
“As you look back on all the years of your life, what do you most regret?”
The question startles me. But why, when the truth is, since retirement I’ve pondered the question of regrets more than I ever wished to? But still, in all that pondering, I made deductions without words. And now I am compelled to give voice to these deductions.
My response comes from someplace external. Some place outside my own mind. I know that because it is so surprising, even to me.
Unwittingly, it must have come from the muse that sits on my shoulder and prompts me to tell so many of the imaginary and fantastic tales I oft tell you on this blog. The same muse that often playfully tugs at my keyboard fingers when I am writing and leaves me bloody downright surprised at the thoughts that spill onto the page.
And so, my muse gives me a friendly little shoulder nudge and I hear myself saying, ‘I regret most those situations where I did not do the best I could.’
I love my muse. And believe me, I am not trying to be self-righteous here, but that bit of muse-wisdom smartly trims my list of regrets down to next to nothing.
Wonder how old muse is?