A Celebratory Year Around the Sun

A CELEBRATION OF LIFE.  A CELEBRATION OF BIRTHDAYS.  Maybe narcissism?

Maybe…Even so, I have had a blast sharing my adventures this year as I turn 70, and I appreciate those of you who have followed and posted your thoughts.  Thank you!

I started this celebration and introspective blogging when I realized that I couldn’t get the ’70’ number to come out of my mouth.  So, instead of drowning my fears with booze, or complaining and whining, or being in denial, I decided to face it all head on and use my words to express my gratitude for these honored 70 years.  As I tell everyone, “After my birthday and honoring 70 years, I will resume 60 again…and there I will remain:)”

We’re always telling the little ones to “Use your words!”  With that, words seem trite at this point; but I’m going to try as my memories, imagination, and emotions are thrown upon my keyboard.  With fearless authenticity, everything meshes against the realities of life:  the highs, the lows, the elations, the sorrows.  I imagine all of these emotions inside a ball, just bouncing and rolling and only stopping to be picked up and tossed again.  That’s just life.

One wonders how the glow of living can even surface when considering the oddities, the inhumane acts,  and the constant pitfalls.  Yet, I HAVE NEVER BEEN HAPPIER!

No doubt, the years HAVE tossed me, my family, my friends, my loved ones into despair, (and you, as well, I’m sure), and I didn’t know where to turn or who to turn to, aside from God, family, and friends.   Those were definitely fear-driven eras of life.  During those times, it seems that I never felt safe.  I was always living in the past or projecting fear into future.  That place, my friends, is not a friendly place!  It’s like a vortex that keeps one unsatisfied.  It’s a place where one never has enough money, enough love, enough time, enough is never…enough.

When did my life become ENOUGH?  Well, the old cliche of almost losing my life comes to mind, plus the reality of living without income for a year definitely taught me gratitude and servitude.  With those uncertain moments, what I learned was how to be happy.  Not the silly-grin kind of happiness, but the thankful kind of happiness.  The peaceful kind of happiness.  The content kind of happiness.

And with this contentment came peace of mind.  I learned to just be still and let the Universe do its job, let my angels comfort me, let my friends share their love, let my family support me, let myself be free of the burdens of control, impatience, and judgement.

At 70, wisdom is still fleeting, AND it’s also frequently comforting.  With wisdom, I can just be me…right, wrong, or indifferent.  With confidence, I don’t HAVE to put my best, prettiest pictures eye level for others to view.  Often, I’ll display the scribbles {and paint-by-numbers} eye level for everyone to see first.  Judgement simply doesn’t matter anymore, for I know that I’ve accomplished a crapload of good effort in a lifetime.

AT 70, I’ve set goals and have seen them completed.  I’ve created and followed bucket lists and repeatedly redefined myself to meet the needs of my life.  I’ve watched and learned from others and gleaned what I could from their accomplishments as well.

At 70, I love youth, OUR youth.  I love watching them bloom into the beautiful cosmic souls that will influence our universe forever.  I love watching the buds unfold and dance the dance of life as if there is no tomorrow.  It’s beautiful.

I am beautiful.  You are beautiful.  WE are beautiful.  Our ages blend into a life form that intertwines with ageless souls influenced by God and His power and His purpose of ‘our world’ and the unknown.  WE are spirit.  WE are light.

At 70, abundance is ours.  We are loved with abundance.  We are given health to respect and enhance.  WE are given wealth, not just finances, but a wealth of knowledge, service from our neighbors and loved ones with kind hearts.  WE are given wisdom to teach others by actions, not by words alone.  WE are given strength to make good choices, to share the Gospel teachings as well as the teachings of all good people who teach us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

A CELEBRATION OF LIFE.  A TRIP AROUND THE SUN.  NEW CHAPTERS AWAIT!

The attached picture is of me in my twenties.  I look at it as I write.  I marvel at that young woman and wince, at times, at the woman she is.  At 70, I am astounded that life has passed so quickly, AND that young woman is excited about tomorrow.  

I’M ECSTATIC ABOUT TODAY!

My celebratory year has included small, but important bucket list opportunities.  These follies included friends and families and significant others.  They included memories, desires, and fearless authenticity.  They weren’t always easy, and it certainly wan’t a frugal year.  Which takes me into next year…THE ESSENTIAL YEAR:)

My five-year goal is to have the happiest five years of my life.  I realize that misfortune will smirk at this goal, but I say it aloud:  The best five years of my life!  In deliberating this, and saying it repeatedly, I have come to believe it.  Words are powerful, you know.

Believe.  Believe in yourself.  Believe in the best.  Believe in your life.  Believe that we ‘mature adults’ (I use this sparingly) can influence for good, for peace of mind, for worldly peace, for Universal peace.

Believe that we are here for a reason, not just a season as the old saying goes.  What we look like, what we sound like will soon be forgotten.

How we made others feel will never be forgotten.

I thank you for sharing your love, your hearts, your thoughts…your lives with me.  It’s so fun still being in touch with childhood friends and so on.  You add color to my life.  You add strength to my soul.  You add joy.

Keep livin’ life with spunk, sass, and soul.

Giddyup to new adventures and another trip around the sun to celebrate!

Marilane Perriman, Bryan, Anderson, Ray

TEXANA LANE

 

“KEEP YOUR MOTORS RUNNING…Heading for the Highway…Looking for adventure and whatever…” (well, you know).

“Born to Be Wild”, by Steppenwolf, is indicative of Woodstock, protests, free love and crazy 60’s, right?   It seems to me that those experiences (vicariously, or not) should be implanted into our aging Boomer bodies and our memory banks (that may be forgetting a few things here and there).  I can still hear the band singing now, and the girl in me wants to jump into chorus, dance around the room and pretend that I’m a vibrant 20 year old again.  My!  I could Frug, Jerk, Twist, Pony, and make a room come alive.  I bet you could, too.

Just one more time, I’d like to hear that motor running and step into adventure, heading for the highway.

However, today I’m feeling 69 1/2, and not so wild.  In fact, my rheumatoid arthritis is rampant this week, and I’m walking like Grandpa on the old TV series, The Real McCoys.  I’m reminded that aging is not for the weak, the spineless, or the fearful.

I am reminded that life is full circle as chapters are written, memorized, edited, loved, hated, rewritten and oft times, reinvented, if possible.

Last night, alone in my room, except for my friends, MacBook Air and Netflix, I settled in early and began watching a referred movie, “Our Souls at Night”, starring Robert Redford and  Jane Fonda.  Watching it was an exercise of intense introspection and realized realities.   Realizations that have sometimes hurt, have sometimes emoted pride, sometimes required forgiveness.  Nevertheless, these reality checks were significant enough to make me take serious reflection upon what I think I want, what I really need, and what reality provides.

For example, love.  Now, some of you have been married for a very long time.  I am sure that you’ve traveled many wonderful miles together, up and down, around and back within 4 or 5 decades together.  You have withstood the tests of time; and rightfully, have earned my highest respect! You have endured and chosen to remain within your marriage.  It is an awesome feat.  But, the big but, is that many of us are not…married, for whatever reasons.

So, what does being single mean to me at age 69 1/2 and what has this got to do with love, needs, wants, and life, adventures and growing older?  Being single itself promotes adventure, and can have its advantages, for sure.  It’s also many other expletives, as well as:  Challenging, Lonely, Unnerving.  Being single over 60 can also create critical judgements, can create victimization, always requires unusual spiritual strength, mandates emotional balance and most of all, requires having friends…really good, good friends.  And herein lies the jest of my blogging thoughts.

This is where the reality check evolves.  The tradeoffs, the compromises in life are numerable and varied.  I can’t dance like I used to.  Love doesn’t seem to be in the cards for me, either.   Yet, what I do have and what reality is providing for me is:   Friends.

My friends come from all walks of life; they are all ages, and they are male and female.  Without them, I do not know how’d I’d function.  They uplift, they tell the truth, they laugh with me and at me, and they sustain me through bad health and euphoric moments.  We are authentic and fearless.  Each would stand by my side should I call them.

The list isn’t long, this list of really good, good friends.  And, none of us are angels or little old ladies or somber men rocking in our chairs at sunset.  We meet to hear live music.  We talk about each other’s husbands, or boyfriends, girlfriends,  or children, or lovers or neighbors or our businesses or the latest trends.  We disagree about politics.  We watch each other dance.  We watch each other delight in grandchildren.  We brag to the inth degree.  We share in grief.  We somberly hold one another when times are tough.   Do my friends take the place of love and adventure?  No.  But they add to my life in ways that can’t be necessarily measured.

My motor is still fortunately running and sometimes I still head for the highway.  Seeing Earth, Wind & Fire in concert was a blast!  Sometimes I still dance a little,  too.  Yet, my best adventures now aren’t so elusive.  My new adventures are treasuring my memories of my children and family.  Honoring my friendships.  Unconditional love.

Being alone at night is still hard:  The intimacy of sharing the events of the day, or feeling someone hold you while you cuddle…of course, I greatly miss being in love; and that 5:30-7:30 time is THE HARDEST.  I miss my family meal preparations, the talk, the chaos.  I miss it all.

…and then a friend calls.  “Want to share a glass of wine?”   ‘Need a ride to Donn’s?”  “Just letting you know we sure do appreciate you here at work.”  A familiar voice, and I’m back on track.   My adventure of life seems stable and nurtured.  And isn’t that what we all truly desire?  To be loved, nurtured, protected, needed?

Know this.  I  am not ready to retire into senility or powerless aging rhetoric.  My adventures are yet to be seen or known.  My soul at night may be lonely, and I surely do want to find that person to share my intimate thoughts again; but my adventures still exist.

I will get my motor running.  I will head on down the highway, looking for adventure and whatever comes my way…and Yes!  My really good, good friends will enable me to see the world through the eyes of our youthful hearts.  They will share adventurous highways of trust, laughter, and tears.

These long and winding roads of life’s adventures will be filled with love, tenderness, and the unknown…but that’s another song:)

Giddyup ya’ll.  Go see the Bluebonnets.  Eat some Bluebell’s ice cream.  Picnic by the rivers.

Live life lovingly,

Texana Lane…headin’ down the highway of life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can You See Me Now?

Seven months and counting!  That’s right.  Seven months before turning 70…And guess what?  I went on an interview.  You read it right.  I went on an interview.  What image conjures in your mind?  Too old?  Out of touch?  Incapable? “Shouldn’t she be retiring at this age?”  “She must be desperate!”  Either way, it wasn’t an easy decision, brutal, in fact.

Of course, I WANT to retire and sail into the sunset.  Yet, in all seriousness, I’m not quite ready.  My heart still wants to share a mission, to help children and our communities, to be creative, to be visible.  The fact that I’m single measures into the decision, too.  What will I do if I’m not working?  Retirement doesn’t allow me enough funds to travel around the world..haha…or even live ‘high on the hog’ as my mama would say.  Plus,  I can’t wrap my head around the scenario of being home alone without a viable purpose.

Also, I love my current co-workers, but I simply woke up one morning and realized that I need to use every creative bone in my body.  I need to learn, share, grow…and not be dying on the vine.  I realized that I had become invisible, even to myself, and sensed that I need to feel alive again, with an eagerness to wake up proudly and smile at the woman in the mirror, wrinkles and all.

Have you ever not wanted to look closely at yourself in the mirror?  I certainly have; and such an attitude can be debilitating, a cancer-causing sucker of life.  It can be a killer of dreams, of goals.  Aging takes spunk, sass and soul; it’s not for the faint.  It can steal one’s gratitude and happiness, and I was allowing myself to be invisibly depressed.   Every time I looked in the mirror, I was loosing confidence and purpose.

My wrinkles weren’t the problem.  It was the fact that I was losing purpose.  Losing my edge.  I was feeling ‘less than’.  Thankfully, I got a grip and came up with a game plan…right, wrong, or indifferent.  I said, “Quit It!”  (Risky, for sure.  True to myself?  Definitely).

So, I did.  I submitted my resignation of my current job, then spent hours creating a portfolio, a resume and a focus to match my creative energies with a purposeful job.  I began smiling as I looked at the pictures of my past accomplishments, my past tribes.

Let me backtrack for a second.  After the interview and over the weekend, I had a fun bucket list adventure at the San Antonio Riverwalk.  The reason I’m sharing this now is that I had the pleasure of meeting a 90ish year old woman, an owner of one of the shops we visited.  As we were leaving, she said to me, “Well, aren’t you cute.  What is your name?”  I introduced myself, and she in turn introduced herself as Mrs. Pace.  She said, “You may recognize this name, as in my past husband’s business, Pace Picante.”  I asked how long she had had the store, and she said, “Upon the death of my husband, I took my money and headed straight to the Dallas Market.  I’ve been here ever since, and that was many many years ago!”  Her young eyes gleamed through her aging body.  She was happy.  She was proud.  She was at peace with her choices.  So, my heart took a leap as I listened and as I realized that I, too, had made the right decision.  Her age did not define her.

Back to my interview!  Yes, I went to the interview.  Walked into a new adventure, began my re-invention yet once again, and introduced myself, age and all, to a believer of holistic learning…(and, yep, now my new employer), who sees my vision, who appreciates my creative mind, who feels that I will be a wonderful asset to their school.  I even received the salary that I felt worthy of asking.

Can I see me now?  Yes, because I took the leap and respect for myself.  Yes, because I got out of my own way.

The cammo is gone.  I threw it away the moment I walked into her office.  She saw me.  The real me.  As I told her, “I’m old enough to know better, but too young to be put out to pasture.”  She laughed.  We chatted at length about how I could creatively contribute to her vision of learning and care for their students.  It was fun.  I felt alive.  I felt purposeful.

I start my new job next week.  Of course, I am nervous; but I am visible, with no desire to hide behind any rhetoric of aging.  WE all have much to contribute.  Don’t hide!  Share your gifts, your wisdom, your good and bad experiences.  Be heard.  Be seen.  Be loved.

God Bless Us All,

Texana Lane