Getting Older or Growing Older: it’s not just semantics.

 

Life is a pot luck: a lot depends on what you bring to it, as well as what others bring.

The “others” could be people, nature, education, opportunities etc. Life is rife with choices. But, you have to keep your eyes, ears, and attitudes open. No matter what your age, the question remains: do you get older, or do you grow older? Or both.

What and how you learn depends on what is available to you combined with your own abilities and initiative. Even those considered to have “disabilities” find ways to learn and express themselves.

When we are very young, we are consumed with curiosity and an innate desire to accomplish and get ahead. These impulses drive us to learn and achieve. Watch the progression from pulling oneself up to learning to walk.

We all have fallow times (just look at the gaps between my blog posts!), when life doesn’t seem to be rolling along as we might like. These hiatuses need to be observed and honored; they are times of rest and regrouping. Ignore them at the risk of future burnout or crashes. Honoring them can be difficult as our initiative impels us to keep going, keep going. But something in our psyche or body is saying “slow down”, digest what you’ve learned, coast for a bit.

A plateau in sports is when despite your best efforts, you seem not to be progressing. This is a kind of hiatus. To push too much at this plateau point could be a serious mistake. Your body may not be ready yet for what’s coming next. So you maintain, as best you can, what you have achieved so far, kind of like treading water. Treading water becomes easier as you spend more time doing just that. You become an expert at treading water, you relax into it so it is no effort. Eventually, you will ease your way through the temporary lull, and move on.

As I am aging, there seem to be more plateaus. How one handles these depends on what we’ve brought to the pot luck feast: experiences, learnings, leanings, understandings, relationships, family, curiosity… Our plateaus require rest, and paying attention to limitations of aging. Just as when we were younger, if we push too hard, there will be consequences, only now it takes longer to recover from those consequences.

It is inevitable, so long as we are alive, that we will get older. At times, that’s a primary goal: to grow older: remember being 4,5,6… But how many of us will grow older? As the baby boomers take over the stage of the elderly, there are increasingly available programs for continued learning and communication. Hallelujah!

Staying isolated, in the age of the internet, is a choice. There are times when I need a sabbatical from my computer but in general it is an amazing resource. As you age, will you muddle along or take up the challenges and opportunities that offer themselves to you?

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1 Response to Getting Older or Growing Older: it’s not just semantics.

  1. candidkay says:

    I so agree with you on the fallow times! They are ever so necessary, a time where things are percolating just under the surface. Without those, I think we run dry and stale fairly quickly.

    Like

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