coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Monday, April 18, 2016

I live in hope

I planted caladium under the American sycamore tree out front. We shall see if it grows.  After so many gardening failures I no longer have strong expectations for things I plant.  However, I continue to live in hope.  Why?  Because it is always a visceral thrill when something I planted begins to grow.  In that moment, I feel joy.

As I age I find I have lowered my expectations considerably in nearly every aspect of my life.  I am no longer as excitable or exuberant as I once was.  That's a relief, considering what a big nut I can be.  I am not complaining, I actually think this "adjustment" is a reasonable and welcome change in my life.  I am more able to accept life for what it is instead of what I want it to be.  Who knew I had it in me to be reasonable?

It was fun being young and having unlimited expectations.  I enjoyed the excitement of thinking wonderful things were in store for me at every turn.  So often that turned out to be true. Youth was a great gig.  I think I made the most of it.  I have no regrets. But you have to kiss that joy as it flies

For those of us who are lucky enough to survive into our 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's and beyond, one occasionally has to look in the mirror and face facts. There is more of life behind us than there is ahead of us. That is not a tragedy, by the way.  I am not trying to freak you out. Youth and beauty are great, but they fade; they simply do not last. Joy is also momentary and temporary, but it continues.

Maypop, aka purple passionflower, aka Passiflora incarnata - a wild flower in Central Florida




17 comments:

  1. Love that purple passion fruit lover. Does that mean the plant bears passion fruit?
    Yes, I've grown to be more reasonable too. Life is what it is and acceptance is the most stress-free way to understand that.
    And joy, thank God it is ever present - and I can find it so much more often because I am not distracted so much with the past or unrealized expectations.
    But fun in being young..I never had that. The best I do with it is to be thankful that I was always miraculously taken care of by the powers that be and I am extremely grateful for that. I think that's the OK of my youth.
    But I always wonder if being OK with what is left and facing the lose of beauty and youth (inevitable as they are) is something that stumbles those of us who have always been alone all our lives, no partners or mates, than it does those who have or had that experience (I do understand that that situation can be rocky/unsatisfying sometimes).
    I see women in my boat all the time, I am not alone in that at all, but I always feel that there is a bit of sadness in them/me, that no matter what acceptance or joy is found in life..there is this little thing in the corner and it just may stay there until the end - through no fault of their own.
    This is not a condemnation on women who have those different circumstances (and the older I get, the happier I am for them - ie: no envy), but I've always wondered if other people notice this or if it's just me being overly sensitive - often my MO - or just overthinking things. I have a lot of time on my hands and I like to think anyway.
    Sorry for the long drawn out comment. You know I love the way you think, you always turn to the positive. I learn a lot from reading you.

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    1. RE: purple passion flower - the short answer is I don't know if it bears fruit. I just looked up passion fruit, and although the flower resembles mine, the fruit producing vine seems to have a different Latin name. I suspect they are related but different.

      Thanks, by the way. I appreciate the feedback. In reality I am often an old misery guts, but I try to lean to the light side (like the photo of trees in Middle Girl's recent post) whenever I can manage to pull it off.

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    2. I do wish you would write more fully about the issue you just raised. It is really thoughtful and interesting. I would like to see where the writing takes you.

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  2. Dear old William Blake. The older I become, the happier I am to be on this side of my face.

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    1. Ha! Me, too. I DO wish I had the money to do something about my neck, though.

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  3. Being in that stage where you think you can but you realize or are reminded that you cannot. . . lowering expectations, shifting goals. That is where I am.

    Fantastic observation/ realization.

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    1. Thanks Middle Girl. Shifting goals is a great way to put it.

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  4. Today was a gardener's dream here... We picked up a compact butterfly bush and a lovely lavender plant for the side of Mom's wee trailer; the butterfly bush's blooms are the exact colour of the lavender blooms. I think the cool purple-blue will contrast nicely with the hotter colours of her other plants. Also have a black cherry tomato, basil, and rosemary to soothe my need to grow some of my food.

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    1. Glad you are enjoying our wonderful weather. This time of the year is perfect in Florida. Not too hot, not overly rainy. Enjoy.

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  5. I do hope your calabium grows for you....gardening always makes you feel as though you're leaving a legacy doesn't it. I planted a passion fruit vine which flowers madly but sadly have never had any fruit.

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    1. Hello vintageandart, welcome. Yes, it does seem like a legacy. FYI, the photo of roses heading up your blog is exquisitely beautiful.

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  6. I have found that the older I get, the more joy I feel. Maybe because I've slowed down enough to notice, or maybe I am just more grateful to be alive to experience it. Either way, I think the limitations of the aging body has definitely allowed for the growth of the soul. I'm not sure I'm happy with that trade-off but at least it's something : )

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    1. Yeah, I'm trying to make the best of it.

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  7. This is such a nice post. It made me realise how I have calmed down and that I enjoy being old(er). I mean it.

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    1. Oh good. I mean it, too. Except when my back hurts.

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  8. That sums it up very well. I am so happy that I have been able to experience all these phases of life and tried to make the most of them. I am now satisfied with those memories and am glad that I no longer have to go out to slay the dragon.

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    1. Yes, I forgot about the dragon slaying thing.

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So, whadayathink?