Enjoy life, weather, as it comes

Published 12:21 am Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wow. It’s Jan. 29 and I am sitting at my computer in a tank top with no heat on in my house. In fact, I had the sliding glass door open most of the morning enjoying the nice breeze blowing through the screen.

My mind tells me this is not the weather we should have in January. My spirit tells my mind to shut up and enjoy it.

It’s funny how we have certain expectations about how things should be — like weather. January should be cold, maybe even damp and dreary. It’s winter and winter comes with certain expectations as far as the temperature outside.

That got me wondering what other expectations I assign to things in my life. One of the big ones I realized concerns ideas about getting older. I am now beyond what is probably considered middle age and moving deeper in those “senior” years.

If I’m not aware I‘m doing it, I fall prey to predictions about what those years should be like, same as my thoughts about winter weather. With age come aches, pains and limitation, right? I mean that is just the way it is.

Our bodies start to show the wear and tear of the years. We find ourselves talking more about our limitations than our possibilities, at least when it comes to the physical stuff. Again, if I am not aware of what I’m doing, I focus more on what my body won’t do anymore than all the gifts it gives me every day. Kind of like waiting for the cold weather that I know must be coming, instead of enjoying the spring-like day that is happening right now.

Now, I’m not denying that things physically change with age and it is good to do all we can to stay active, but spirit (that voice that said enjoy the day) remains the same no matter the age. That something that lives deep in us has no limitations. It is always new, always open to the next adventure.

It is what whispers to forget what January should be and instead experience the beauty of what is unfolding. It is what urges me to feel the breeze without wondering when it will shift from pleasurable to uncomfortably chilly.

Some days I listen to that urging and find the pure joy of being alive and breathing. Other times, I lose touch completely and the expectations take over. Those are the days when I fight against the little aches and pains of age, when I live my minutes thinking about how much I’d like things to be different. Those are the days when limitation feels real.

That is it, I thought, as I watched the leaves floating on that nice breeze. I hold the key to how it unfolds. The secret to aging gracefully, to living gracefully, is no secret at all. It only requires letting go of living with expectations and wanting things to be different. It’s that stuff going on in my head that makes me unhappy more than the changes going on in my body.

It dawned on me that living with joy at any age in any physical condition is possible — if I am OK with whatever is going on at the moment and not spending my energy wishing for what is happening to be different. That only makes me unhappy, and doesn’t change a darn thing.

Wow, I am sitting here at my computer in a tank top with no heat on and my mind tells me it should not be this way, but I’m listening to spirit instead. It whispers that life is exactly as it should be on this Jan. 29 and all I need to do is enjoy it.