My Mother’s Remarkable Revelation on Aging

A recent phone call from Mother… “Julie, I’ve decided to embrace aging.”

“Seriously?”

“I suspect you’ve been praying I would.”

“I did get tired of hearing you complain about missing your 24-inch waist.”

Mother--June 1956

 

“Embrace isn’t the right word,” she said. “Embrace reminds me of that old song I love, ‘Embraceable You.'”

 

 

“Okay, so what’s the right word?”

“I’m not fretting about my age anymore. I’m not going to be shocked by it.”

(She’ll be 77 on Monday.) “What’s aging like?”

“You have to experience it for yourself. Like having a baby. Nobody can explain it.”

“How’s your thinking changed?”

“As you get older, whatever happens, you just deal with it. Because so much has already happened. You don’t panic anymore.”

“That’s a relief.”

“And if you want to talk to your pets like they’re real people, you do it.”

I smiled. You’ve been doing that for years, Mother.

“Are you content?” I said.

“If I don’t look in the mirror I am. My behind is gone.”

Please don’t ever lose your sense of humor. “Lots of women would love to have theirs gone. What are the perks of getting older?”

“I bought two books last week and read them in two days. I didn’t have to stop to drive carpool or cook supper.”

“What else?”

“I enjoy naps now,” she said brightly.

“That’s good.”

“Another thing. I enjoy saying no when asked to take on a responsibility. When you get older, you just say, ‘No.’ Also, when I’m going somewhere, I don’t call around to see what the other gals are wearing. I wear what I want to. Even if it’s inappropriate.”

“Sounds pretty fun.”

“Yesterday it was cold in the house, so on top of my pedal-pushers and T-shirt, I put on a long-sleeve pajama shirt, which didn’t match–with white socks and bedroom shoes. Four inches of skin showed on my legs. I knew it was tacky, but I thought, who cares. I went to the mailbox and waved to my neighbors anyway.”

 

“I’m proud of you.”

“Another thing. My mouth turns down now. I don’t want to look sad when I’m not, so I go around smiling no matter how I feel … or what’s happening in my world.”

 

 

“I love that. Sounds like you’re living The Serenity Prayer.”

“Maybe I am,” she said softly.                             *photo credit

Love,

Julie

P.S. I’ll be out of town next week so no blog post. Back with you on the 17th! XOXO

Comments

  1. Sharon Mangas says:

    Love this. Timing was perfect to share this with a friend who’s been fretting about getting older. I especially love your mom in white socks and sandals. Tee hee. Have a great break/vacation.
    XO, Sharon

  2. Joan Johnson says:

    I see where you got your way with words!!! What a sweet dialogue about a subject we women so hate to “embrace”!!! LOL. Made me feel better about all the changes I am experiencing as a “mature woman”. Love your blog.

    • Embrace–so funny that Mother tried to use that word, Joan, then she changed it. 🙂

      So glad you like the blog! Thanks for letting me know!! xoxo

  3. LOVE! I love your mom! I want to get grow old gracefully too! I just made a board on Pinterest about it but I can’t decide how old I have to be before I start embracing it. I really don’t want to lose my brunette hair- but I like the idea of wearing what I want 😉 Seriously Julie- your mom rocks! Embracing the season we’re in- that’s godliness with contentment! hugs

    • Ohhhh, thank you, Cindy! This one was so much fun to write. I knew the minute she said, “I’ve decided to embrace aging” that we were on to something.

      Blessings, my friend. Hope y’all have a wonderful 4th!

  4. Anna Haney says:

    As usual, this made me cry. I cried because I have admired your mom’s writing since I was a teenager. And since she is a “famous writer,” she was like a celebrity. Therefore, I expected her to always be decked to the nines. This is crazy since through her writing I knew she wasn’t. It also made me cry because she reminds me so much of my own mom. They both have rheumatoid arthritis and my mom also turns 77 this year. Momma has also gotten to a point where she still takes pride in her appearance, but it’s not as crucial as it once was when I was younger. But I cried more because I wish my mom had the same outlook yours did right now. I will cry next week because there will not be a post!

    • Anna, I know I’m successful when I make you cry–sorry about how that sounds, but I LOVE moving readers to laughter and to tears.

      Wish our mothers could know each other…they’d probably love talking about life.

      Praying daily, my friend.

      And thank you for being such an encourager!! xoxoxox

  5. I LOVE these conversations with your mother. What treasures!! I am sure these will fill a book! What the world would call “self actualized” your mother shares the freedom of knowing we are actually God’s. Where we no longer have to live for the expectations of others but live comfortably in the skin He has given us. Hoping I will learn to live this by the time I am 77. Blessings and safe travels as you see the wonder of actually being His. Thank you Julie!

    • Love how you summed that up, Tom. You’re right. I hadn’t thought that deeply about it–but you nailed it!

      Thank you!!! I’m also hoping to learn this life lesson before I turn 77. 🙂

  6. Enjoyed your post, Julie. Just yesterday I posted a picture of me with your mother and another GP writer at the 2006 Guideposts Writer Workshop. I’m the one with my back toward the camera (great picture of me). Your mom was a lovely participant of the event. I got a copy of her book, which she signed, and it will always be a treasure. Thanks for this post!

    • Linda, I read her your sweet comments yesterday. She LOVED hearing them!

      Thank you–thank you for “getting it.” And for your sweet words. Such a blessing to connect with other writers! xoxox

  7. I love that your mother talks to animals as if they were a person. She’s my kind of lady! And, as I’ve read your conversations with her, I’ve come to know that your mother is beautiful inside and out and not matter what her age that will never change!

    Safe travels, Julie!

    • Eileen, sometimes I think the loves animals more than people–I guess that’s okay. I know every night she prays for animals….surely she prays for people too.

      Thank you for letting me know you’re reading. And you get it!!! xoxo

  8. I LOVE your mom! I decided to do what she is a short time ago. While I still want to lost about 25 pounds, I’m no longer stressing over it. I’m embracing the me that I am now. I’m trying not to look in the mirror except to see if I’m decent. I’d really hate to go outside in my PJs. Not a pretty sight.

    Love you and have a great vacation!

    • Love it, love it, love it, Ane!!!

      You get it! And let me know when you walk to the mailbox in your pj’s. 🙂

      Love you too!! xoxo

  9. Thank you! Your mama is just precious…and after a long conversation yesterday with my granddaughter, it was a message I needed to hear!

    • Love this talking with mamas, daughters, and granddaughters, Vonda.

      Nothing like it!

      Thank you, my friend–for reading, encouraging, and for your precious blog. You help SO many!

  10. I have always loved to read your Mom’s entries in my Daily Guidepost books because I am also from Georgia and close behind her age wise. She makes me feel so much freer because I have fibromyalgia and in the past I have tried to keep on doing what I had always done and kept beating myself up when I didn’t have the energy. Now I realize that I can say no, take a nap, eat out and not worry if my house doesn’t look like Martha Stewart’s. Also, enjoy your stories in the Daily Guidepost because you are part of my adopted family now. Thanks for posting this article about your Mom!!

    Love & Hugs,

    • Ohhh, Sharon. I’m calling her this morning and reading this to her.

      Sounds like you’re free, my friend!!! You’re free!!!! She’ll love hearing your words. So glad this post found a home in your heart.

  11. Your mom is just as beautiful today as in 1956 – and that’s saying something! I love her spirit and the “remarkable” relationship you have. Love seeing what you two are up to!

    • Carla–you WILL make her day. I’m calling her this morning. She’ll probably make me read this to her twice.

      Love you.

  12. I do the smile thing too! Julie, tell your Mom that we love her no matter what she wears out to the mailbox, ’cause I do that too and I have no regard for what people think of me. (It’s their problem, I say, if they don’t like how I look.)
    Enjoy your week off! See you on the 17th!
    Hugs and love!

    • Mother loves you dearly, B.J. Can’t wait to tell her you go to the mailbox looking….well, casual.

      LOVE YOUR WORDS!!

      Hugging you from Georgia.

  13. Janette says:

    Your mom and I are kindred spirits. She is fabulous and is there anything cuter, or anyone cuter, than a person comfortable in her own skin? Hugs to you both! LOVE the pics. I think my neighbors get excited when it is mail time just to see what outfit I will be wearing to the mailbox. 🙂

    • Janette, I love your precious response! Send me a pic of you going to the mailbox. 🙂 🙂

      I’ll pass this along to Mother. XOXOXOXO

  14. So, white socks with sandals and pedal pushers are tacky? Why didn’t I read this before I went to the mall this morning? Just kidding! Love this, Julie. And love you and your mamma, too. hugs!

  15. Ha, ha! Too funny, Marie. Hugs right back to you! xoxo

  16. What an inspiration! Your mother certainly doesn’t look like she’s in her 70’s.

  17. Sonja jackson English says:

    I live in Northwest Tennessee. I love ur blogs about ur Mom and u. She and I could be WONDERFUL friends as we have like thoughts on aging. I will be 77 in Jan. And I have the same issue with my mouth and choose to repair it the same as ur Mom. I just recently found ur blog but I have been a friend of u and ur Mom and the Guidepost family since 2007. I start my day with u all every morning. Tell ur Mom, I also think I should look my best to walk to the mailbox. Keep sharing as u never know who needs those very words.

    • Oh, thank you, Sonja! I bet you two would hit it off beautifully. 🙂

      I’m coming up with a blog soon about her tips for the fall. It’s a funny one.

      You made my day. Thank you! I’ll pass along your sweet words. Mother doesn’t use a computer.

      So much love!

  18. Sonja jackson English says:

    Tell ur BEAUTIFUL MOM to purchase a kindle HD, mine is the larger one. It is so simple, I look up things I want to know about easy as pie. Soap opera personalities, how to winterize an above the ground pool and YOU.

  19. Sonja jackson English says:

    Oh yes and I missed,the first episodes of arrow and beauty and the beast and have downloaded the missed episodes. So fun, fun, fun.

    • Great! I keep telling her there’s a great big world out there, and she’s missing out.

      Maybe one day, Sonja….

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