Whether we want it to, or not.
Whether we welcome it, or not.
Whether we celebrate it, or not.
*Growing old* is different.
Growing old is more than chronology.
Growing old is about attitude and
growing old is about play.
When we stop playing, we stop delighting in life; we stop being hopeful; we grow old.
“We grow old when we stop playing.” <George Bernard Shaw>
While I may be chronologically aging (more quickly than I wish) and my body may be showing its age (a bit more every day), I refuse to grow old.
Play is my middle name – even if it’s only a few minutes each day. In this grieving process, some days are more difficult to include a play-filled activity than other days. But I make a conscious effort. A few days ago, was one such day.
There was no rational explanation. The sadness and profound sense of loss just was there – big time. I could feel the waves of grief tumble and erupt. I could feel my body experiencing the loss of my husband in an overwhelming sense of exhaustion. So I decided to head outdoors and take a short walk around the block.
On my little walk, I encountered a little girl who was singing a familiar melody while she walked her dog and I began to hum the melody – it was my ‘play’ for the day! It was just a few seconds – but it was play and I felt a hint of joy as the tears tumbled down my face because I wanted to tell my husband about this lovely encounter. Then as I walked back home, a smile began to form on my face – because I did tell him. 🙂
When we play, joy begins to emerge. Whether we are encountering a familiar melody sung by a little girl walking her dog, or dancing, or doodling, or engaging in board games, or strolling along the beach, or playing bridge, or are involved in a sport, or interacting on the internet, or playing an instrument, or sharing a meal with a friend, or creating anything (be that a handmade card, a tool shed, a dress, a poem, a painting, a piece of calligraphy, a meal, a book, a piece of pottery, a magazine article, a computer program, a piece of sculpture, a photograph, a mandala, a garden, a scrapbook, a bookcase … whatever!), we begin to realize that there is still life within us, hope emerges, and joy has space to flower.
There is such wisdom in the words …“We don’t stop playing because we’re old.
We grow old because we stop playing.” Thank you, George Bernard Shaw.
© text and photo: june maffin www.soulistry.com
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