Feeling old?

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Age is opportunity no less,
Than youth itself, though in another dress.
And as the evening twilight fades away,
The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.
(Longfellow).

We all have our days when we feel old, even twenty something spring chickens! However when you pass the 60 something turnpike it becomes reality that your body, no matter how well maintained, starts to sag and wilt at some of the things your energized mind conceives.
There are three paths.
1)Fight it and be in denial – get face lifts, try every supposed miracle health cure, where inappropriate clothing etc.
2) Alternatively you could throw in the towel sit back in your armchair and turn on the TV.
3)For me the other course seems better, embrace the beauty of each age. Not trying to be something you are not (young)but still living life to the full. Tapping into the wisdom and maturity you’ve hopefully gained along the way, remembering, though glorious in summer, the true strength and beauty of a tree is not truly visible till winter.

It has to work both ways.

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Found this gem that pretty much sums up my frustrated feelings at present. It’s sad that so many movements that began as a platform for good have degenerated to the level of the things they opposed (Avazz is a classic, but by no means only, example) many petitions circulating lately seem to spew hate, and social media posts often remind of kids hissy fits.
I used to do a lot of chairing meetings and one of the most useful things I was taught is that meetings where everyone agrees are generally not very constructive. Much healthier are the more difficult to chair ones where opinions are strongly varied, as they will evaluate better all sides of an issue and generally break new and constructive ground – if only you can keep it from becoming personal.
I think a sign of maturity is being able to see another’s point of view, learn from it, (we never have the full picture) and, bearing it in mind, make good well rounded decisions. Unfortunately this art seems to be going out of style particularly among the newly labeled “smug liberals”. (Sadly the “goodies” seem to be becoming the “baddies”).
A friend explained how this may come about due to search engines etc. which tend to select things on the web that match your profile. Thus for example things like Brexit and Trump can be unbelievable to those receiving only media posts agreeing with their opposing views, without realizing it, they are living in a media bubble. Thus they think the whole world agrees with them when in reality the majority turn out not to.
We can all learn a lot from each other, but in order to do so we need to keep our minds open to the fact things may not always be as they seem to us, there is always another side to the picture.

Following this advice…

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Following this advice I’m sorry to have been neglecting my blog/reader. My daughter and grand daughter are visiting from S E Asia triggering lots of family meet ups etc. My negligence will probably become worse when I fly back with them for two weeks in Malaysia to enjoy Chinese new year celebrations together, but… I’m hoping after that to be back at my laptop with lots of exciting photos to share.
Hope you are all likewise enjoying life, be it fast and adventurous or slow paced and tranquil (it’s all good!) Love to you all!

Small effort big pay back

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Along with my resolution to just go ahead and do whatever strikes me (and stop procrastinating) I ventured down to the local swimming pool.
My lazy self was arguing all the way. “For God’s sake it’s January this is NOT the time to start swimming again!” Nonetheless, motivated by thoughts of several awful Christmas photos and the fact that my favourite coat is getting tight I stuffed towel and costume in my backpack and grabbed my bike.
The first two laps were tough, having to get my breath at either end (well it had been over a year!) Then it got easier. To my delight I managed my goal of ten laps before the session finished. More than that I felt great – warm, glowy and energized. In fact it felt so good I went back yesterday and added an extra lap to my total!
Sometimes I find that with my body, it really lets me know when it gets something it needed. The “happy feeling” continued the rest of the day and concluded in a good, deep night’s sleep. Sometimes that tiny push of effort makes all the difference!

Don’t force the wood (Life lessons)

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What a great idea I thought. Wood carving would be a just the thing to indulge my creative leanings. Having fours years of study and a BA in sculpture under my belt I figured I could easily adapt.
Boy was I wrong! I’d mostly used clay, plaster etc. any past wood creations being the result of industrial power tools. The only thing I’d carved by hand was plaster of paris.
I soon discovered my mistake, not only was it hard work, but it just didn’t “flow”. The first simple relief came out well, only to be followed by three half finished free standing carvings. I finally got the point. I wasn’t learning about wood, how it grew, how “IT” flowed. I was merely trying to stamp an image on it. Wood is a living thing, to carve it you must know it intimately.
I pondered, isn’t life like that? We try to put our stamp upon it, shape it to our desire but we find forces working against us. We discover irreparable splits can occur when we hit in the wrong place. We have to understand the forces at work in our lives in order to flow with them, to step back and really look at latent possibilities we don’t notice if we are too intent to “get to work”.
So, I’ve decided, I’ll take some lessons from the master carpenter. This will be fun and far less work!