Life has been exceedingly hectic the last two days. No blog posts as a results and very little sleep as a side note. We have been preparing to go on vacation, or rather, taking vacation time from work for ten days. Where our vacation time will lead us is a mystery at this time. As far as planning, the only “plan” we made was to not make a plan.
All the craziness has been a result of getting things in order at work so that we could comfortably take a vacation and not let our workload be a burden to any of our co-managers. So for the last three days, things have been crazy with last-minute designs, preparations, orders, e-mails and oh god, yes plans.
I love my job. It is awesome in the fact that it allows me to be creative and artistic and also use my marketing experience. I design collateral, invitations, create promotional items and plan amazing large-scale events – all with someone else’s budget. But the best part of my day-to-day is that I get to interact with the most interesting and sweet human beings – seniors.
So many other cultures honor their seniors. In some countries, homes are multi-generational with seniors receiving a place of respect. But, for some reason, our culture views aging as something horrible and to be avoided at all costs. I don’t believe it is solely the fear of death. I think it is the fear of being old.
So many discussions, articles and people have addressed the media’s need to keep it young. There are more products on the market today designed to “erase the signs of aging” than there were 30 years ago. Why do you think that is? Do we suddenly become less valuable if we have a wrinkle or gray hair? Do we suddenly lose our humanness? Are we no longer attractive?
I have been touched by the exquisite beauty of women who are 80, full gray hair and wrinkles. With their zest for life and rich stories of their lives, loves and experiences, their eyes twinkle and their smiles could light up the darkness that pervades our culture. To hear of their first kiss with the love of their live who recently passed or the first time they sunk a hole in one of the golf course or how they are now working on a watercolor master piece or teaching others to write poetry is inspiring. They are beautiful. They are valuable. They are who we will all be one day.
When I found gray hairs it caused me to pause. I didn’t reflect on what color to dye my hair or whether I should highlight it. I stared at myself for a long time and knew I was the same person I had always been. Hell, I am the same eight year old who use to play kick ball in the street of Plantation Isles, Florida and the same 18-year-old who use to drive her Jeep to the beach with her best friend and the same 20 something who tried desperately to figure out what being professional really was. I remember in detail when I knew my husband was the one and the moment I first looked into my newborn son’s eyes and he looked back. I remember holding my dad’s hand while he was having seizures in his last days and realized that the baton of child to parent to aging adult was passed. I knew as I sat there whispering words of comfort to him that this could be me. I hoped that whoever would take care of me would have as much love in their hearts as I had for him.
So I love my job. Because it is filled with richness. I love my seniors because they are a rich tapestry. They represent everything that everyone one of us goes through.
We should all embrace life everyday. Because much like my “no plan” for vacation, life is the same way. You can make plans and God/dess laughs. The Divine laughs so damn hard that we experience the reverberation here on planet Earth.
Make plans if you must. If it makes you feel safe. But be flexible. In Yoga, we call this being like the bamboo. The wind blows and the bamboo is strong and moves with the wind – not against it.
That is how I am approaching this vacation. We will see what happens. See where the wind blows us and embrace whatever comes our way.
I’ll let you know how it turns out.