Author Dana Rodney rejoins Building a Better Story with more thoughts on getting older. Here’s her story. ~AnaM
Just kidding, aging isn’t a joy, you just don’t have any choice. Like they say, getting old ain’t for sissies. I’m sure there are some advantages to growing older: grandchildren, more free time, discounts. But if we’re being brutally honest, the negatives outweigh the positives. So instead of wringing my brain to come up with a list of the joys of aging, how about a list called:
Weird and Unexpected Things About Aging:
#1- You don’t look as good but it’s a relief.
Mostly, not looking young sucks, but there’s an unexpected advantage to it; you’ve worried about your looks and been judged for it all your life (especially women.) Suddenly you’ve lost them…and it’s a perverse relief. You don’t have to stress about it anymore. Game over. Sure, you still have to be presentable and put in a little effort… but admit it, no one’s looking.
#2- Whatever you’re gonna do you’ve already done.
By the time you’re 60, you’ve built your career (or not,) you’ve had a family (or not,) you’ve achieved—or not achieved. At this point you can just accept it. Probably not gonna change the status quo at this point. Like baking a cake. You have one chance to get it right. If it collapses a little in the middle, you can’t go back and fix it. Spread some frosting on top and enjoy the party.
#3- You don’t care what people think.
You’re not trying to fit in anymore or be like someone else. You’ve become who you are through decades of trial and error and making millions of choices that you can’t undo. You are who you are, might as well stand behind your work.
#4- Death doesn’t scare you.
By the time you’re a senior citizen, you’ve seen, experienced, tasted it all. You’re just going through the motions again and again. like re-reading a favorite book, it’s enjoyable, but there are no surprises. Maybe you’re secretly curious about death; it’s the only surprise left. The final adventure awaits!
#5- You inadvertently become a mindfulness practitioner.
Retirement is an interesting experiment. Your whole life you’ve been pushed to succeed, produce, make money, then overnight your world paradigm shifts. It takes a while to convince your frantic mind you don’t need to be anywhere, there are no pressing deadlines, you can sleep in. But when your mind finally accepts it, what a naughty joy it is to sit for thirty minutes drinking coffee at noon and watch the hummingbirds.
Well, okay…maybe there are some joys to aging after all.
An interview with Dana Rodney:
AM~ How did you start writing?
DR~ I started writing in 2017 after I retired from a career in the design industry. Seeking inspiration, I wandered into a free writing class in my hometown in the Napa Valley, California. One of the writing exercises I did inspired me, and I just kept writing. A year later, I had a novel finished titled, THE BUTTERFLY WING, a story which explores Napa Valley history. It is soon to be published, and I will be offering some excerpts from the book in the “Writing” section of my website.
AM~ I had the opportunity to be one of your early readers and loved The Butterfly Wing. Are you continuing to write period pieces?
DR~ Yes, but the time is the future. I am currently working on a new novel on the subject of climate change titled- THE ECSTASY OF ICE, which chronicles the last year in the life of Anuk, the last polar bear on planet earth, in her first-person point of view.
AM~ Tell me about your background. What else have you done?
DR~I am also a lettering artist. I started doing calligraphy in the 80’s when it was an artsy- craftsy trend. Thirty years later I picked up my dip pen again and started creating calligraphy art incorporating Asian-inspired shapes, original watercolor washes and the words of the mystics like Buddha and Rumi.
AM~ It sounds like words are important to you.
DR~I guess I just love words. Take a look my calligraphy art on the “Modern Calligraphy” tab in the navigation bar of my website.
AM~What message do you have for readers?
DR~ Please join my writing journey. My BLOG is a fascinating selection of issues that have inspired my books such as climate change, women’s empowerment, history and the natural world. I always am interested in what readers have to add to the discussion. You can also check out my Instagram, Facebook and twitter platforms for photos of new calligraphy and posts about my ongoing creative journey. I would be tickled pink if I could send you a page or two from one of my novels every month. Your comments would be welcome. Click here to join my list: DanaRodney.com
2 responses to “The Joy of Aging”
What a pleasure to read Dana Rodney’s take on aging . . . and I agree with her on almost all points, except for the “no surprises” one. I am constantly surprised by the aging process: for instance, I knew to expect wrinkles, but nobody told me how much more stuff starts to stick to your teeth as you age. But, seriously — THRILLED to learn Dana’s first novel is about to be published, and looking forward to reading it! She’s a powerhouse.
OMG. I thought I was the only one with sticky teeth!