Day 352/366 days Towards Self-Mastery.
It's fascinating looking out at society and how it operates from my age of 64 years. And even more interesting as I talk with my 92 year old parents.
Let's start with them. Currently they are navigating My Aged Care. Such a degrading, under-resourced excuse for a social service would be hard to find. Each and every encounter with that service seems to reinforce the idea that you are no longer of value. It saddens me no end to see the impact it is having on my parents.
I'm not talking about the individuals who provide the services, more the system and how it is organised. Everything has to be done through the technology which is extremely difficult for them. Even though my mother is quite computer savvy, navigating all the various websites is too much. Not to mention the bureaucracy. Then, and importantly, hearing is a problem. Even making as simple phone call is fraught with difficulties.
Have you ever witnessed a 92 year old navigating the wi fi pairing for their landline? Whose idea was that?
My father laments that at their age nobody cares anymore because they have little to contribute now. They feel pushed aside, unworthy. It hurts my heart.
Yet they are the generation on which this country has been recently built. Following in the footsteps of their immigrant families they made Australia prosperous.
Then there's my generation. A generation of women who are educated and accomplished. Our hair is greying, lines are appearing on our faces. Our body is not a perky as it once was.
We're unemployable. "You'll be bored in this job, you're far too experienced" translated as "you're twice my age and I'm worried you'll know more than me", or "you're twice my age, what would you know!".
I've never been happier than I am right now. I'm learning and growing and understanding the essence of life. My hair is almost entirely grey and apart from the occasional family member commenting, I don't notice nor think about it. It's never been healthier.
My wardrobe is full of clothes that I love. I still love to wear something that's fashionable as long as it suits my shape and is comfortable.
Makeup is a rare event. Whilst I've loved it over the years, I simply can't be bothered with it. For me it's important to look my age. I love to care for my skin and health generally. The last thing I want is to overdo it with makeup.
My family age well. The down side of that is that people think I'm younger than I am. When a younger man looks at me with that look I know he's underestimating my age. I don't enjoy that.
The 30 and 40 year olds are running this country. God bless them. They didn't stop to think that maybe their grandparents wouldn't be able to navigate the digital world. Could there not have been a transition technology that supported and respected them as we in the younger generations embraced the new?
As they learn and grow into their wisdom this generation is practicing on all of us. We did it and now it's their turn.
How utterly crazy is our societal structure? Those with the wisdom of experience are undervalued and under-utilised unless you're an old dude in government. Then there seems to be an unexplainable privilege.
Those without wisdom are on the pedestal, all driven by how much profit can be made from each generation.
When you're 30 something you're peaking in income and spending ability, you're more easily influenced by the dictums of the "not good enough" marketing focus. You're a much valued social commodity. More profit can be syphoned from your generation than any other.
By the time you're 60 you've invested, stopped spending and are therefore less valued as a profit generator.
Does this all sound cynical? It feels it as I write, even though I spend little time thinking about it. I think that's because I've just given up, accepted the craziness as it is.
I want to be a wild wise woman in my age. Doing my own thing, enjoying life with a depth of understanding of the human potential. I want to enjoy my friends and family and I want to contribute where I can as long as it energises me and is fulfilling and meaningful. Then when I'm ready I want to lie down and pass on to the next realm.
Don't mistake my wild for showy and highly visible. My wild is about being grounded and connected to the wildness of nature, my home.
Growing old is under-rated and undervalued. Oh well. So be it. At least we're left to enjoy it without the constant harassment of the commercial world.
366 days Towards Self-Mastery
When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)
I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart.
As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.
My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?
I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.