Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Drab Side of Aging

There are no seven wonders of the world
in the eyes of a child. 
There are seven million. 
~Walt Streightiff

Among we older types there exists an unending litany to the downside of aging.  The list might include many unpleasant conditions, like the onset of arthritis, or the inability to sleep (potty runs), or diminishing eyesight, or bunions, or loneliness.  For some, it may include failing health. Getting older does come with side-effects, and affects. :)

It occurs to me that many of my age (some younger, and some older) suffer an oft-overlooked condition:  the loss of curiosity.  I confess: it's a virus I battle on occasion myself.

Among my greatest joys in spending time with the grandchildren - or ANY child for that matter - is how insatiable is their appetite for discovery.  Big worlds offer big opportunities to look-see, poke, prod, ask why?, stare long, or grab and run.  They'll sit stock-still to ponder a bug, or to listen to a story (well, maybe not exactly stock still).  Before their querying little minds entire worlds are born.

For many, that childlike condition never ceases.  But alas, for the greater majority it simply recedes; often slowly ... and without much notice.   When it's no longer the stuff of daily living, daily living becomes altogether predictable and drab.  We cease reading.  We cease investigating.  We cease turning over EVERY rock on life's shore. 

Curiosity, and curiosity alone is the green crayon of life.  Hard to make a full array of color without it.

Children find everything in nothing;
men find nothing in everything. 
~Giacomo Leopardi

Kids - they dance before they learn
there is anything that isn't music.
~William Stafford


Jackie said...

Kathleen.....This is sooo true and sooo well said. My hubs and I recently discussed this very thing and how important it is for us to remain active (and curious) as we head into our retirement in a few years.

My 91yr old mama who lives in a nursing home LOVES when someone brings a child in for a visit. She always tells me about how full of life and wonder a child is and how she misses that part of true.

I'm gonna remember to always have a firm grip on my green crayon!

Blessings to you today!

Janet - AKA: Latte Lady said...

Oh that's precious!

I have a verse for you. I looked it up yesterday for someone and I think it will encourage you!

This is New Living Trans.

Psalm 92:12-15

12 But the godly will flourish like palm trees
and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.
13 For they are transplanted to the Lord’s own house.
They flourish in the courts of our God.
14 Even in old age they will still produce fruit;
they will remain vital and green.
15 They will declare, “The Lord is just!
He is my rock!
There is no evil in him!”



Terri Tiffany said...

It is so important to watch how a child reacts in the world and then pick back up some of it ourselves. When my grandson visited this past fall, we took him to this cool playground many times.I found myself climbing on everything too and loved it-wondering if I could get better at it as I did it. Am working on my balance now with a Bosu ball so I can walk the balance beam with him next visit:)
I love the thought of always being curious--- I don't think I've lost it all yet, my concern is getting cynical as we age. Hate that!! Would rather be wise.

Beth E. said...

You are so right...I find myself simply going through the motions, getting through most days on "auto pilot".

Now, I admit that I can be quite curious about things. I have to be careful about the things I'm curious about, though...I don't want to end up like the poor, curious cat! ;-)

P.S. My word verification is "doofi". Is that the plural for doofus?! lol


I totally agree!! I never know what my grandkids are going to be into next!! They are like watching a barrel full of curious monkeys. Didn't there used to be a TV program about a curious monkey named George? ...Just curious :-)

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Is this what's wrong with me? I think you've hit the nail on the head. I've lost some of my curiosity over the years, and most days I'm not too bothered by it!

Seriously, this strikes close to home for so many reasons, but mostly because I haven't had much energy for turning over rocks these days. I pray the need for such childlike exploration returns and soon. I need some green in my world.

Lots of love to you; blessings for a beautiful weekend.


Debbie said...

I have never really thought about this before, but you know what I think this is all very true...Maybe it is one (there are sooo many) of the reasons I so enjoy my time with grandkids. I love the things they come up with and the cute little ways it comes out of their can almost see the thoughts swirling through their little heads. I will say I AM curious to know all God has in mind for them. = ) Have a wonderful day. HUGS

Rebecca said...

I think that's one reason I enjoy "Blog-dom". There is so much to learn; so many subjects to pursue; so many countries to visit....

Have you ever heard the poem, "Don't Let Me Grow Old, Lord"? I'll have to see if I can find it. I can't remember all the lines, but it is a prayer to remain curious....

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

I love this Kathleen. I, just last night, had the opportunity to experience this very imaginative child. Probably the age of one of my grandsons. I may not get to experience my own grandsons, but, I can live vicariously through my friends. I love children. I love being curious and imaginative. I sure hate the idea that sometime in my future of aging I'll have a tough time of it. I hope and pray mine never leaves me. It'll be awful lonely and boring without imagination and curiosity! Don't you think? Happy Thursday!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kathleen -

Reading brings me great joy and keeps my mind alert.

I've always enjoyed being around children and taking them to the zoo or some other place. There's nothing quite like seeing their eyes grow wide the first time they look at a giraffe or an elephant.

Susan :)

Saleslady371 said...

And here I was just asking the Lord to keep me young even though there are far too many years to my credit. Thanks, Kathleen, for pointing me in the right direction. Working on the excitement of learning with you!


SoulDragon said...

Dear Kathleen

Lovely words, and I do agree-I remember when my son was but a little thing, and all the wonder of new things would bring delights, through him, to me every day. Now, as I've just experienced his partner's child's first birthday, and met and mixed with young mothers with their small children, it's like it's all happening again. And at a good time for me, as I journey through chemo treatments. It's a blessing, helping me to cope better with it all, and more importantly, bringing me closer to my Lord. Seeing my son's happiness in his relatively new relationship, and his hope for his own child with this lovely girl in the future is a gift I treasure.
Love to you and blessings

Rita said...

Why do we have to lose that curosity as adults, instead of having the wonderment of a child? I think we just let the problems of life pull us down until we lose it. But I don't want to do that. I hope to continue reading, learning, doing and going in my old age! Thanks for reminding us that we need to work on that as we grow older!

Sonja said...

Isn't it the truth!!

No wonder we love being around our grandkids, they make us laugh and enjoy the little things through their eyes. When Joe & I even talk about them, we both laugh out loud. They are so funny and just spit out the most hilarious observations all the time. Yes... life does change us, no question.

BUT... I'm sure not ready to sit on the sidelines either! :)

Grace on the Narrow Path said...

My little grandbaby makes me laugh, cry and live. Live as long as I can to see her explore her life.
Thank you my friend for sharing.
Blessings and hugs,

Rose said...

I think I may break my green crayon. I may not be the curious person I once was but I so treasure seeing the world through the eyes of my great grandsons. They have enough curiosity to keep me on my toes.

Sheryl said...

wow! you are a brilliant writer.

curiosity...never even crossed my mind that i have lost my curiousity, but indeed i have. imagine what "wonders" i am missing out on.

i love the line "curiousity is the green crayon of life" and I LOVE YOU.

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

Wonderful are so right. When we stop getting excited or wanting to learn something new things in or lives become stagnant and so do we!

We should all strive to be curious...

Have a great weekend.

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Oh this is why I love that God gave me a child in my older keeps me curious and amazed! There isn't a day that goes by that I am not thankful for my little guy and it encourages me to take better care of myself.
Thanks for a great post...may I always be curious.

Just a little something from Judy said...

Since I am finding many little ones in my care, I am constantly reminded of their wonder, their curiosity, and their interest in learning. It serves a great reminder to me to keep learning and to never lose the wonder of it all. You shared it well my friend. As a child of God, I never want to lose the wonder of who He is either.

Gwendolyn said...

So true! Underneath, we still are that child that needs awakening! Great writing!

Runner Mom said...

Hey, Kathleen! Love this! I am one of those who still is curious about so many things! And I'm old! I think it's about being still long enough to ponder over the newness of His creation. One of the things I plan on doing this year is slowing down for Him! Taking time to spend in His Word and truly reflect upon it.

And, you, my friend, are a bloggland Elihu to me and many others!!!