Friday, January 30, 2009

Passage of Time

Ruth (in foreground) aged 5 or 6 in Durban South Africa

Today I celebrate yet another year of living, not a special birthday, just another birthday. I have never thought of myself as old even though I am undeniably middle aged, and sometimes feel no different than I did when I was thirty. The women of my family have lived to good old ages and I have excellent role models for the future. Working with older people also keeps me feeling young although some of my coworkers are the age of my children. I have seen young 90 year olds and 50 year olds who seem twice their age.

What is it that keeps some people eternally young?

It is not a cosmetic cream, a face lift, a hair colour, a shape or a style of clothing.

Here is what I have noticed about people who remain youthful all their days.

Ruth (23) Mom (45) Grandma (81) and Grandma's friend
Waiting for a very overdue flight in a Mexican airport

They are interested in trying new things and never stop learning.

They are able to accept change gracefully and without complaint. They are comfortable with themselves.

They are sincerely interested in other people and are good listeners. Nothing ages a person more than rambling on and on about the good old days.

They have a positive attitude about the future even if the present is troubled. They do not talk about how bad the world is getting which discourages and alienates those in younger generations. They are not overly critical of children, teenagers and young adults and are accepting of youthful ways, even if they do things differently. They mix well with all age groups.

Four generations: Grandma, Mom, me and our three daughters

They can be trusted to keep a confidence and share the wisdom that comes with experience without judgement or a superior attitude.

They do not put unrealistic expectations on others or feel they are owed service or affection from those closest to them. They do not put others on guilt trips or play family members against each other.

Even if their physical bodies break down, they focus on what they can do rather than what they cannot do.

Their faces wrinkle in smile lines, not frown lines. They never forget how to laugh or love.
If you want to know what The Becka thinks about my advancing years check this out...My Reckless Mother

She starts by saying, "As I get..."older", I've noticed how lately I've been monitoring my parents more and if they were children.


  1. That is some very good insight, there, Ruth. Happy Birthday, I am sure you will one who will always be young.

  2. Wonderful insight and so true. Happy Birthday!

  3. Happy Birthday Ruth! Those are so wonderfully true. Hope your year ahead is filled with love and joy. :c)

  4. Anonymous8:24 am GMT-5

    That was a great post! The Becka is a great cartoonist. I like how she played on your "birding' adventures. But like her I have found myself being more like a parent to my dad, then his child.

    I enjoy all of the words of staying put them into practice.

    Today your are the FRIDAY FLOWER

  5. Happy birthday Aunt Ruth and many many more to you too! (Which I have no doubt of, you are more active and vibrant then many people half your age!)

  6. What a great observer of life you are. I think I feel young today.

  7. From one Ruth to another,Happy Birthday.Count your life not by the years you've lived,but by the friends you've made.

  8. Loved Becka's post! Happy Birthday! I've got one coming up soon too ... I'm old enough to collect my pension from when I worked at the hospital ... only 15 years worth of service but it will be pin money ... first check ... the end of March. Wha-hoo.

    D and I read a book about centurions lately and why they live that long ... you've come up with some of the same conclusions!

  9. Anonymous1:11 pm GMT-5

    A wonderful post. Pictures that we had almost forgotten. Dad andI read this in Ft. Worth TX this morning.
    You are right on with your comments. We do not feel our age and intend to keep moving and doing and not rust out.
    Have a great day.

  10. I loved Becka's post, especially the drawings.

    I also loved your post. Good words to follow.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! And, yes, it is a special birthday. They all are.

  11. Happy birthday to you Ruth.....and it is special because it is the day you came into the world.....

    I will be sixty in two years time......I am enjoying myself more now than I ever have.
    I have many new challenges this year and I am looking forward to meeting them head on.

    My parents and Ma in law live in the village now and I take care of has been a huge learning curve.....but one that I am enjoying in many ways.....

    I enjoyed the post, I love how you see things so clearly .......

  12. These are all spot-on observations.

    Happy birthday Ruth!!

  13. Beth- Thank you. I think the blogging world is full of young-thinking people.

    Kim- You are still so young!

    Jayne- I know you have also worked with "young" older people. They are inspiring.

    Cheryl D- How nice of you to call me the Friday flower. Do let me know how your dad is doing.

    Jaspenelle- After my knee injury I realized how easy it would be to slip into an old, "wait on me" type of person. I hope to keep going strong.

    AC- Your little granddaughter keeps you young. You and your wife both have young attitudes.

    Ruth- That is a lovely saying. I am thankful for my friends.

    CS- The Becka has always been an honest and forthright daughter. I hope my pension is still around in a decade or so. ;-)

    Mom- I said, I have some great role models.

    NCMW- You are right. Every birthday is special and worth celebrating well. Becka appreciated your comment.

    Cheryl- Every age brings its challenges. I am glad you see your 50s as a positive time in your life.

    Lynne- Thank you for the good wishes on my special day.

  14. Ruth--Happy happy birthday. Whatever age it is, celebrate.
    I suspect you do--you celebrate every day, so no doubt you will your birthday.
    Thanks for sending us to your daughter's "tribute"--I loved it.
    Love the Durban pic--I've been there--but so long ago I don't really remember.

  15. Ruth, what a lovely post today. You are so right...we have a choice. Thank you for stopping by my blog.
    You might better know this area of Canada as the Queen Charlotte Islands rather than Haida Gwaii. I was adopted in Toronto when I was nine and encountered Emily Carr's work that year at the OAG and said "I will live there someday"... I didn't know where it was. It took me forty years almost to the day but here I am!!! Happy birthday and have a wonderful weekend.

    "Live simply so others may simply live."

  16. Great post on the secret of staying young at heart.

  17. Happy Birthday Ruth! That's quite a good list you've got. I am sure you will age gracefully - and remain young at heart.
    Lots of Birthday Hugs

  18. Happy Birthday, Ruth. I enjoyed your analysis of what keeps us youthful. So true...

    Becka's post made me laugh out loud. She's a good daughter who reminds me of my own daughter. I'd keep her if I were you.


  19. Happy Birthday my friend! :)

  20. Ruth,

    There are days I feel like I'm 30 or even younger and then there are days, like today, when I feel OLD. Usually my attitude and the grandsons help me to feel young. Your points are excellent and are very good advice.

    Thank you for your kind words of love and support on the passing of Meeko. He is no longer in any pain. In hindsight, I think there were small, subtle clues, but nothing to clue us in to what was really happening with him. I do appreciate your friendship.


  21. Oh...I am a few minutes late..I hope you had a very Happy Birthday and thank you for taking the time to share some of your wisdom..What you said is very true..I have a birthday coming up soon...

  22. We have a neighbor down the road who is 85, perhaps know even over that, and I am always struck by the twinkle in his eye that reveals his inner youth, which is always shining through.

  23. Celebrate! I hope you had a glorious birthday, a special day because it was YOUR day!

  24. Happy birthday, Ruth. As usual, I enjoyed your post and the pictures.

  25. I've noticed some of the same qualities in my father's mother who lived to be 97.I would ask her about the good old days but she didn't look at it this way.She was perfectly content with te present.
    She enjoyed doing crosswords and playing scrabble. The thing I noticed most about her though was how she made life seem so simple.She didn't talk about others in a bad way and never seemed to worr much about anything.Boy-did I admire her in that way.I think way too much and can't seem to help myself, although I'm trying to look at life in a simpler way.-Interesting Post-and Happy Birthday!

  26. Hope you had a great one...
    I just read you daughters comic of was sooooooo funny...she has a great sense of humor.

  27. Happy birthday to you..... some sound wisdom here. I'm with you, I don't "feel" older and I'm always surprised when I see that middle-aged woman in the mirror and realize it is me!


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