checking your rear view…


Are you ever at an awesome concert, whether at a super large arena gig or a smaller, more intimate venue and you look back and around at the crowd mid show? You look JUST so you can have some idea what the performers are seeing and feeling? I do, and I am filled up with total elation for them. I stop for 1/2 a beat and check my rear view just to enjoy their view.

Or, sometimes, as I do here, at the farm on my walk, I am cruising along…my lungs are filling I am admiring the scene, listening to the birds and I turn around to look as I continue walking to see from where I came. I check my rear view to appreciate and soak in all that I just passed.

So, this morning. A Saturday morning at the farm. It was a slow start. Me. Lounging. Slow to get rolling. I started writing my blog, uninspired as it was, when #hippierex who lives and works here at the farm, and is part of our family, came in and asked if we (meaning me) wanted to see a mama sheep give birth (she had just had one baby and was laying down ready to give birth to another)! I went running. Well, TBH, it is really, really cold out there, so first I went running to find all my warm layers. Snow boots, hat, vest, snow pants, coat…..

After all that, sadly, by the time we got to the sheep pen, she had just had baby #2. I was thoroughly disappointed in myself for needing all those creature comforts when new life was happening. I was pretty pleased however, that I was able to see her clean off her baby, nurse her 1st and see #2 get up and take its first steps! I thought that was all pretty inspiring, and a beautiful start to a sunny, albeit very cold, Saturday. Life. The process. Amazing. And, I was so proud of this mama…she was being an attentive, loving mama.

All of a sudden mama laid down again! WHAT? A 3rd!!!  She gave birth right in front of me! I saw it! Mind blowing! New life. Right before my eyes. Not going to lie…my eyes more than misted. A little from the pain in my hands being so cold and almost freezing off, but mostly because of life! The beauty. The glory of a healthy birth.

LIFE! 

Whenever I am at the farm I am already so aware of life and death. My daily walks give me time to ponder the beauty of nature. The cycle of life, just by the transition of fields from season to season. Brown fields turn to shades of green to full blown mature green corn or hay with birds flitting about and wildflowers littering the sides of the road. A calf was born just yesterday. Another one maybe today. Yesterday another sheep mama had a baby

Death.

I learned this weekend that one of my 3 bee hives has not survived. We have lost 2 chickens since Spring. The same fields that were once lush and green are now back to brown. And sometimes on your walk instead of talking to the cows in neighboring fields you see 3 cattle trucks pull away from their farm.  And you know all those sweet, cute, young faces you walk by, talk to, love and take pictures of…off. 

Life. Death. The cycle. This is tough on me. I am a fair weathered farm girl. I love the upswing of life. Rejuvenation. Renewal.  I love birth. I love mamas. I love the beautiful sweet faces. But death? Can not even begin to handle it. I mean all pretty normal, yah?

Life and Death. Cycle of life.This all makes me take a look in the rear view. 

Why? 

Why does this cause me to take a look back? Partly this is super obvious. Life. Aging. But, this is probably where I should mention that I have a complete fear of dying. Complete. Almost paralyzing fear. Mine. Yours. Animals. Makes no matter. It prevents me from thrill seeking activities. It fills me with anxiety. Let me run this a little deeper. Even aging itself is a real struggle for me. Mostly my aging. I mean, I love seeing my man in his glasses that he has only had to start wearing a few years ago. I find him super hot as he matures.  And then, there is the fact that I LOVE and ADORE older people. Truth be told, I have a thing for cute little old men. But me….aging? Dying? I can not even. 

This Fall my community lost a bright light. She was young, vibrant and a mom and it was/is impossible to imagine and comprehend. Just a few weeks later someone we know, our age, had a life threatening episode. It all just makes me feel so vulnerable. I do not relish feeling vulnerable, nor do I relish the thought of the transfer of power from us to our kids. I can not even begin to fathom a world where I am not there for my daughter, or for my other people. Much less, THEM taking care of US.

But, in my first blog post I listed my goals for 2019 and the last one was: 

10. TO LOVE MYSELF MORE! TO EMBRACE THE ME OF NOW! Easier said than done. Especially if you, like me, have a fear of aging and dying learning to love oneself as the changes are occurring every day before ones eyes is next to impossible. 

So, when did this start to become paralyzing? (I can trace this back and at another time we can sift through it all.) I mean, I survived  every monumental birthday with flying colors. No lamenting. No wishing time could go backwards. But somehow, this year I feel that some of the changes that my body is going through are some that I can not fix with diet and exercise. And that the things that can be helped with diet and exercise, seem to take a LOT longer to change back to good than they used to. And then there is social media. HELLOOO???? We can all agree that social media does NOT help. Even the women my age who post are posting pristine homes, or amazing wardrobes, or fancy lifestyles and perfect skin. UGH….Really?

So, how to embrace the me of now? How to not fear that my #farmboy will not love the changes my body are making? How to not feel useless or uncool?   How to not feel diminished? How to own, with pride the changes? But, still fight gravity. To not just roll over and let it happen.

Here’s what I will try to do. I vow that every time I feel these thoughts I will make a concerted effort to remind myself how lucky I am. How lucky that I am able to go for my long/fast walks…(babygirl, if you are reading this, remember Thanksgiving when I had to pull YOU along on my walk??!!) and workout. How lucky I am that my lungs are able to fill with fresh air and my muscles are able to lift weights and get stronger. How lucky I am that while my eyes might have wrinkles around them and need glasses they allow me to see the beauty of a birth on the farm and to look with love at my family. That my heart beats and allows me to do all that I do and has the capacity to love and allow love. That my brain, while maybe a little fuzzier than it used to be, allows me to think and want more and to continue to challenge myself.

I vow to look back in my rear view, or turn around and look to see from where I came, and appreciate that is all what has made me the woman I am today, and not compare my current self to my younger self. Because, as the kids say, “if I am being honest…” some parts of me are WAY better.

I promise that I will be kinder to myself. That the love and patience I show to others I will show to myself. I will remind myself that my physical self is not what makes me lovable. My energy, my heart, my commitment and passion are what make me, me. 

Love thyself. Honor thyself. 

Sure. Stop and take a moment to look back. But mostly so that I can leap to the next challenge carrying with me all my prior gained knowledge.

Tell me….do you have anxieties? Tell me…do you have aging coping mechanisms? How are you dealing with aging? Do you look in your rear view? If so, what is your take away from your look back?

Please, let’s commit to one another. Let’s vow to lift one another up. Let’s every day commit to say something nice to one another. To remind our online friends and those we see face to face, that they are amazing and loved and special and that we are so very appreciative of them and all they provide. 

Let’s pay it forward and help another look back in their mirror and feel emboldened from where they have come from, and help lift them as they leap forward.

mad love all. mad, mad love.

4 Comments

  1. Love this. I read your blog in your voice 🙂 we have had many talks about aging and dying so you know my thoughts. And my coping? Sometimes i contact you and say wtf???? First time being in your kitchen in Jericho when i made you look at the wrinkles under my eyes when i contorted my face. Now i don’t need to contort! But i still laugh about it. And maybe laughter and lightness and connection with others (even if its just to say wtf)?? to others who know how it feels and a little self compassion is good. Thank you for your authentic transparency ❤ you are amazing, special and loved and I appreciate you.

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    1. First of all… it was Underhill!!!!! Way more OUT THERE!!! hahahaha!!!

      Second of all…There is truth in the laughter and lightness and sharing.

      Third….you are going to have know about all the “problem” areas as you are MY person who is going to have to make sure it is all taken care of, if I am unable!

      You are super appreciated!

      Hugs!

      Like

  2. I don’t spend a lot of energy worrying about the things I can’t control, age being one of them. Instead, I’ve used each approaching decade as an opportunity to grow, learning from the past but not wishing to go back. I try to wake up grateful for every day I’m given. Have I worried about dying? Of course, I think everyone does to a degree. BUT I don’t want to spend the time I have on this earth worrying about what lies ahead. My bigger concern on this front is for those that would be left behind and the impact it would have on them. Our time here is not guaranteed, so breathe in love, gratitude & appreciation for the gifts we are given and let go of the rest.

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