Back in May, I posted the following quote by Viktor Frankl, "Why are we so obsessed with what we lose as we age, and unclear about what we gain?” and asked you to take a few minutes to write down what you’ve gained as you’ve aged. A dear friend of mine took this to heart and wrote a list of what she gained as she’s become older. She prefers to remain anonymous, which, BTW, is always an option if you want to post! Below are her thoughts:
I’ve gained the ability to think and act slowly. I’ve lost the stamina to pack each day to the gills.
I’ve gained the ability to love unconditionally and lost the need for social acceptance.
I’ve gained objectivity . . . and subjectivity.
I’ve lost weight with the shift in hormone levels . . . and with increasingly tricky reactions to a number of foods. I miss ice cream.
I’ve gained an ability to think each day about beloved relatives who have died.
I’ve gained a feeling that life has been full, and good, and if it ends unexpectedly it will have been sufficient.
I’ve gained an appreciation of all that is unique and endearing about other people’s children.
* * *
Thank you to my “anonymous” friend! Over forty years ago, she and I traveled in Italy together and one rainy day in Florence, when we’d had enough of museums and bridges, we decided to ditch sightseeing and eat — we stopped for pizza twice and gelato three times (not to mention a few glasses of red wine along the way). Okay, I miss that one aspect of my twenties.
The writing prompts are designed to spark your imagination and get your creativity flowing. If you’re not a person who actually likes to write, or doesn’t feel comfortable writing paragraphs or pages, just create a list. In my writing workshops there’s always a participant who prefers making lists than writing extemporaneous prose. If that works for you, by all means go for it!
And, if you have something you’d like to share with me for the blog and would prefer to remain anonymous, let me know — it’s a great option.
Do you have a personal essay on aging or a writing prompt response you'd like to share? If so, I'd love to read it. Send it my way!
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