Friday, August 19, 2011

Taking a Big Bite out of Life

One thing I love about children is their willingness and capacity to take a big bite out of life. I've always enjoyed taking pretty big bites myself, but the older I become, the smaller those bites seem to be getting. And you know what? I don't like it!

Lately I'm reminding myself that having less energy and reduced chewing power needn't amount to losing enthusiasm. Let's face it; if old fogey-ness is a quality I don't care to claim, then I need to make sure it doesn't claim me. Samuel Ullman got it right when he said, "Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul." Barring plastic surgery or botox, neither of which are my thing, the wrinkles on my face are pretty much inevitable. The wrinkles on my soul, however, are embrace or erase at will. My goal is to do stop embracing and start erasing. (Or at least, to smooth those babies out a little!)

I guess it's all in the mindset. While I didn't sign on to nibble my way through life, there are days now when a nibble or two is all I can manage. My job going forward will be to walk the fine line between encouraging myself to go for the gusto and realizing when discretion is the better part of valor. At those times when limitations do come into play and morsels are all I can handle, I will keep those wrinkles off my soul by looking on the bright side and remembering that a morsel is easier to savor than a mouthful.

And savoring is a very good thing.

"And he shall take of it his handful, of the flour of the meat offering, and of the oil thereof, and all the frankincense which is upon the meat offering, and shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savor, even the memorial of it, unto the Lord" (Leviticus 6:15).

By big bites or little bits, I can still take my handful of living and offer it to the Lord. What's more, that offering will be every bit as savory as I am willing to make it.


PS. Happy birthday to my youngest sister, who is pictured for your viewing pleasure on the far right, below!

Love you, Jayne! Have a good one.


karen said...

I understand this post completely. I really hate surrendering to the aches and pains, yet the alternative (trying to push through it) sometimes ends up causing more damage. I need to learn when to gracefully decline, and when to man up. It's kind of a delicate balance, but I've decided I would hate to look back and realize I've missed a lot of great experiences because it was "easier" to stay home and take it easy. As long as I'm not going to be any worse off by pushing myself a little, it doesn't really matter whether I ache at home or ache having a great time!

Brian Miller said...

true is a mindset...and SAVOR is such a cool word...taking it all in not wanting to miss a thing...

anitamombanita said...

nice pic of the sibs! No family resemblance, none, whatsoever... LOL.

Lisalulu said...

I like the 'savor' thought (I think you've written about that word before) but I'm thinking that there's something deeper about this post your worried about. Oh wait maybe that's just me!

Darlene said...

Boy! Can I ever relate to this post. Unfortunately a lot of your problems you got from me. I think you got the worst of genes from me AND your dad.

There are days when it is difficult for me to even get out of bed, but I always do, and I hope I always will.

So many things I am sorry that I can't do, like going to Dallas to help Nancy by just being there for her. I talked to her today and she has a lot of crazy of which is her earnest wish that Dick and I could be with her now, when she needs someone she is completely comfortable with in discussing her financial situation. She did, somewhat, over the phone, but because Dick could be such a big help, we may try to go for a couple of weeks. I want so much to be a help to her. I would love to be able to really take a big "bite" and just go. Sometime just putting a bit of force behind the effort an the desire can make the difference, so I am trying very hard to gather all my forces so that I can just go.

I'm sure that Jayne will appreciate your birthday wishes, but perhaps. but maybe not so much your posting of the family picture. Jayne is usually quite photogenic and that is not the best picture of her. Ha!

Connie said...

I think that sometimes I bite off more than I can chew, thinking I'm still in my 20s! Tomorrow is the half marathon. Should I have taken a smaller bite?

Happy Birthday to your sis!

Grandma Honey said...

When you say you are having a hard time you mean literally? Because I had that problem for about 6 years. Or do you mean just life in general? I can relate to that too!

Sue said...

The chewing thing was just an analogy, Jill...And I was saying that I'm unable to handle as much activity, etc. as I did when I was younger and I don't like it.

Fortunately, I am able to chew very well in a literal sense, though I should probably do far less of it!


PⒿ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

That's part of life's secret, isn't it: when to take a big bite and when to utilize discretion and only nibble.

Either way, I find it's helpful to chew thoroughly before you swallow...aids in good digestion.

Sue said...

So true, PJ.


EG Wow said...

I used to have the quote posted on my bulletin board at work!

It sounds like you have a positive attitude. I think most wrinkled souls began with a negative attitude. :)

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

OH goodness can I relate to this post today my dear Sue.
I feel just as you do and I too don't like how I have been managing myself and life.
Wish it was easier as we get older but our bodies sometimes keep us from doing the things we so want to do.
With friends like you out here in this world of blogging how can I not get my mind set right and get myself up off this dead end route I am on right now and make a U Turn to Live Now..
Enjoy your weekend honey

Amy said...

I have always said growing old is more of a mindset than a body thing. I love that quote about wrinkles on the soul, and you are the youngest person I know. Seriously. You and Dave still go to concerts? I don't even do that! Just by desiring and acting on it, you will always be young!

Myrna Foster said...

Are you still walking? Take care of yourself! :o)

Cheryl said...

My eyes are bigger than my abilities these days. I do love watching from the sides because I don't regret not partipating in the things I once could when I see the smiles of those who still can.

Happy belated to Jayne!

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