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  • Writer's picturePat Birnie

We Are Nesting Dolls

I recently read "You Could Make This Place Beautiful" by Maggie Smith (not that Maggie Smith). It was sad, touching, heartbreaking, joyous, and so gorgeously written. Smith is a poet, and is such a gifted wordsmith. The book is a memoir about a very difficult divorce and her fierce love for her children. I am typically a very fast reader but I forced myself to slow down and soak in the book. I highlighted many paragraphs and phrases that I wanted to go back to. Here's one:

This is so thought-provoking. For me, it stimulates thoughts about the capacity of the human soul. And the nesting doll image: you know those regrets we have? (I talked about a few last month). They are all experiences that create who we are today. Layer upon layer of decisions, love and loss, joy and regret.

Perhaps these thoughts are natural as we age? As I quickly move towards my (gulp) 80th decade I must accept that I am definitely in my last act. Yesterday I was talking to a friend about my respirologist. I had a choice of two-- both excellent and knowledgeable. One is 60'ish, the other is likely 20 years younger. I of course chose the younger one and said "he will be my doctor until I die, no need to 'train' a new one". It is such a weird feeling, particularly when I still mostly feel quite young. (until I pass a mirror)

The final line in the quote, "There is always room for more experience. Our lives expand to accommodate almost anything.", is such a powerful reminder. Think back over your long life, through the decades. How many times did we think "I just cannot do this any longer, I'm at my breaking point" and yet we did continue and we did not break. Another layer in our nesting doll. I wish for you, my dear friends, that this serves as a reminder to keep trying new things, keep saying yes and keep taking risks. Allow your life to expand and accommodate! This is the essence and key to a life of Pro-Aging.

Pat xo

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