Posted by: lmcg1 | June 15, 2013

Inner limits

It seems like one day, you just come up against your inner limits. You go along, doing your stuff, and then one day, there was one stuff too many. Then you have to sit yourself down and have a conversation with yourself about your limits.

My day was last Sunday. I am the kind of person who just keeps on going, doing this and that, going here and there, not in a frantic kind of way, but just steadily going along. I have my routines (painting day, exercise class, piano lesson, etc), plus all the regular stuff of day to day life. Also I take on things that need doing. And I have been able to do it. By Sunday though, I realized that, as much as I like doing all the things I do, I am going to have to change the pace. In my head I am about 22 years old; on the outside I am 3 times that. Hence the disconnect that announced itself. So it is time to bring the outer limits in line with the inner ones. To quote James Lacey in a recent article on aging, “I’d not realized that slowing down was to be understood literally.”



me spring 2013



This is not to say that I am suddenly headed for the rocker, but I have to start saying no to some things, to cut back a little here and there, to delegate some stuff, and to really assess if I want to really do that, or go there, or participate in this. I love to be engaged in things, but I don’t like being so tired that I can’t do any of them. Balance, balance, balance, with a new weight on the other end of the teeter-totter.

A piece that has been making the rounds on Facebook lately, called Five Top Regrets of the Dying, is quite revealing too. Several of the points truly echo with me, as I imagine they do with most people. There is not only the inner and outer physical dimensions of getting older, but also the mental aspects too, like coming to terms with the “what was I thinking?”, “why did I do that,” “that was a good idea,” “in retrospect I should have made that decision” etc etc. To quote another writer, “it is unreasonable to use what you know in the present to judge your actions in the past”. Mulling these events and milestones over, recognizing them, accepting them, learning from them, and then moving on, hopefully with better insight and knowledge, seems to be the work in progress these days.

There is a funny-but-true article I recently saw about aging gracefully, written by Virginia Sullivan, ‘Aging Gracefully? No Way. When I read it though, I thought it described exactly that. Cut the crap, keep on learning, take some risks, live in the present. It is fun to be able to surf around and find all these sites and quotes and just meander through them, taking what you like, and leaving anything that doesn’t fit. I like Tiny Buddha for some things. Yes lots of new-agey stuff, but you don’t have to bite and buy into it all. That’s the best part of now, being able to sift through to find the useful nuggets.

I have been fortunate in many ways, and I am very thankful for that. As in any life, there have been and will be difficult spots and stretches too. Setting my new inner limits on what I can and will do and accept seems to be the work of this next phase. So I’ll get a cup of tea, and sit down more often and write in my journal, start eliminating a lot of the extraneous stuff of all kinds. Begin to simplify, gain some peacefulness, start aging gracefully. Bring on the physical and mental boxes for packing it all up!


  1. How did you get your hair to be so straight in 1970? (How’s that for a superficial comment that has nothing to do with your thoughtful words?)

  2. Very insightful and relevant thoughts irregardless of age! Also, you are such a lovely lady- at all ages- I am so grateful to have you in my life. Xo

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