Don’t blink. Life seems to go by so much faster as we get older, doesn’t it? Sometimes it scares me that I’ll be 64 in a couple of months. I laugh with my husband as we watch sports because I no longer make comments about how cute the athletes are. It’s the coaches I notice. I’ve had a crush on Jeff Fisher for several years now. But he’s still a young 56.
And then Kevin Costner shows up on the cover of the December 2014/January 2015 issue of AARP The Magazine. Yep, he’s still got it. And he turns 60 this month. How does he do it? He says:
When I show up I have to be ready. Whether the energy is there or not, I bubble it up…. I still like swinging for the fences.
His energy inspires me as I continue to work on projects that are important to me, even when I often feel old and tired.
But it’s a small column in the “My American Life” section by Anne Lamott that helped me the most this month. “Have a Little Faith: How Getting Older Deepened My Belief in Goodness… and in Myself” isn’t just about faith in God. As she says in the article:
It’s about faith in goodness, in life, in things mostly working out. And let’s not forget faith in ourselves—the conviction that we are loved and chosen—which is such a component of the spiritual life.
If you don’t get the magazine, you can read the entire article on Lamott’s Facebook page. She posted it here, on December 9. It’s short and powerful and worth a read. She talks about things I need to hear about over and over, like forgiving ourselves and others. And laughter. And when to say “yes” and when to say “no.” And the importance of community:
Twenty-nine years in a tiny church has proved to me that when two or more are gathered who believe in Goodness, they will take care of those in their community who are suffering, scared, lonely.
I’ve seen community in action when I’m suffering—especially the hands-on help I got from the people in my church in the weeks following my car wreck in 2013. And even in good times, when neighbors we’ve only known for a few months brought over Christmas gifts, like homemade bread, a Southern Living cookbook, a nice bottle of wine, and even a calendar with beautiful images of angels in it because the gifter noticed the angels on our walls when she came to a party at our house. These expressions of love from new friends—along with the sustaining love of life-long friends—bolster me up when I’m feeling down, or tired, or just old. They help me “bubble up.”
As I dive back into another round of revisions on my novel in the coming weeks (having put this task off during the holidays and having now run out of excuses) I’ll make time for coffee with a neighbor, lunch with a friend, and hopefully get back on the elliptical machine as often as my aching ankle will allow. To the casual observer it might not look like I’m swinging for the fences, but I know that I am. I still believe I can hit one out of the park. Thanks to my community, my family, and the inspiration of folks like Costner and Lamott. (And an occasional glimpse of Jeff Fisher.)