I recently turned 50 years old and have been gratefully discovering the many blessing of this new decade in my life. I have for example, over the last 50 years, learned to look for the humor in most situations. It just simply makes me a happier person and that benefits those around me as well. There are I am finding, lots of humorous things that come with aging. Like getting up to walk across the room and forgetting where I am going and why. Like leaving my mind next to my keys sometimes and not being able to find either one. I am working also to try and be grateful that this is only a part of my increasing experiences of ADHD and I hope to remember to say a prayer in those moments for all of those who are increasingly forgetful like this for more serious reasons.
I haven't decided yet if I believe in the idea that , but I do think that when we are awake enough, we have a better chance of seeing the things more clearly, that are continually being presented to us. I am thinking that maybe things just happen and our part is in how we choose to respond. So I am choosing to continue to try to respond with humor and gratitude whenever that is possible and appropriate. More than anything else I am working to trust the mystery that is in every moment of every day and in doing so, I am increasingly experiencing a tremendous sense of gratitude.
I had a friend once who pretty much summed me up in one brief explanation. We are lucky sometimes in life to find friends who can do things like that for us so easily and readily. She said to me "Janine you are a permanent ink person." I had to ask her what that meant exactly as my initial reaction was that she was likening me to a tattoo or something of that nature. I am not a big fan of tattoos, so I definitely wanted some clarification. Back in the old, old days (remembering that I am 50 now and some of the things that I speak of are really quite antiquated) , before Blackberries, IPads, Iphones and the like, we used simple organizational tools like paper address books.
My friend said to me "some people you write in your address book in pencil and others you can write in permanent ink... you are in my address book in permanent ink."
I can't tell you how many times over the years since she said that to me that I have reflected on being described as a permanent ink person. It was a real gift she gave to me and I don't think she ever really realized that as she is one of the "pencil people" in my life. One who came for a moment and then moved on and erased themselves physically from my presence, but left enough of an impression that they are with me in some no longer visible form.
T.S. Elliot wrote that "and the end of of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know that place for the first time." That struck me recently at a level that I do not yet fully understand. So much so that I wrote it out on a post it note and stuck it on my desk (another one of my 50 year old antiquated methods). But I think for permanent ink people like me, it has something to do with learning to trust the mystery and choosing to continue work to respond with gratitude.