Thinking Aloud on a Sunday

A peaceful Sunday morning in Beetley. Hazy sunshine, and two new blog posts published. I was just reading this post, from another blogger.

John Liming is an American, and fourteen years older than me. He is a long-term blogger, known for his outspoken political views, occasional rants, and no-nonsense attitude. Many may disagree with what he says, including me, at least most of the time. But he also has a lot to say about what life is like when you are older. When you have to learn to settle for a different way of life, and changing aspirations. Perhaps because I am officially older myself, I find these that thoughts frequently resonate for me, and have a poignancy that makes me become reflective too.

Behind the political diatribes, there is much to discover in John’s long history. His writing is sometimes tinged with a melancholy that I find affecting, and that makes me think about my own life.

Perhaps ‘Thinking Aloud on a Sunday’ could become a regular feature here on some Sundays, if not all of them. I’m not sure just yet, but for today, this is what I am thinking aloud.

Whether you live alone, or have a partner. If you have children and grandchildren, or none at all. If your circle of friends and social life is enormous, or very small, you can be sure of one thing. As you get older, it changes. People move away, both differences and familiarity begin to diminish contact, and the way you lived before will feel like a life led by a different person. This is not necessarily a bad thing, just part of modern life. We no longer live around the corner from our close friends, or in the same street as our relatives, in most cases.

By the time you reach a certain age, you will have lost some of your older relatives, and perhaps many of your friends too. The younger ones have to be told who you are, and where you fit into the family group. Many have never met you, nor will ever meet you. A face in a photograph, identified by their parents, as the page is turned to the next smiling person from the past. You make new contacts, but the lack of shared experience and past memories makes it harder for those to develop into what most would think of as real friendships.

You settle down into this life, accept it for what it is, and adapt to the new way of living.

Just some thoughts on a Sunday.

47 thoughts on “Thinking Aloud on a Sunday

  1. “Thinking Aloud on a Sunday” as a staple here on beetleypete is an excellent idea!

    One thing I’ve noticed is that my past seems so incredibly distant that it’s hard to believe it was once the present. It’s almost like someone else’s past. Hard to believe it was me!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. you are right on all counts-I have 5 children all grown up now-My husband passed now ten years ago, so young. I do have a grandchild and luckily my parents too. I also have several friends of almost thirty years-still it is a lot of change -and it has taken me a while to adjust. I am downsizing and learning to play the cello! Like you . . staying positive. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good Morning Pete:
    I should think Sunday Musings would be a solid addition to your blogging.
    I got to thinking that the one thing I am beginning to miss is a significant number of people towards whom I need to be respectful of because they are older than me. Those older than I seem to be dwindling.
    Warmest regards, Theo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kim. By his own admission, John can be a curmudgeon at times, and has been a fervent supporter of Mr Trump in the past. However, I see through his tirades, and into that interesting life that has lasted for 79 years.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Besides being extremely accurate and engrossing, your post extends much appreciated complimentary words toward me and I appreciate them, but the fact of growing older and taking into consideration the changes that face me — the changes you have so well described — it all makes me understand why the only photographs I will ever allow to be taken of me again are photographs of my denuded posterior because I believe that is the way that people will remember me best or recognize me the most easily. Great post, Pete — appeals to my ego — appeals to my sense of values — is just wonderfully written …. I am a little biased of course …. Keep up the great work.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. From what I understand, John is well into his 80’s and I don’t think any of us are at that point just yet. Although I could write a book on his shifting emotional cycles and mood swings. Think of it as trying to avoid sliding down the drain to our end. Grabbing onto the sides, trying to regain control of the descent, trying to grab on the last vestige of relevancy we had in the past, trying to find a purpose to still live to grab onto rather than feel like just waiting out the clock. Friends have gone, social attitudes have changed to the point you don’t feel what you believed in means anything anymore (if it ever did at all). Times have changed along with morality. John’s persona seems to reflect his personal struggle with age.
    John doesn’t seem to have many medical maladies to take up his thoughts. I should be that lucky and stay healthy that long and not need a drool cup when I get to be his age. I have asked him to share is life story but understandably he’s reluctant.

    But here’s what I draw from all that… if there’s something with all that, that does not sit well, then do something now to avoid it. Obviously we can’t get younger. But we can focus on the stuff that does make a difference to us now… not later. The later is getting shorter. Stay involved with life; but go down fighting. Not fighting as if it were a battle of survival… but fighting to stay involved in life.. not retreat from it simply because times change. If public nose picking was the most appalling thing while you were growing up… and times have changed where public nose picking is now not only accepted but rewarded in life.. then, goddamnit.. pick your nose in public with the best of them. Because as soon as you start lamenting about the days when public nose picking was abhorred… then you become “old”. If nothing else, compromise, Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
    My point… reflecting on the past is part of aging. But when you do that, live for the present.

    Thus endeth the lesson. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Doug. This was intended to be a positive post, to imply that there is nothing to fear about changing circumstances as we get older. They are natural, and we will adapt.
      John is 79. He had his birthday recently, and I agree, he is doing very well indeed.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Dearest Doug — Point taken! If you will follow “John Liming’s Personal Blog” for a period of time you will see the revelation of my life unfold bit by bit as the time goes on …. I will make a point of including little glimpses of my survival after being told at age 18 that I would never work again because of debilitating hepatitis — of my struggle to become fit — of my adventures into the workaday world where I literally rose from the stinking-est of rags to the floral effluence of prosperity and then blew it all and lost everything and became an indigent — and then struggled back and found out that God is a God of the second chance — of my romances — my courtships — my marriage — my family — my poverty — my wealth — my challenges, defeats and victories — It will all be there is scraps and pieces as time progresses …. and thank you for your interest. Thank you for making my days a little brighter by the fact that you are simply “There.”

      Liked by 2 people

  6. It resonates with me too. I only have my mother left, no brothers or sisters, no partner and no children, so I wonder. Sometimes it is scary, at others, full of possibilities… I’m going to be spending some time with friends next week (going to a wedding too) and will probably start another teaching term, so I might not be around very much but will keep thinking of my blogging friends. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is something that can be scary to anticipate, but feels remarkably calming when it arrives.
      Have a great time at the wedding, and with your friends. We will all be thinking of you, during your absence. And if you ever feel lonely, you will always have your blogging community to call upon. 🙂
      Best wishes as always, Pete.


  7. Well, this resonates for me….but in my case, not necessarily about aging, as I’m not that ancient yet…but ill health has shifted my datum line, my horizon, my goal posts. The way I lived before does indeed feel like a life led by a different person! But I adapt, change expectations and above all, never give up!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I do not mean to sound at all crass or disinterested, but I have found throughout life that the times of challenge are also most often the time of greatest blessings. I discovered a long time ago that when bad health overtook me and changed my comfortable routines, I had more time to reflect and to appreciate the very act of living — and I found that when one has been separated from the outside world by circumstances there are myriad opportunities to be of service to others whose situation may be worse than our own — and my illness became a period of growth for me — and I have profited by it ever since. I admire your willingness and ability to “Adapt” and to “Cope” because I see that as an undefeatable strength and it becomes inspirational. I believe that if you have not already done it you will soon discover that you possess inner strengths that you may have never recognized in yourself before and that you will be more and more blessed as time goes by.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Well gee whiz I’m glad I have my rosy glasses on or I might have found your comments this morning rather depressing. True, as they are. I am alone now, and my closest lifelong friend, as well as kids and grandkids are far way. One is in Bucharest for heaven’s sake. But I’m looking of this as my ‘growing up’ years, making up for the time I didn’t take for myself when I was young, before I took on all the responsibilities of motherhood and all that entails. That’s what I tell myself anyhow…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry if you found this depressing, as that was not my intention. As I said, it is just ‘thinking aloud’, and was actually meant to be a positive look at the way life changes as we get older, and how we adapt to different circumstances.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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