“I’ve enjoyed every age I’ve been, and each has had its own individual merit. Every laugh line, every scar, is a badge I wear to show I’ve been present, the inner rings of my personal tree trunk that I display proudly for all to see. Nowadays, I don’t want a “perfect” face and body; I want to wear the life I’ve lived.”
― Pat Benatar, Between a Heart and a Rock Place: A Memoir
The past few days have been busy catching up from my birthday celebrations. Actually, I’ve had months of celebrating. It has been wonderful.
Going to leave you with a prayer I’ve shared before. It is especially fitting as I begin another year. The petitions in this prayer reflect my own concerns as I observe my aging self. I don’t think it was a coincidence that it came up in my search today.
This year I’ve been given time to think about my life as I traveled to Iowa and Colorado. As I’ve reflected on the past, I am surprised at the unexpected turns my journey has taken and the precious souls I’ve met along the way. There are some marvelous stories there to share.
Thank you, God.
“Prayer of an Anonymous Abbess:
Lord, thou knowest better than myself that I am growing older and will soon be old. Keep me from becoming too talkative, and especially from the unfortunate habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and at every opportunity.
Release me from the idea that I must straighten out other peoples’ affairs. With my immense treasure of experience and wisdom, it seems a pity not to let everybody partake of it. But thou knowest, Lord, that in the end I will need a few friends.
Keep me from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point.
Grant me the patience to listen to the complaints of others; help me to endure them with charity. But seal my lips on my own aches and pains — they increase with the increasing years and my inclination to recount them is also increasing.
I will not ask thee for improved memory, only for a little more humility and less self-assurance when my own memory doesn’t agree with that of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong.
Keep me reasonably gentle. I do not have the ambition to become a saint — it is so hard to live with some of them — but a harsh old person is one of the devil’s masterpieces.
Make me sympathetic without being sentimental, helpful but not bossy. Let me discover merits where I had not expected them, and talents in people whom I had not thought to possess any. And, Lord, give me the grace to tell them so.
― Margot Benary-Isbert