BLENDING AND BENDING: A TREATISE ON AGING

Nov 16th, 2012 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

The Wonder of Aging

Aging reshapes  us. It does so as we blend and bend to the unusual events in our growing.  We are not the same today as we were yesterday.  We have had mind altering experiences offering us new insights, changing our perspective, shaking up our opinions, entering our system.  No two days are alike as we age. We profess our devotion to routine, but really every new day insists upon its unique identity.

To do so it happens that we are deluged with all kinds of incursions into our lives.  The more interaction there is, the more blending and bending takes place.  We either blend with the episodes that introduce themselves to our persona, we bend to accommodate the often uninvited incursions or we attempt to ignore them.  The latter, a futile effort, usually only delays our having to deal with the issues anyway.

Blending is the most fruitful of our options.  As we age, change inevitably occurs.  Fight, resist, refuse, detour, deny all we like change will rest upon us until we give it its way and recognize its reality.  Many older curmudgeons try to make life miserable for others by their own unwillingness to change.

Choosing to Change

Having served in an institution where change comes slow, I was often met with the outright stubborn, but insistent, refusal to engage in change.  Change of any kind seemed like the enemy some how. It was as if by denying the change, age could be warded off.  Stuff we have to deal with could be avoided.  The mornings weren’t new days, they were instead enemies to defeat.  They might try to come upon us in the guise of opportunity and new awakenings, but holding them back was the real challenge.

Bending, on the other hand,  requires compromise, which is often a devilish process with which to deal.  Bending means I might admit to having to change.  Bending suggests that I could be wrong.  Bending indicates some flexibility in an otherwise staid and self satisfied existence.  Bending could require more thought and mindful struggle with those experiences that would expand me, if I would just allow it.

Of late, we have been seeing evidence of a lot of need for Bending.  Institutions, particularly those who are steeped in tradition, find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place when met with the need to bend. They are often overwhelmed with numerous rules, laws, expectations, “this is the way we have always done it” types who absolutely, unequivocally will not change or accept even its possibility.

Blending or Bending are both occasions, however, for growth.  This is the point, after all.  We may try to bury our heads in the proverbial sand or stick ourselves in the mud, but the call for change persists. Our frame of reference needs the refreshing invitation to know that everything doesn’t and, for that matter, won’t stay the same.  We need to engage in the fulfilling and infilling of our minds and beings.  We need to be open to new vistas, new insights, new ideas, new ways of comprehending, understanding, deliberating with ourselves and others.

To Blend or Bend need not be a threatening experience.  To Blend may allow us to be infused with a wonderful new arena for living out our existence.  To Bend may reveal how capable we really can be to know a self we hadn’t known before.

 



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