I’m Karen Spencer and here’s how my ‘Smallsteps’ blog began:
As I finished the last pages of a book on mindfulness, I found myself skimming the book’s notes and references. I came across the following description agreed upon by twenty of the country’s leading research physicians who have specialties in geriatric medicine.
Here’s what it said; “There are common changes in appearance that occur during old age. The nose elongates, the eyes seem to dull and become lusterless and often watery. The skin becomes wrinkled and dry and dark spots, moles or warts may appear. The hair turns gray or white or is lost. The shoulders droop. The upper arms become flabby and the lower arms smaller. The hands become thin and the veins become quite visible. In the same way, visual acuity decreases and people tend to become more farsighted. The ability to hear high tones diminishes and taste buds atrophy. On the psychological side there are decrements in the ability to learn and remember newly learned information…”
Stop…Stop…stop! Make them stop! Who would write something like that? Seriously! I don’t think it’s necessary to go into that kind of morbid detail about what we have to look forward to, do you? Is there a purpose in using words like elongated, wrinkled, lusterless, moles, warts, drooping, flabby, atrophy, decrements? I don’t even know what ‘decrements’ means!
I threw the book on the sofa and I marched over to my full length mirror and studied the frowning reflection in front of me. No doubt, this idea of aging can get us in a foul mood. We rage at it, do battle with it, cuss it, mourn it and moon it. As the youngsters would say…getting old sucks!
And yet amazingly there seems to be some people standing at the fringes that actually claim to celebrate it. Celebrate getting older? People do that? Could I do that? Could I become one of those celebration people?
I stood taller and spoke sternly to the image looking back at me, “Old age….you are not going to ruin the rest of my life! I have made up my mind; I am going to be a celebrator! I am not going to just wait around, rocking in my recliner, listening for the voice of the fat lady. No tossing in the towel for this woman!
As I walked away from my reflection, I whispered to myself, “Sooo… smarty pants,what then is your plan?” Hmm…I guess I need a plan.
One day, while driving home from a weekend road trip, I tuned in to a radio station that had me quickly focused on its theme: ‘Small changes for big results’. I found myself repeating those words to myself, “Small changes for big results…” hmmm….…small changes. Now this idea seemed to be speaking directly to me. A new concept started flowing through my veins. ‘Small changes for big results’; I liked it! I began to wonder, could I and my life actually become better with each year I aged?
Not only could I pursue this evolving idea of improving with age, but I could become my own experiment! I would keep track of my journey on a blog and test this hypothesis: ‘Taking small steps will bring me big results’. And if this hypothesis was correct, and my research project did bring me big results, then perhaps I could motivate others to join in as well.
I’m Karen Spencer. Welcome to my website!