Someone told me recently that your 70s and 80s are the golden years, the time when you can relax and enjoy life to the fullest. What this wise person forgot to add is that you have to slow down enough to appreciate these golden years. Most of us have become so accustomed to racing through our days that we don't know how to "stop and smell the roses."
I read/heard/saw on the news the other night that some doctor has diagnosed a new disease that is particularly rampant in females. He may have some fancy scientific name for it, but what it really boils down to is female stress caused by misinterpretation of women's liberation movement. Let's get one thing straight: Women's liberation did not mean that women were to climb full speed to the top in all areas of life; it simply meant that women were free to engage in whatever area of life they chose.
Ladies, give yourself permission to enjoy life, to spend time doing nothing more than staring out the window and reflecting. The president of a coal company in Colorado said he would not keep executives on his staff who did not spend at least a certain portion of each day looking off into space and letting their thoughts gel. Can you remember when you were a child and had the freedom to spend time lying on your back in the grass and using your imagination to identify shapes from the clouds? Have the clouds changed or do we no longer have time for such foolishness?
I read a magazine article in the doctor's office - the datedness of such magazines may mean the information is no longer pertinent - about meditation and how doctors and scientists are measuring its benefit to our health. Mediating as little as 30 minutes a day can promote healing for ailments ranging from depression to psoriasis. Wouldn't it be wonderful if your next prescription was for a daily dose of complete peace and quiet rather than the latest drug on the market? Or maybe you don't need to wait for the prescription; just give yourself permission to get off the merry-go-round and let your mind and body enjoy a short time-out. You may find that you can agree with novelist Dorothy Gilman who wrote an autobiography about a year she spent alone: "I found a new friend, and that friend was me."
Katherine E. Orton is a free-lance
writer living in Danville.|10/26/03***