By This Time: A Reminder

My muse seems to have taken the month of September off this year. She, like me, needs large doses of tranquility in order to do her work — the work of writing from the heart and soul — and tranquility has been in very short supply in my life recently. Ever since I learned I’d be losing my “paraiso” (paradise), my “refugio” (refuge) — in other words, my home — I’ve been the farthest thing from tranquil.
I half-joked with a friend the other day when she asked how I was doing that I was having a nervous breakdown. She corrected me, correctly: “You’re not having a nervous breakdown,” she said, “you’re having a nervous breakthrough.” Yes. Nice. I like that idea.
So since my dear muse, my writing partner, is AWOL at the moment, I’ve delved into my WOW archive and found this recent one, which is, I think, a reminder of the benefits of coming this far on life’s road and the importance of not giving up. Even if you may have read it, you might like to read it again, as I just have:
By This Time
(April 2022)

The subject of aging is never too far from my mind. After all, I’m reminded of it every time I see my reflection in a window or mirror. Who’s that? I think at first glance, then I do a double-take. Oh, I answer myself, that’s the new you — or, I should say, the newest version of you. You left the previous you — the younger you — back at the station marked Yesterday. It’s a daily adjustment.

But on a deeper, more meaningful level, there are definite upsides to aging, I’m finding. By this time, we know things that only time can teach. The younger version of me would have loved to know some of the things I know now. She was always haunted by The Big Questions, such as “Where do I belong?” and “What should I do with my life?” Would she have been satisfied if told then: “Only Time will be able to give you the answers”?

So now, thanks to Time, now that I’m quickly approaching my seventy-seventh birthday, I’m happy to have a few answers. Perhaps you will agree…

Sunset in San Miguel — March 2022 (photo: BLB)

By this time, we know who we are and where we belong. We’ve likely traveled out of our comfort zones and learned how to communicate with those who speak different languages and don’t look like us. We’ve eaten their food, danced to their music, and laughed at their jokes. “They” have become “we.”

By this time, our worlds have grown. We’ve read countless books that have helped to shape us. We’ve studied many subjects and excelled at a few. We’ve made many friends who have helped to sustain us. We’ve learned to count our blessings and cultivate an “attitude of gratitude,” as Oprah would say.

By this time, we know that every older person we meet or pass on the street or sit near in a restaurant has by this time known pain and loss and heartache too. These dark valleys on life’s journey, we now know, are inescapable; we’ve all been through them. Someone should have warned us years ago, but that didn’t happen. We had to learn our own way. This revelation has taught us compassion, which enriches the soul.

By this time, as our outer clay shells begin to break down and we realize that pretty soon — as dust to dust – we’ll return to the earth, we can concentrate on what really matters – our hearts and souls and minds. We can be more generous than ever before with all that we have left to give – our affection, our attention, our talents, our resources. We can leave memorable legacies that need never die.

By this time, we know we’ll never know all the answers in this life (“Now I see through a glass darkly…”), so we’ve stopped asking The Big Questions. We simply strive to live peacefully, breathe deeply, walk carefully, and try to be the best beings we can be in the time we have remaining.

Sunset in San Miguel — April 2022 (photo: Kharin Gilbert)

20 thoughts on “By This Time: A Reminder”

  1. Hey Bonnie,
    What happened with your Paradise? Is the building being torn down, converting to condo, rent going too high, apartment given to a relative? You have always showed resilience and creativity in finding a living space in SanMiguel. Bt this time you seem more pained, and lack the confidence and enthusiasm you usually exhibit. I am aware of the burden involved in re-locating….particularly at our senior age levels. Anything we can do to help?

    1. Ah, dear Ted, thanks for your sweet concern. Oddly enough, you came very close to the reason with “apartment given to a relative?” If you send me your current e-mail address, maybe in a FB message, I’ll try to explain in more detail if you’d like. I’m okay, just stressed and tuckered out (<-- as my mom would say). Not to worry. -- BB xx

  2. I love the idea of a “nervous breakthrough.” It sheds a new light on the subject! I believe that, at some point, we belong where we are planted. Muchos abrazos.

  3. Bonnie, getting through this time by going through the archives has been really nice for you and your readers. If I read something six months ago, it resonates even better to read it again. xoxo

  4. Dear Bon,

    My thoughts are with you as you move. You are allowed to feel everything you feel about.
    Peaceful living does sound wonderful.


  5. Dear Bonnie, I missed this WOW first time around, so I’m glad you reposted – it truly resonates ! I am so sorry to hear you need to move again – I hope you find another nest easily and soon! Alice

  6. My best wishes are with you. From one who has moved many times, I have never considered any place my forever home. It is never easy to relocate yourself, but I remind me the move is because there is something better happening. And that has always proved true.

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