Handsome hubby and I are just on the brink of our 25th wedding anniversary! This got me to thinking about life stages. So much good stuff on the internet regarding that, so I am not alone in musing upon this, but I will admit that I have never really taken the time to really give it some focused attention. I am usually too busy just trying to keep up with what is going on in the present moment. What do I need for dinner? How many to feed? Where do I need to be next? What will I wear? I pine for the unscheduled moments in life where I can sit and ponder, so writing this Muse is such a divine treat.
So here are the stages of life as I would catagorize them according to my experience. I am not putting ages as I believe some people stay in certain stages longer or shorter than others.
Here is a snapshot of my first 25 years:
1) Infancy- All of my basic needs are met. All I have to do is thrive and grow and take in the world. I do not determine my future or muse upon my past because I don't have one yet. Life is growth.
2) Early Childhood- I can express myself. My favorite color is Green. I love cats and butterflies. I like to draw and eat Spaghettios and raviolis and read stories and play with clay. I have no worries because I am loved unconditionally and taken care of. I am happy. Life is wonder.
3) Middle Childhood- I am learning so much about life. I go to school and spend time with friends. I am beginning to know who I am, what I like and what I do not like. My family is the most important thing in the world. I have few responsibilities only to try my best at school and entertain myself. Life is learning.
4) Adolescence- The party is over. I have to begin thinking about my future. How will I make my own way and become independent? My body is changing and for the first time in my life I begin to give a damn about what other people think of me. I don't like this sensation of trying to mold myself into what I think others will find pleasing. The BBQ chips dipped into sour cream and Abba Zabba binges become less and less frequent and I have to think about how I treat my body for the first time. I am busy with my friends and learning what it feels like to fall in love. I have great expectations. Life is change.
5) Young Adulthood- I am working working working and going to school. I am independent and can make my own choices- only there is little time available where I can choose anything. I run from obligation to obligation. I enjoy my life but wonder if there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I curse myself for ever having complained of being bored as a child. I am under water but can see the surface. I am swimming towards that breath of air. Life is work.
The second 25 years:
6) Mid Adulthood- I have finished my formal education, and now I can live a normal life with just working and not all of the extra time consuming obligations that come along with school. I have broken through the surface of the water and am drinking in the air. Life is so much easier with a partner! I marry the man of my dreams and we begin building a life together. We work on our nest and fill it with our children. This is a joyful time but every instant is full and thrilling. I am now tending to the needs of my family. There is much to do and very little down time. Life brings new challenges and accomplishments.
7) Mature Adulthood- This is where I am now. Our children are nearly self sufficient. They can cook and do their own laundry. I have more free time than I have had in years. Though there are still many obligations with regard to work and family, I now have some free time and I get to choose how to fill it. This is heavenly. I can read what I like and visit with friends. My life is balanced except that hubby is rarely home because he is working all the time. I am ready to get to know him again but he is still under water working working working. Soon we will have an empty nest which I cannot even fathom. I imagine that soon our children will become independent and then find their life partner and begin building their lives. I look forward to observing the choices they make and assisting them in whatever way that I can. Very big changes on the horizon. Life is stable.
8) Empty Nest- The children have moved out and now have families of their own. I do not know if hubby will still be working the crazy hours. I will have so much time with so few people in the house. Perhaps I will finally write that book I so badly want to write. I will take better care of my health and prepare small orgainc meals for hubby and me. We will have time once again to go on bike rides together and walk on the beach. It will be like a second honeymoon. If our finances permit, we will travel. I anticipate spending lots and lots of time with family. Especially the grandkids. I wonder how many we will have???? Life is bliss.
9) Old Age- I can't imagine being retired but with any luck it could happen. I imagine it won't be so different from the Empty Nest stage. I hope we will have gained some wisdom form our long life adventure and that we wiill be able to share it with family and friends.We enjoy the simple things life has to offer together. Family time, good meals, movies and books. Life is peaceful.
I may need to print this and reread it in 25 years to see how close I came. Life is both long and fleeting at the same time. Once time passes it can not be taken back. The future is not yet here. All we really have is each moment. If we make each moment our best, we can make both happy memories and a happy future.
My unscheduled moment has passed. Time to fry the bacon and tidy the house and begin preparing for our week long vacation adventure!
I sure would love to hear your thoughts on the stages of life. Click the "email Jewel" button in the upper right hand corner of this page and send them to me if you are so inclined.
German Pasta Salad
( I did my best to convert from the original German Recipe provided by Mareike Hester )
1 Pound Macaroni Pasta- cooked per directions
1 Onion finely diced
1 Apple cored nd diced
1/2 cup Bread and Butter Pickles diced
1 cup Plain Yogurt
1 cup Light Mayo
1/2 Canadian Bacon diced
Salt and Pepper to taste
Mix it all together, chill and enjoy. Sounds like a strange combo but it is delicious!
The Seven Stages of Human Life
Click Here to visit the site where I found these! More storeies!!
Seven times in one verse did the author of Ecclesiastes make use of the word vanity, in allusion to the seven stages of human life.
The first commences in the first year of human existence, when the infant lies like a king on a soft couch, with numerous attendants about him, all ready to serve him, and eager to testify their love and attachment by kisses and embraces.
The second commences about the age of two or three years, when the darling child is permitted to crawl on the ground, and, like an unclean animal, delights in dirt and filth.
Then at the age of ten, the thoughtless boy, without reflecting on the past or caring for the future, jumps and skips about like a young kid on the enameled green, contented to enjoy the present moment.
The fourth stage begins about the age of twenty, when the young man, full of vanity and pride, begins to set off his person by dress; and, like a young unbroken horse, prances and gallops about in search of a wife.
Then comes the matrimonial state, when the poor man, like a patient ass, is obliged, however reluctantly, to toil and labor for a living.
Behold him now in the parental state, when surrounded by helpless children craving his support and looking to him for bread. He is as bold, as vigilant, and as fawning, too, as the faithful dog; guarding his little flock, and snatching at everything that comes in his way, in order to provide for his offspring.
At last comes the final stage, when the decrepit old man, like the unwieldy though most sagacious elephant, becomes grave, sedate, and distrustful. He then begins to hang down his head towards the ground, as if surveying the place where all his vast schemes must terminate, and where ambition and vanity are finally humbled to the dust.
The 7 Ages of Man
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans every thing.
The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult; the day he forgives himself, he becomes wise.
We grow neither better nor worse as we get old, but more like ourselves.
- Mary Lamberton Becker
Too many people grow up. That's the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up. They forget. They don't remember what it's like to be 12 years old. They patronize, they treat children as inferiors. Well I won't do that.
check out today's front page all around the world!
The Twelve Stages of Life
Click Here to visit the site where I found this. I may have to buy the book!
1) Prebirth: Potential The child who has not yet been born could become anything a Michelangelo, a Shakespeare, a Martin Luther King and thus holds for all of humanity the principle of what we all may yet become in our lives.
2) Birth: Hope When a child is born, it instills in its parents and other caregivers a sense of optimism; a sense that this new life may bring something new and special into the world. Hence, the newborn represents the sense of hope that we all nourish inside of ourselves to make the world a better place.
3) Infancy (Ages 0-3): Vitality The infant is a vibrant and seemingly unlimited source of energy. Babies thus represent the inner dynamo of humanity, ever fueling the fires of the human life cycle with new channels of psychic power.
4) Early Childhood (Ages 3-6): Playfulness When young children play, they recreate the world anew. They take what is and combine it with the what is possible to fashion events that have never been seen before in the history of the world. As such, they embody the principle of innovation and transformation that underlies every single creative act that has occurred in the course of civilization.
5) Middle Childhood (Ages 6-8): Imagination In middle childhood, the sense of an inner subjective self develops for the first time, and this self is alive with images taken in from the outer world, and brought up from the depths of the unconscious. This imagination serves as a source of creative inspiration in later life for artists, writers, scientists, and anyone else who finds their days and nights enriched for having nurtured a deep inner life.
6) Late Childhood (Ages 9-11): Ingenuity Older children have acquired a wide range of social and technical skills that enable them to come up with marvelous strategies and inventive solutions for dealing with the increasing pressures that society places on them. This principle of ingenuity lives on in that part of ourselves that ever seeks new ways to solve practical problems and cope with everyday responsibilities.
7) Adolescence (Ages 12-20): Passion - The biological event of puberty unleashes a powerful set of changes in the adolescent body that reflect themselves in a teenagers sexual, emotional, cultural, and/or spiritual passion. Adolescence passion thus represents a significant touchstone for anyone who is seeking to reconnect with their deepest inner zeal for life.
8) Early Adulthood (Ages 20-35): Enterprise It takes enterprise for young adults to accomplish their many responsibilities, including finding a home and mate, establishing a family or circle of friends, and/or getting a good job. This principle of enterprise thus serves us at any stage of life when we need to go out into the world and make our mark.
9) Midlife (Ages 35-50): Contemplation After many years in young adulthood of following societys scripts for creating a life, people in midlife often take a break from worldly responsibilities to reflect upon the deeper meaning of their lives, the better to forge ahead with new understanding. This element of contemplation represents an important resource that we can all draw upon to deepen and enrich our lives at any age.
10) Mature Adulthood (Ages 50-80): Benevolence Those in mature adulthood have raised families, established themselves in their work life, and become contributors to the betterment of society through volunteerism, mentorships, and other forms of philanthropy. All of humanity benefits from their benevolence. Moreover, we all can learn from their example to give more of ourselves to others.
11) Late Adulthood (Age 80+): Wisdom Those with long lives have acquired a rich repository of experiences that they can use to help guide others. Elders thus represent the source of wisdom that exists in each of us, helping us to avoid the mistakes of the past while reaping the benefits of lifes lessons.
12) Death & Dying: Life Those in our lives who are dying, or who have died, teach us about the value of living. They remind us not to take our lives for granted, but to live each moment of life to its fullest, and to remember that our own small lives form of a part of a greater whole.
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