Musings on Looking Forward to My Eightieth Birthday

“It is a blessing to get old. It is a blessing to find time to do the things, to read the books, to listen to the music”:

this quote by Maurice Sandak, writer of books for children, depicts the way I want to live my decade of the eighties, to live as a blessing rather than a curse.

As one gets older it is harder to believe that old age is a blessing. The body and the mind have a hard time believing that getting old is a blessing.

There are pressures to continue to sprint rather than to mosey, but mosey I am determined to do.

After almost 60 years of classroom and administrative experience it takes deliberate effort to slow down, to be creative in use of time, to accept that I have made my contribution and be happy to just mosey.

In this blessing of time, one thing I am practicing is what a retreat director suggested a couple of years ago: for meditation, wander out into the park and walk until you stop, reflect on why you stopped and relish in God and Nature.

Now sometimes I take a picture of the object of my reflection…like this one from a hike in Grant Metropark.

So, next month I will be eighty years old, an octogenarian! It is hard to believe. Hitting those age milestones such as being over thirty and the midlife crisis of being fifty are experiences that one has never had before. We only do each age once and my remembrances of older friends and relatives observed in youth are of individuals not like me! Those people were really old!

I guess it is a matter of choice what image of the Third Age I want to live and communicate. Should I sprint through the rest of life, saunter, walk, stroll, promenade or wander? I prefer to mosey, “to walk somewhere at a leisurely unhurried pace” stopping whenever something attracts my attention and relish in God and Nature.

About paaron1

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8 Responses to LEARNING TO MOSEY

  1. rj says:

    This is not meant as an insult or barb, but I have known you for 49 years, (perhaps I shouldn’t count the years I cannot actually recall.) and I cannot recall you ever really sprinting or, said another way, not moseying…. In fact, in literal terms, I think you mastered the fine art of moseying a long time ago. Granted, you have gone from thing to thing, job to job, place to place, but I don’t recall you sprinting from one to the other. I think you may have made it to a healthy 80 by your mastery of moseying. (I remember following you up an actual mountain 30 years ago and your moseyed the whole way when I wanted to sprint! Heck! You were ONLY 50 then!) I think it is only the moseying through the EIGHTIES part you have to master now, and that is only because you were never 80 before. So, really, its the 80s you have to master. You’ve got the moseying locked down solid. (And I think you might regret sending me an invitation to read your blogs!)

  2. Joan McGuinness Wagner says:


    How wonderful to read this. You continue to inspire by embracing the next stage of your life! The book you referred to sounds quite interesting. Do you think you need to being in the moseying mode to appreciate it?

    Joan McGuinness Wagner

    • paaaron1 says:

      Joan, thanks for your comment…being in the mosey mode can be done at any time. It will take some slowing down to appreciate Paradoxology!

  3. Mary says:

    Phil! It’s great that you’re blogging your 80s. I’ll be reading attentively. I’m also glad you’re posting your gorgeous photos. In themselves, they are invitations to “be present” and to do a little moseying, even for those of us who haven’t yet attained your venerable age… 😉 Thank you for sharing your gifts. Take care.

  4. Patti G. says:

    Brother Phil;
    Are you a “Fresh Air” fan? I heard that very moving interview with Maurice Sendak,too. Thank you for sharing the meditation suggestion, too. Walking is my form of mediation, but reflecting on what makes you stop is a lovely way to remain prayerful.
    I’m a born mosey-er, so I look forward to reading your posts.
    ~Patti G. (flute player)

  5. Erin says:

    Bro. Phil,
    I can’t wait to read more (my desktop background is one of those beautiful spring photos). I thought about you the other day while moseying behind Red Cloud in the great outdoors. I didn’t have a destination or a plan and it made me feel like a kid again. It was awesome. I miss our moseys through the cemetery. Where will you be celebrating turning 80?
    Peace and Love,

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