Home / Self Awareness and Growth / Mindset Shifts: Consider Your 85 Year Old Smile Lines To Come

Mindset Shifts: Consider Your 85 Year Old Smile Lines To Come

To my fellow Mad Ones who are living each day like they’ve got a reason to be here, this is a bit more of a letter from me to you. I try to be as real and as true to myself as I can be in my life. I’m happy to be on this ride with you wild, crazy people.

If you look into the archives of The Mad To Live you’ll see that I haven’t written a column in some time, and if I have it’s been quite sporadic. For the past three months things have been off for me. But today I’ve decided that I’m done having off days.  So, I thought I’d tell you a little bit about it.

Getting derailed in life can be really hard. Have you ever been there? You’re moving along with such momentum – things finally are starting to feel right and good – and then something comes your way and knocks you right out from under your feet. You’re left sitting on the ground staring at the world around you and somehow between when you fell and when you landed everything changed. Where do you go from here? You stand up, but now you’re in uncharted territory and you’re not sure which way to go. Everything around you is dark and hazy, and suddenly your light has dimmed and your vision is clouded.  You’re banged up and scarped up. You’re a little weak and a little tired. You’re not feeling like the strong, amazing, growing person you were the last time you stood on your two feet.

And at that point you have a choice: You can sit back down where you fell, or you can heal your wounds and walk forward into the unknown.

To be honest with you guys, I sat back down for a little while. I didn’t practice the very thing I preach on this blog, which is to stay true to ourselves and every little thing we’re passionate about and care about in this world be it our business, our hobbies, our people, our dreams. I got stuck in my head. I set up shop in limbo. I decided the world revolved around me, when all along you and I both know that we revolve around the world.

But let me tell you something I’ve learned over the past 3 months before I realized that I had a choice to sit or stand.

It hit me that that one day there is going to be a moment when I’m 85 years old where my life is going to flash before my eyes. Maybe it’s going to happen when I tell my future granddaughter the most important piece of wisdom I’ve gained in those 85 years. Maybe it’s going to happen when I’m doing some routine, mundane task I’ve done every single day for the past 85 years like brushing my teeth. Maybe it’s going to happen when I’m reminiscing with a fellow 85 year old soul about the thousands of days we lived during our lives.

Whenever that flash happens though, I will have lived for those 85 years and everything before that present moment will have been the past that’s created that life and those memories. The heartbreaks, the family feuds, the night swims in the ocean, the train rides through South East Asia, the people I loved, the people I lost, my 1st grade classroom, the dreams I chased, my first kiss when I counted to three, the day I went skydiving, the countless paragraphs I’ve written, the phone calls that lasted hours, the tears I cried, the laughs I shared… they’ll all be the past.

And there I will sit, in the present, remembering my past as the future begins to mean something different than it meant to me during those moments years ago.

There I will sit, moments after my life has just flashed before my eyes, and you know what? In that very moment, I am okay. I am content. I have survived because I really LIVED.  I will look back on many periods where I had been knocked to my knees as well as many periods where I’m standing tall with my head held high.  There I sit, an 85 year old woman with the most beautiful smile lines and a lifetime of memories that bring both tears to my eyes and smiles to my face, and I’m okay with each and every one of them. I appreciate each one of them for all that they meant to me and all that they helped to make me, me. I wouldn’t do without any of them. I wouldn’t change a single thing.

And here your and I sit today, several decades away from that flash. The gap between today and that moment is open for us to fill with whatever we please. We can’t expect every moment of that gap to be without scrapes and falls, for if we’re really living our lives we’ll surely make a few choices and decisions and changes that will knock us to our knees.

We can’t expect not to be let down. We can’t expect to not have our heart broken. We can’t expect to not be hurt by those we love. We can’t expect ourselves to always get it right. We can’t expect ourselves to know everything. We can’t expect ourselves to predict the future. We can’t expect ourselves to have a great day every single day. We can’t expect ourselves to never do wrong to others.

So what do you do? What do I do? We move forward. We get up and we remember that this very moment as I type this or you read this, and the moment that occurred before this, and the moments that will occur after this are all part of the bigger picture of not just the life itself we wish to create for ourselves, but also our way of life and being.

I guess it comes down to how you want that big picture to look when your 85… all of your present moments of today will lead up to that present moment decades away…. you’ll be okay. I’ll be okay. Get up, carry on, be strong.

We live to be ALIVE. We are alive so we can LIVE. We will get hurt and we will hurt others. But we will also change this world, ourselves, and those around us in inspiring ways we’ll only ever imagine unless we try.

You can’t do that if you let yourself remain on the ground after you’ve fallen. We have to get up. And that’s just that.

As for me… well, I’m a twenty something woman with a passion for life who plans to look back at 85 and say, “Damn… between the worst days and the best days…I truly lived it.” I’m excited to share what’s to come with you guys. I’ve been knocked down for awhile now, and I’m finally up again.

Let’s enjoy the ride together, shall we?

Life Reflections Welcome in the Comments 🙂

About Lauren Rains

Life gets pretty f*cking nuts sometimes, doesn't it? Every day I wake up more to myself and more to this world. This website is an expression of that.

Space Travelers is multi-layered exploration of our existence here on this rock we call Earth. We're going to talk about the matrix, UFOs, and astral travel, and explore our awakening into the divine masculine and feminine. We'll discover our bodies both the physical and subtle body. We'll contemplate the sacredness of mother earth and the concept of who/what the hell made this place in the first place?

I also aim to keep this website rooted and grounded, referring to topics that are effecting us in the here and now, such as fighting against the oppression of women worldwide, pealing away layers of social conditioning greedy capitalists are using to turn us into consumers, and navigating this insane technological revolution before the AI take over. I can geek out on consciousness up in space all day, but life happens here on the ground and this is the time we were born into.

This website is about integrating into our full human experience, aligning with ourselves and with each other, shedding skins and transcending into the unfolding layers of ourselves.

My wish for you, and for myself, is to unfold and evolve into our highest selves. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. We need not sell our souls to the status quo.

I'm on the journey too. I write this blog to speak to others who are waking up, or who desire to wake up. Because we can't do this alone.

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  • I couldn’t have said this better myself. I think every go-getter of life goes through something like this at one time or another. Without the lows, how can we determine what the highs are? As long as you come out stronger than before, you are constantly gaining…even if there is a slight set back. I myself go through these waves, but somehow things just get that much better and that much more exciting (I usually end up with a new hobbier of some sort, last time it was painting). Making people realize that they are not the only ones who go through these ruts is like a gift. To know that you can share in a sentiment with another whether it be your best friend or a stranger through blogging like you have done makes it that much more encouraging to stand up and stop watching. Thank you for sharing.

    Un fuerte abrazo

    • Hey Samantha!!!
      This comment comes a bit late after I wrote the post but I have to say thanks so much for your response! 🙂 It’s quite interesting how sometimes the best of times can come out of the worst of times. It’s been almost a month since I wrote this post and a lot of new things have come into my life that I hadn’t even been able to foresee 31 days ago. You’re definitely right – without the lows, we can’t determine the highs… its a beautiful mess that somehow works out in the end 🙂
      Thanks Sam!
      – Lauren 🙂

  • A-W-E-S-O-M-E post! Great insight. I am 56 years old, so have had some of those “knock-downs” that you refer to, regrets, etc. I can tell you that it all gets better with time as all those “Now” moments keep unfolding into the next and the next and the next for eternity. I was fortunate in being able to retire at age 54 the end of September 2009. Whew! The first year to year and a half was disorienting – being used to working for 41 years of one’s life and then not working. One might think it would be happy and joyous, but it wasn’t . There were some real life challenges and mental stuff to deal with. BUT – I didn’t stay on the ground! I got up and kept going. Now, as I type this, I am the happiest and most content of my whole life. And at your young age, you pretty well summed up the whole process. Thanx! Namaste!

    • Hey Ricky!!!
      Haha A-W-E-S-O-M-E comment! My response comes a bit late as I wrote this post about a month ago but I really wanted to write you back! I like looking at these things how you described it… all these “NOW” moments unfolding into the next for all of eternity. That’s really all life is. It’s our choice how we’ll enjoy or react to or take in that moment.
      CHEERS to getting off the ground! Namaste!
      – Lauren 🙂

  • carole

    You can’t control your situation, you can only control how you respond to it. It can take a while sometimes to fully process a change in your life, and have it not be the central facet of your days. You’ll know you’ve turned a corner when you can go a whole day without thinking about the bad stuff. Or even if you do, you’re able to sigh, and say oh well, that was then, and this is now. And now is a much better place. And then you’ll smile and get on LIVING YOUR LIFE!

    • Hey Carole!
      I have to say that now that it’s been about 2 months since things hit the fan I’m finally having days when I don’t think about it all day long. Thank goodness b/c it was taking over my mind before!!!! 🙂

  • Meg

    I’m glad you are back and running again. I know we all have those moments but it sounds like you tackled it and could not have written it any better. My grandfather passed away recently at 94 years old and damn that man lived a great life. I can honestly said he passed knowing he did everything he needed to do with no regrets. I want that same story. It starts with us and our passions. How bad do we want it? I am on the same journey. Salue to that!

    • Hey Meg!
      This comment comes a bit late after I wrote the post but I have to say thanks so much for your response! Now that it’s been a few weeks since I wrote it and I’ve moved forward even more I have to say that I feel even stronger in knowing that when I’m your grandfather’s age I’ll look back to say damn I really lived 🙂
      Keep Living Out Loud Chica!
      – Lauren 🙂

  • Jossie

    Stay strong, Lauren. No one is “lucky” enough to go through life without really huge lows. However, I only truly knew I was over it when I said to myself “Wow, I had no idea how much I needed that and I’m so thankful it happened exactly as it did, no other way, but that exact way is what I needed in order to grow and become more of myself. I would change a few things if I could, but overall, I’m happy with the results. Now I can be myself again.”

    One last thing, while I was going through (what I thought at that time) the lowest time in my life, there were many times through the process that I thought I was over it. However, I used to spend so much time busying myself with things (work, activities, etc) and also justifying my actions/behavior because other people failed me or were at fault. Once I accepted those who were at fault for hurting my feelings, and loved them exactly as they are, I was able to let it all go and never ever think of the past again. I’m only responsible for my actions and how I handle any situation that has been presented to me, they are responsible for their own and I won’t let their inability to understand or be there for me, change who I am.

    Hope you’re well and off to a great week!

  • Glad you’re back. I really enjoyed this piece.

    • Hey Stephanie!
      Thanks for the comment and kind words! It is good to be back!!!!! 🙂 Next Up… start planning my next trip abroad 🙂
      – Lauren

  • kristine

    LOVE IT……..
    ….i’ve been there before……
    …and now,am living my life……
    …enjoying every second of it…….

    KUDOS TO U…….

    • Hey Kristine!
      Thanks so much for your response to the post! It’s been about a month since I wrote it and I have to say that “being there before” is so necessary to “enjoying every second of living your life”.
      And so with that said, KUDOS TO YOU as well!
      – Lauren 🙂

  • Hi Lauren!
    Brand new to your blog and feeling like I’ve arrived at just the right time. Can’t wait for what’s next! Beautiful post and such a great way to live. Have you heard of ‘The Dash’ by Linda Ellis? I have a feeling you and she would get along. 🙂

    • Hey El!
      Thanks so much for your response! It’s been about a month since I wrote it so this comment comes a bit late, but I just wanted to say Welcome to The mad to Live!
      I just checked out Linda Ellis’ poem THe Dash and I LOVED it! I actually sent it to a few of my friends to read too. Thanks so much for sharing that with me!
      Cheers El!
      – Lauren 🙂

  • You said it a lot… “You can’t expect…”
    I’d change it a bit, “Don’t expect… it ruins the surprise”
    What happens we can not control
    What we do we can or we can not control *depending on your personal philosophy
    but if you think we can, you can’t control how the world/people will react to what you actually do.
    So, enjoy the SURPRISE. Fall cry get up, roll around, cry some more, jump up kick some butt, laugh hysterically and do it all over again because that is what LIVING is all about. ALL of it.
    … you might actually look forward to the sensibility of the cloudy days..

    • Hey Diego!!
      It’s been about a month since I wrote this post but I have to say thank you so much for your response. I LOVED it! And you know what? In a weird way – I do enjoy the sensibility of the cloud days. It’s kind of like heartbreak… it hurts like hell… but at least you’re lucky enough to have gotten to love like that… and now you’ve grown and you understand things. Its a process in which every step of the way is worth while.
      So, cheers to the Surpises… the ones that pick us up, the ones that push us down, – all of which make our live a an adventurous ride. 🙂
      Thanks for a great comment Diego!
      – Laur 🙂

  • Yes, lets get back on track. I just took 10 days off to enjoy NYC and it really set me back. I just want to do nothing and focus on nothing. But I need to get my gears going again. Plug in to the community here. Its good. We need it.

    • Hey David!!!!
      Well, now that it’s been about a month since I wrote this post, have you gotten your gears back on track since returning from NYC?!?! I hope so!!! Lately I’ve been kickin ass almost every single day thanks to plugging into the community here 🙂 Thanks for being part of it! Have I told you you rock? haha 😛
      – Laur

  • Awesome blog to get going again Lauren! The downs always make us appreciate the ups so much more. Glad your back up.

    • Hey Anna!!!
      This comment is a bit late being I wrote the post about a month ago but thanks for the response! Being back up rocks!!! But as a few people wrote in the comments above… we wouldn’t know our lows without our highs!
      – Laur 🙂

  • Everyone goes through life with good and bad patches, surprises, victories and disasters. Learning to deal with the tough parts through life is the hardest thing for anyone to do, many people fail but many also succeed. When I first read about you, I knew that this was a girl who would never give up, would never break, a girl who would always strive to get through the rough patches of life and dominate the demons that haunt us and try to stop us in our tracks. Keep going Lauren, I believe in you. And I’m a good judge of character. So don’t let me down, I’m counting on you. I have your back.

    • Hey Jeremy!!!
      I have to say thanks a lot for the comment on this post you left. I wrote it about a month ago and I have to say it was good to read your comment back when I first published it because it really motivated me!!! Funny how sometimes we can get out of touch with ourselves. Thanks for the kind words and badass push to keep me headed in the right direction!
      On another note – Just hopped on over to your blog and was parusing your BUCKET LIST. You have an AWESOME LIST!!!! Keep rockin’ it and I’ll keep rockin’ it too! 🙂
      – Laur

  • For me it’s easy to let life interfere, the day to day stuff that you have to do. And sometimes the items on my list feel more like chores. When that happens, I do sit down and take a break. I can get burned out and I just need to cool down and collect myself. But the important thing is that I always get back it…eventually. I always say that I’m going to have GREAT stories to tell my grandkids and I really like that about my life. And the lines on my face will be ok then (but not now, not yet! I’m only 31 for cripes sake!)

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  • I have faith in you lady! You can do it and I will be there with you the entire way.

    I always adore your posts – just remember that you DO have people to lean on, even if they are internet ones, ya know? Send me an email if you ever need to chat or need a cheerleader.

    • Hey Erica!!
      Thanks so much for the wonderful comment 🙂 I have to say that sometimes my “internet” friends are the ones that inspire me the most to stay headstrong with all the crazy things I feel I’m meant to do in my life!
      Thanks Erica!
      – Lauren 🙂

  • This is the second time I’m reading this. Mostly because I’ve been there, I’ve sat down, and I’ve always been one to talk about living life to the fullest and never waste a day. Anyway, utmost respect for sharing this, and well-wishes as you move forward. I think a Skype is in order. : )

    You’re the best.