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  • Writer's pictureBetty Girardeau

How Do I Try To Stay Young

Most of the time trying to stay young is not for me a conscious effort. I love life, I love learning, I love meeting new people, and, while I kind of hate it during the process, I really do love to find new ways to stretch myself in ways and places that I could not initially describe to anyone, even me. I got back home last night from yet another wonderful and expansive photography learning experience. This was my fourth one with Photographer's Breakthrough (I cannot say enough good about these workshops) and I think seven more other workshops since I started going to them in 2012. In addition during that time I also spent five years doing an apprenticeship photography program. All of these experiences have challenged me in directions that I could not have originally anticipated. Most importantly, some of those challenges had nothing to do with photography, but rather how I perceive myself now and how I want to continue to evolve for the rest of my life. I have a wonderful primary care physician who has holistic bents. Each year before I have my yearly physical I have to fill out pages of answers to how I perceive myself and my well-being and what I still hope to achieve in my future. From the beginning I have answered the same thing to the question about my future: "I want to live to 100 (maybe +) and love every minute." Looking back over the last four years particularly since my husband died, I have to say that I am doing the right things I think to make this happen. Photo workshops encapsulate in a period of days a lot of what I try to do and become anyway: challenge myself beyond what I think my abilities may be; embrace the opportunities to meet new and different people and view their lives in the context both in and out of my own; never say "never," (well maybe about a lot of things. But here's one that is true. I will NEVER ride a carnival ride that goes in circles in multiple ways. Been there. Done that. It was not good!) I am so blessed, so far, by good health and the financial means to continue to follow my dreams to places and opportunities to learn and evolve. Nothing lasts forever. And I know that at some point I will have to realize that maybe physically I can no longer go out and find new physical challenges, but I will continue to look for and embrace challenges in other ways. My goodness, if someone had told me two years ago I would have a personal website and a blog that I could share with others, I would have said, "I don't think so." But, here I am with them both.

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