Conversation With…An Older Imagination…Dealing with what’s imaginary as we age.

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I came to a glob of mist with eyeballs. When I asked who it was, it answered, “I’m an imagination. An older one.” I absolutely had to start a conversation.

imagination

Hey Older Imagination, I’m glad I met you because I’ve always had trouble balancing the good and bad sides of my imagination. As I grow older, I find it’s even harder. Maybe you can help me.

IMAGINATION: I doubt it. Though I’m older, I still have very little self-control. But I do see the good side of your imagination. I mean, right now you have a ton of imaginary friends.

What? What are you talking about?

IMAGINATION: Everyone who lives here, “Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road,” is imaginary. They come from inside your head.

I never thought of it that way. I guess they blossomed from my imagination, and then took on lives of their own.

IMAGINATION: Is that when the bad side of your imagination comes out?

Nope. It’s still the good side. Because talking with everyone here has led to conversations about being an empty nester, feeling fragile as I grow older, not knowing what to wear as I age, and all that stuff. Talking about those things helps me get through this phase of life.

IMAGINATION: And what happens next? The dark side of your imagination creeps in?

No. The conversations about growing older actually led to my book “Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road.” I’m really proud of it.

IMAGINATION: Phew! So I guess there really is no bad side of your imagination!

Yes there is. As I get older, if I feel a particular pain I don’t recognize or I feel anxious about my age, my imagination makes it much worse. It exaggerates the bad feelings. Makes them run wild.   

IMAGINATION: Guilty as charged. But knowing my limits after all these years…might there be another way to relieve your pain and anxiety as you grow older?

Well…I can pray more. Like, I pray my children, who are not always near me anymore, will be safe and well. It helps…unless, of course, God is really just another form of an imaginary friend.

IMAGINATION: I see the way the good and bad sides of your imagination work together.

Drives me nuts.

IMAGINATION: I’ve gotta stop talking now. If I don’t, I’ll start coming up with really weird ideas and we’ll both freak out. This conversation is becoming overwhelming for me.

Me too. It’s giving me a stomach ache. Or… am I imagining it?

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Copyrightoverthehillontheyellowbrickroad2018

How do you stop your imagination from making life crazier in older age?

76 thoughts on “Conversation With…An Older Imagination…Dealing with what’s imaginary as we age.

  1. I’ve never thought of my imagination and ‘good’ and ‘bad’ but yes, I feel the same as you. With me it is more the ‘inner self’ who sometimes tries to tell me I’m not capable of doing something. Fortunately, I try to tune that voice out and just give it a go! Have a lovely day and enjoyed your post. Congratulations on writing a book and love the name of your website.
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi! Thanks so much for your supportive words. I guess it doesn’t matter what we label our “inner voices” as long as they don’t have too many arguments and ultimately agree to work together to bring out the best in us. Tuning out the negative stuff is a great choice.

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  2. My mother-in-law was a “worst case scenario” kind of person. I decided that I wouldn’t let myself be that kind of person as I aged. When those awful scenarios enter my thoughts, I remember how most of the situations and outcomes that mother feared simply did not come about, and then I let them go.

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  3. uncanny, how you always hit the target for me. I am guilty as charged and am tired of all the new ways to be sick and dying, in the media daily! Surely every thing that hurts or aches means something horrible is going on! Goodness! I read recently about the lady who drank Dr Pepper every day and lived to 104! I bet she didn’t have a clue it would kill her! I say cheers to her! hahah! great post!

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  4. Too often I use my imagination to make up negative stories. And then realize I can just as easily make stories with happy endings. And yes, prayer is a lifesaver for me, too. And if I’m persistent I know beyond a shadow of doubt that God is not an imaginary friend. ❤️🙏

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  5. Boy can I relate to this! Imagination is a wonderful thing, and sparks the best creativity. It keeps us company when we are alone, and allows us to have more empathy for other people. But it can also sometimes run in the wrong direction, especially concerning our bodies as we age! Still, I think the good far outweighs the bad….

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  6. I know that the wise ones advice that “being in the moment” is a sure path to serenity, but OI! A moment is all it takes to get the positive and negative in a heated battle of thumb-wrestling.
    Better to let them work it out themselves, and turn to a long walk, or an hour or two with pen and paper–lets them run through me, rather than over me.

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  7. HI Cathi
    Very good question. I am currently experiencing that same quandary. I have a very vivid imagination and it often runs wild causing me more stress than I’d like to admit. Example: I worry more about my kids now than when they were living at home. I think that is because I no longer have control over who, what, when where, why and how. Nowadays, I send a text and say something like, “Gee, I haven’t heard from you, is everything alright?” Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t.
    Now I know I’m not alone in this
    Thanks
    Laura

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    • Hi Laura, you are definitely not alone with this! I’ve come up with so many outrageous, imagined scenarios about my kids since they’ve been on their own. I have the kids trained to answer my texts just so I won’t go off the deep end worrying where they are if I reach out to say hi. If they don’t answer, it freaks me out. If I’m worrying about them, sometimes I just have to break down and tell my husband the crazy scenarios I’m imagining and hear him say, “That’s ridiculous.” Then I snap out of it. Well…sometimes. 🙂

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  8. I let that darn thing run with ideas…but then again, I’m kinda quirky. If I don’t let imagination play, no one else will right? PS – my kids always tell me when I’ve gone too far ;-)! And, I love your book and your thoughts on this time in life, I can so relate to what you say!

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  9. I totally know how hard it is to reign that bad imagination in! Such a stubborn thing, isn’t it? And every time I think it’s gone and all is well – up it pops again! Maybe do a Stephen King and write horror book, let that bad imagination so something to earn its living! 😂

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  10. WOW!! What a conversation! Goes deep! So what do I do not to blow up, thinking about all the pain and sicknesses and losses and death that lie ahead of me? Blow up or turn to ice? I dunno. I don’t. But I’m thinking about my aunt who died at ninety-eight a few years ago. Her son – my cousin – died when she was ninety-two. She called me on the phone. Cried, of course, when she told me. We talked for a while, and we cried together, and at one point she wanted to tell me about a funny thing her son – my cousin – had said once. And she told me in such av funny way that I couldn’t help myself. I laughed. And she laughed. And we both felt good having cried and laughed.
    And what does this have to do with imagination. I dunno! But I always felt that her having access to her emotions – sadness as well as gladness – helped us a lot at that moment.

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      • Saying what I’ve said here is, of course, another way of telling you how much I appreciate this specific dialogue of yours. It opened up, as you’ve seen, some important thoughts and emotions to me. And this appreciation also applies to all of your dialogues. In various ways they serve me well in giving me associations I wouldn’t otherwise have access to. So thank you so far! Thanks a lot!

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  11. I let myself know I don’t have time for my “bad” imagination and try to fill up my time with positive thoughts and busyness. This works for me most of the time. Great post, BTW!

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  12. Love this creative musing. You made me (and my imagination) think a lot about …. imagination. I realize that mine has only grown over time, but over all, I like that. However, when imagination turns into worry, then I have to turn the spigot off and start humming or meditating or walking or dancing or praying (or all of the above, since in some ways, they’re all the same). Imagination is different from worrying. You have a FABULOUS imagination – hats off to it (and you, because again, it’s all the same). 🙂

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