Have you ever had a hearing test? When I was a little girl, I had one and I told the man “I can hear a bell, but it’s not very loud.” He smiled and I didn’t get it then, but I get it now. 1,2,3 strangely brought Poe’s “The Bells” poem to mind. My English teacher engaged us by telling us it would be the most important poem to understand and apply to our lives. My memory muddled through to remember there were different kinds of bells ringing throughout life. There were the announcement bells of the joyous occasion of the birth of a baby, with a whole lifetime ahead. Then there were the bells that reminded one that time was running out and the bells go from the “tintinnabulation,” jingling, tingling bells to louder clanging bells. Finally the bells you hear are rusty, iron bells the loudest bells signaling the inevitable. As I revisited the poem, it turns out the ever clever, eccentric had four stages, but my memory recalled the three that I hold relevant.
When I ask myself what kind of bells do I hear, I have to listen carefully like I did for that hearing test. Just because I’m heading towards the other side of the hill, doesn’t mean I hear those rusty, clamoring bells. Sometimes life throws a lot of noise around in our heads, and we have to quiet those noises, so we can hear those soft, joyous bells of new opportunities. I so admire people like Tony Bennett who at 90 is still out there singing, and Betty White who interviews and advises people to get passionate about something.
I started this blog to get support from women who may be at the familiar crossroads of their life, the kids are grown, and most of our lives were spent with the privilege of nurturing others. In this transition, I realize, I neglected myself and feel way older than what I actually am.( And the airing of the Victoria Secret super model show doesn’t help by the way) Oh I can see you nodding and agreeing right now, am I right? I just change the channel or walk away- like a super model! I am learning to nurture myself, which is why I made this commitment to not only lose weight, but to figure out what I want to do next in this phase.I am training my ear to not listen to all the clamor , but rather to pick up the joyous bells of the opportunity to reinvent myself. I look for new beginnings. I enjoy writing, so this is a small step for me, but I hope to do something in the future to increase literacy with children.
When I look back to my first few blogs, I wrote about how hard it was for me to jog and my ankles hurt, I was out of breath. Now, I jog without a problem. I go to the gym and challenge myself. I reached my goal weight, and hear that “tintinnabulation” and now I’m setting new goals. Those loud bells are now like the bells in a boxing ring. Whatever challenges life brings on, I’m ready to swing!
Post note: I reached my goal of 147 pounds and I’m moving towards my new goal of 142.
My List of bells:
Alarm clock bells – boo!
Snow globe bells
Dinner bells- I’m always first to the table.
Rocky Movie Bells ( I love those movies- I grew up with them)
The last set of bells I won’t be able to hear anyway, so no point in listening for those!