Me on Getting Old

The other day a young person asked me how I felt about being old. I was taken aback, for I have yet to think of myself as old. Upon seeing my reaction, she was immediately embarrassed, but I explained that it was an interesting question, and I would ponder it, and let her know.

Old Age, I decided, is a gift.

I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be, or, at least I’m getting there… Oh, not my body! I sometime despair over my body, the age spots from too much time in the sun, the baggy eyes, and all that comes with getting older. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror (the one who looks very much like my mother!), but I’m trying not to agonize over those things for too long any more.

I would never trade my wonderful life, my loving family, home and the people I’ve known, to be young again. As I’ve aged, I’ve become kinder to myself. I’ve become my own friend. I’ve learned that some things I thought mattered don’t really matter at all, and some things that I didn’t think mattered, do.

I don’t chide myself for eating that extra bit of chocolate [even though I know not to do it every day], or for not making my bed once in a while, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn’t really need, but looks so avant-garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant once in a while.

I have seen too many friends and acquaintances leave this world far too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child strays from what you’ve taught them? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have a few gray hairs, and to have laugh lines that will be forever etched into my face. But I count myself fortunate, for so many have died before their hair could turn silver, and so many have never laughed.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive — at least for some of us. You’ve been there, done that, see that… You care less about what other people think. I don’t question myself too much anymore.

So, to answer your question, I don’t mind being old. In a strange way, it has set me free. I like the person I am becoming. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be.

Parts of the above are original with me and parts were adapted from an email sent to me by a friend. It’s exactly where I’m at, or headed to. ~ Thanks, Eve


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