Today a friend sent me one of those inspirational type emails that flood our inbox. You know, the ones that remind us about what is important in life – love, laughter, friendship, appreciation, and such…
There are a lot of them and sometimes I find myself weary of the same old message. Especially those ones that at the end say I better send to X number of people or else….? What is that about anyway…seems a bit contradictory and hypocritical, don’t ya think.
Ooops, I digress…
Anyway, even though I get a bunch of these, I do usually end up opening and reading them. Why? Because I am curious. And because sometimes the message is just what I need to hear at that specific moment.
Today, it was a message I needed to hear. It was on the subject of aging. Oh yea – that… the subject most of us avoid like the plague. Well as it happens, I have recently been contemplating this matter as I imagine we all do from time to time. Particularly as we come to those major marks of time passing. Perhaps this was what is going on for me as I am in the final year of another decade of life where the next one is a very significant milestone. And no I am not saying which one. Anyway, I found it to be quite wise and therefore am posting it to not only share with others, but for me to review when I need to. Enjoy!
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. Oh, not my body! I sometime despair over my body, the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror (who looks like my mother!), but I don’t agonize over those things for long.
I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I’ve aged, I’ve become more kind to myself, and I am less critical of myself. I’ve become my own friend.
I don’t chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn’t need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.
I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.
Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon?
I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60 & 70’s, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love … I will.
I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get old.
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 suffers, or even when somebody’s beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.
I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning grey, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face.. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.
As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don’t question myself anymore. I’ve even earned the right to be wrong.
So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. 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. And I shall eat dessert every single day. (If I feel like it)
May your friendships never come apart especially whit’s straight from the heart!. May you always have a rainbow of smiles on your face and in your heart forever!