What do these things have in common?
- Twenty-five years ago, my doctor of 20 years, retired and sold his practice to another doctor just opening his own practice.
- My God – my oldest nephew will be 57 on St. Patrick’s Day, how did he get so old? A couple of years ago, I baptized two great-great nieces, how did my great nephew and great niece get to be old enough to have children of their own?
- Seventeen years ago, my dentist retired and I found a new dentist, who recently had opened his practice. Now both my doctor and dentist are younger than I am.
- In preparation for hunting season, I used to walk around my property in Naples to put up new Posted signs. In the process, I discovered that the hill at the backside of the property has gotten much steeper over the last few years.
- For many years, when I had a haircut, it struck me I had less and less dark hair, now I cannot remember when I had dark hair.
The common thread is “aging”, a part of the human process that we cannot avoid. With this in mind, I share with you a reflection on the aging process!
Let us continue to pray for and take action to bring about peace in our world!
In peace and courage,
AGING – IT IS A GIFT!
Author - Unknown
The other day a young person asked me how I felt about being old. I was taken aback, for I do not 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. Oh, not my body! I sometimes 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 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 4:00 AM and sleep until noon?
I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60’s & 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 swimsuit 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 gray, 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 our friendship never come apart especially when it's straight from the heart!
May you always have a rainbow of smiles on your face and in your heart forever and ever! Friends forever!