20 May 2008

Old Age

A (young!) friend sent this to me. (Gee, Brooke, are you trying to tell me something? hahaha) While I don't consider myself in old age (middle age, yes) I can see the truth in this. (The purple is my commentary.)

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. (Would it do any good to agonize over it?)

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, and my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. (Never, never, never!) As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. (Fortunately, I have someone who decided to be critical of me for me. teeheehee) 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 50's, 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 swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, (Well, maybe not this...) 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 (people included) is just as well forgotten. (Amen to this!!!!) 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 really agree with this!)

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray (although I do color it...), 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 really don't care about what many people think, but I think it's funny when they think I do.) 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. (Life is much more fun and interesting when you don't waste time.) And I shall eat dessert every single day. If I feel like it.


Anonymous said...

I don't know who your friend Brooke is, but she is definitely a very wise person. Her thoughts, and yours, are exactly my thoughts at times. If only I had discovered those thoughts say 40 years ago, when you were a small child. Our lives would have been a lot less complicated. Who cares now that all the walls were washed down, the curtains all taken down and cleaned and all that other "stuff" that seemed so important then. I guess God in His infinite wisdom and power has chosen to have the older people (I'm one of those) see things in a whole other light. As Daddy says, "Those things are like water over the dam. It is gone and can not be brought back."

Anonymous said...

Good morning, I don't know you but I do enjoy reading your blogs. I am a teacher in Chambers County and I too have no children. Some, obviously, insecure and jealous people make remarks about "TEACHERS who don't have kids of their own not relating to the students they teach"... That hearts my heart because I KNOW how much I care about my students and I can tell by your blog how much you care and your students care for you. I am sure you are an AMAZING TEACHER and those who arent teachers can't begin to imagine the dedication it takes to teach. God has a great plan for you and I wish you all the best...

Anonymous said...

I don't know exactly what the blog from Chambers County is about, exactly, since you have nothing on your blog concerning teachers with or without children. Does she/he have you mixed up with someone else. I do hope this person isn't an English teacher. Her sentence structure, grammar and spelling need a check-up.

By the way, I, too, enjoy your blog writings. I sense a compassionate person with some very good qualities. Keep writing as you are. Somewhere there are some teachers in your education history that have made some very lasting impressions in your life. They should be pleased with their work.

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