Monday, October 15, 2007

ON AGING

This is not original to me but an e-mail I received some time ago. It so spoke to how I feel about the subject of aging that I decided to post it for all of you, who haven't seen it, to read.



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 bottom. And ofter 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 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 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.)

********************

I must add my own personal thought here........I believe as we "age"... the reason we don't really feel that much older is because our Spirits are eternal and do not age. The real you, remember, is that person inside who is looking out of those eyes at the world. Not this "earth suit" we are walking around in.


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34 comments:

Char said...

I'm a new reader. I enjoy your blog and find it inspirational.
I just celebrated my birthday this weekend so I especially enjoyed this post, thank you.

Just Mom said...

LOVE your personal thoughts on this topic. I was wondering why I never feel as old as my chronological age. BTW, I will be hitting a "milestone" year in February. I may need to come back to your words.

inspired said...

only a broken heart can understand a broken heart ;]

annie said...

That was beautiful Susan.
Thank you for sharing it.
I have always felt so young. Maybe because I was the youngest child and only girl, or maybe because when I started working I was always the youngest... people have always thought I was much younger than I really am. It is odd getting older, I know late thirties is not older to most people... but I remember when older thirties was OLD to me. Now my views have changed drastically and my sweet daddy who just turned 71 is young to me.

Missy said...

This was a wonderful thing to read today as I approach another birthday this week! Thanks for sharing it, and for living out the example of joy for life and in Christ. We e-see that in you daily!

Tammy said...

This was beautiful. And I so loved your own thoughts at the end.
I sometimes cannot believe I'm 44, and although not truly old in the biggest sense of the word, it means that I am no longer young, and that's very strange to me!
As the other replier said, I have always felt young. And of course, having young children right now probably makes me forget I'm so old! ;)
I can't say I actually love getting older, but this post was so encouraging to read.
Have a wonderful week, Susan!

jennifer said...

What a great post. I am so glad that you did this today, as it has been in my mind for awhile.

PS I am beginning to like the graying hair quite a bit!

Susie said...

Hi Susan,
Thanks for sharing these wonderful and encouraging thoughts. I agree that "our spirits are eternal and do not age"
I would never wish to go back and be a younger age, even if I could!
xo

Karolee said...

It's funny how our minds stay young while our bodies grow older. Sometimes I find myself wishing my mind would pay more attention to my body when it says "I don't think you should do that". I usually pay for it later. :-)

Coach J said...

Susan, I just loved this! Thank God I am learning some of these lessons at a young age, so that I can treasure them longer.

Coach J said...

Susan, I just loved this! Thank God I am learning some of these lessons at a young age, so that I can treasure them longer.

Heather K said...

what a great post Susan... I'm lately being faced with the fact that I no longer look 29..I used to always look young for my age...not anymore...I think it was shocking when I realized that people pegged my age accurately or older!! I feel a bit of sorrow at the passing of time for some reason(maybe it's 'cause I'm hitting 40 next year)...I think partly because I miss the fun times of toddlers, babies....and the times before that...I have to really remind myself to stay in the moment and cherish every moment with my family and friends! And yes I am becoming more of the person that I'd like to be...comfortable in my own skin..there is wisdom that comes with experience..with heartache comes grace(that we learn to extend to others!)..God molds us as we allow Him to...thanks for sharing
this..
Heather

Frazzled Farm Wife said...

Great post Susan...love your thoughts on age.

My kids are always telling me to act my age....who determines how to act at a certain age??!! I act as I feel and when I feel happy and energetic...I will show it!

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

That is very good. i have seen that e mail before and love it. Isn't it great that our spirits never age? Must be the reason I love to act like a 10 year old even when the body can't follow through! LOL!

Barbara said...

This was so good I loved it. I might be tempted to trade for the flat belly though!!!!!!!
I would not want to go back and be young but it would be nice to stay where I am for a while longer. So much in life to enjoy and yes I agree our Spirits never age nor die.
Glad David got to church.
You would be welcome to come to the Cotswolds with us and on any walk.
You might wait a long time for the Autumn display though. I have even cut right down on Christmas decorations, doing only a tree these days. VBlessings

Linds said...

Brilliant!! I can see myself here too, Susan. Thanks for sharing this with us.

~Just A Thought Ginger said...

I love you my friend. I am having a weepy day and this just made me cry. I do love who I am, gray hair and all. I did love that candy bar I had after work today as well :)

Thanks for the reminder that life is very short and I choose to enjoy it to the fullest.

Oh what a glorious day it will be when this earth suit I leave behind...

Larissa said...

I completely agree with your personal thoughts!!!! You are right on!

You make my heart smile! Thanks for being so supportive!

Alisun said...

fmc1199I watched my 60 something grandmother play and roll in the waves this summer with my seven year old daughter and felt so much love for who she has become. As I sat there worried about my stomach and body which shows the mommy scars of two wonderful humans I was blessed to bring into this world and felt somewhat at peace with myself at the same time. I love today’s post. This has been a year that I have looked at how short my own life could be and I have felt a lot of what you wrote in your post at an early age, thank god for second chances and healing.

diana said...

what a beautiful description of getting old. i feel some of what was described. and there is definitely freedom in feeling that way. in being comfortable with who you are.

i also like your additional sentiment. couldn't agree more. life is a beautiful thing, isn't it?

david mcmahon said...

My first visit here and I do agree that age is a gift, from many points of view.

Kelli said...

Susan, I wanted to answer your question about the white pumpkins. Those are actually fake mini pumpkins that I got at Target! Now I sometimes see real white pumpkins near the gourds in the grocery story, but I haven't seen any yet. Hope you are having a great week!
Hugs,
Kelli

Momma Roar said...

This is awesome! I really enjoyed that. And, now I'm even happier that I splurged a little at supper this evening. T and I had a chance to go out after a dr's appt. We take whatever 'date nights' we can get! :D

Morning Glory said...

Oh Susan, this was lovely. Thank you.

jennifer said...

Susan, this makes me look forward to old age...however not as much as I look forward to my life with Christ.

thanks for stopping by.

quillofbill :)

I know...I know it reflects Jennifer but I actually have a 1 week break to comment and read other blogs I truly enjoy yours.

Lori said...

Great post Susan on describing aging. You have a beautiful way with words.

Jen in MS said...

Great post Susan!

When We Were Young said...

Susan,

This was really great. I like what you added. I am getting freer and freer with age. Who knew? Well, I guess those ahead of me on the journey :)!

Sharon said...

What a lovely poem! It is fantastic, may I borrow it?

Take care......Sharon

Pam said...

Oh this was awesome and so you Susan! I really enjoyed reading it.

weavermom said...

I have not seen this it - I loved it!

Maxine said...

I like this post, Susan. I like it very much. I can identify and it made me very teary. Thanks.

Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog said...

This is so precious! Love your post. Don't feel embarrassed about young people calling you old. I barely past 30 and our college students view us as old! We define old differently the older we get I think!

Blessings,
Angela

Kathleen Grace said...

What a beautiful thought on aging, it expresses how I feel and how thankful I am for my health and my life:>)