Tuesday, July 05, 2005

About Being Old.......




This is another gem sent to me by a friend. I have no idea who wrote it, but it sums up my thoughts about growing older. I sent it to Hoss, and he agreed, so we offer it for your perusal:


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, 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 overeat, 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 a.m., and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 50'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 bikini 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 a 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 turn gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so any have died before their hair could turn silver. I can say "no", and mean it. I can say "yes", and mean it. As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself any more. 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 and drink soda!

Author unknown.

18 comments:

Duke_of_Earle said...

Judy,

The trouble is, I can relate with a lot of that. What is that telling me?

John

brendalove@gmail.com said...

I love this. I look at it this way....we may as well come to terms with getting older....because there is not ONE PERSON on this earth that's getting any younger.

Heather said...

I like that. It really is a gem.

Jamie Dawn said...

I love this! I think I have a few of those "old" qualities already, and I'm glad for it. I'm learning not to give much thought about what other people think. What a waste of time to worry and lament over things. I'm also learning that it's okay to want some things my way and to push for them in life. I also love to eat fattening foods, but I'm not yet doing that without some guilt. I'll have to work on that one awhile.

srp said...

I read a statement once that said,"He who is not busy being born, is busy dying." You could substitute "growing old" for dying and have it still be thought provoking.

Thumper said...

And I shall eat dessert every single day and drink soda!

This should be my motto ;)

Jean said...

How right you are and how beautifully you put it. I especially like to think of you not chiding yourself over the cement gecko!

Jean said...

Ah, I see you didn't write this, Jude, but are quoting it. Sorry, I'm clearly half asleep this morning. Thank you anyway for sharing it, though. I've never seen it better put.

MistressMary said...

I absolutely love this! Thank you for posting it.

Ronni Bennett said...

Nicely done and all so true.

rugdesigner said...

I happily agree with it all! Thanks for sharing this.

Hope your neighbor is doing better. I don't really blame her for not doing the one handed typing thing...

Have a great week! I'm sure I'll be back to visit, but my commenting is sparse!

Mildred Garfield said...

What a gem. Brought tears to my eyes.

Thanks for a beautiful post.

Millie

Maria said...

Once again, someone has written what many of us are thinking. This is beautiful and positive. I will pull it out and re-read it on those days that I feel alone, unloved, or not appreciated. Thanks,
Maria

OldHorsetailSnake said...

You damn betcha. Nowadays I have a root beer in the morning. Used to be I thought it was disgusting for people to drink sodas in the morning. All of a sudden I realized how stupid I was. Ve get too soon oldt and too late schmardt.

Tamar said...

"... and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love ... I will."

Wonderful!

Gerbera Daisy said...

This was very well written and I loved it. It reminds me of a magnet on my fridge... "Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first." I couldn't have said it better. Thank you for the smiles!! :-)

poopie said...

Dang girl..I'd DIE without my diet dr pepper in the mornin!

Peri said...

haha, that is so how i feel.