Saturday, August 26, 2006

A Gem ~ About Aging

I didn't write this; I got it by email.

Aging, 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 hate myself for eating that extra cookie,
or for not making my bed,
or for buying that silly bobble head turtle that I didn't need,
but looks so perfect on our 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 60'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.

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 dies?

But broken hearts are what give us
and understanding
and compassion.
A heart never broken is
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 many 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 anymore.
I've even earned the right to be wrong.
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 choose.


mar said...

Oh, yes, kenju, "I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror", what a great gem , thanks for sharing and have a wonderful weekend. Michele sent me this time, like in the old times, lol!

Sparkling Diamond said...

This was wonderful and each year, I like myself more and am happier with my life. Thanks for sharing it!

margalit said...

You sing it, sister! My gray hair is my pride and joy and I will never color it again. I love being over 50. And I find myself happier than when I was in my 20s and searching for who I was.

Here via Michele

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh Yes, Oh Yes! I agree with ALL of it!
It's strange and I.m not sure why but I don't have a lot of gray even now in my three quarters of a century mark!
I do not dye my hair and I don't believe I ever will...unless I decide it might be fun to have Purple Hair, you know? No caring one bit what other people might think! This is a wonderful piece, Judy...and thabks for posting it!

srp said...

And when I am old I shall wear purple and red hats.... together.

I do color my hair but have done so since college. Therefore I have no idea how much gray I have. I'm sure it's more after having a teenager. That will do it every time.

utenzi said...

Michele sent me, Judy.

Even at 45, I can see that this Email is correct. Aging does bring a lot of advantages, mostly in outlook, I admit, at the same time as it takes away some of our once treasured physical assets. Interesting tradeoff...

BTW, I didn't get that earlier comment today, Judy, but Blogger has been acting so odd that I'd not be surprised if it takes a day or so to appear in my account.

sage said...

i started noticing I was getting old when I could no longer read footnotes without glasses... maybe when I really get old, I won't care to read footnotes at all. Nice poem Judy.

scrappintwinmom said...

This is great. Here via Michele today!

David said...

EXCELLENT! now I need a nap!

utenzi said...

What can I say, Judy? I just don't go to sleep when I should. Sweet dreams!

Maya's Granny said...

I love it. I have gotten more sure of myself, more accepting of myself, more fun to be as I have gotten older. Knowing that if I can look at myself in the mirror and not be ashamed of my behavior the wrinkles and sags don't matter. And the white hair is really very lovely. It marks me as an elder, one for the children to turn to for comfort and wisdom. And, they do.

Merle said...

Hi Judy ~~ Too true to be funny !!
It is very good, and true. We do not worry like we used to and enjoy taking
things as they come. And I'll eat dessert every day, I like that one.
Take care, Hugs, Merle.

Florence said...

I loved this Judy :)
I'm enjoying these parts of aging too, though they are only beginning to dawn on me.

Laura said...

Judy, why did I miss this post when you first put it up? I have copied it and will send it to friends. But mostly, I'm keeping it for myself.
I just disagree about the gray part, because I went gray in my late 20's. But I suppose I am blessed that I still have all my hair! LOL