Sunday, June 1, 2008

Old age is a gift

I got this in an email today and think it's appropriate, since this is part of the reason I don't care what people have to say about my weight/body.

Old Age, I have 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 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 much anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.

So, 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).


  1. Beautiful post! I've had very similar thoughts about getting fat. Like, now that I'm fat, I can stop worrying about becoming fat. I take up more metaphorical space, I can enjoy food, not care what people think, and stop getting hit on constantly.

    It's kinda odd, becoming fat has done more for my self-esteem than just about anything else.

  2. This brings about a good point. You never know if that person who just whooped your butt on World of Warcraft, could be someone's granny.

  3. From your description you are 54 years old? That isn't old. My husband will be 54 in a few months and we still have a 14 year old son at home. I don't think people are "old" until about retirement age, say, when in their mid-60s. However your attitude is good, as I work into self-accpetance

  4. sue - yes, I'm 54, soon to be 55. I don't think of myself as old, at least not mentally. There are days when I feel physically old, however. But all in all, getting older has its compensations, and I wouldn't want to go to back to being a teenager again, or even back to being 25, or 30, or 40. Age has taught me what really matters, and not to sweat the small stuff. It's given me a perspective that I lacked when I was younger, and I appreciate a lot of things that I otherwise wouldn't.


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