Wednesday, 4 March 2009

A Gift - Old Age

Every so often, I happen upon an e-mail that truly touches the heart. As I was beginning my workday this morning, I received the following excerpt by an anonymous author and feel that it is worthy to be shared and cherished.

May those who read this be blessed and filled with gratitude for “this we call life". And for those who've already seen this, may this be a reminder of the marvelous miracle of being you.

"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 sometime 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, and my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become kinder 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 4:00 AM and sleep until noon?

I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60 and 70s, 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 believe people are like fine wines, they get better with age!

My good mate Mark & I in January 2006 at a hat party in Kings Cross, Sydney.


McMGrad89 said...

Hey, Peg. This is great and so a propo for where I just came from this weekend - a retreat full of "gray-hairs." They were so much fun and kept asking me if I would come back next year and join them on their trips this year. It sounds like fun.

BTW Great music.

Anonymous said...

Peggy, this was such an inspiration to read! It is true. I am getting more comfortable in my own skin. I still have moments (but less of them). I look forward to my hair turning silver and gaining the wisdom that only aging graces upon us..

Anonymous said...

I whole heartedly agree with this post! I particularly like this para

"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."

I believe that every scar we carry (physical and emotional) is sacred.

Most days I don't worry about my age - only when something happens like when I collected my Dad from hospital and the nurse thought I was his sister!!! :o(

But it's all an illusion - we are all ageless and timeless inside.

Monica said...

Thanks for reminding me of this beautiful message. I received this same email some time ago and it speaks volumes!

Loving Annie said...

Since I am turning 51 in a few weeks, I appreciated this...
I work very hard at looking young, but I know I look my age, just maybe good for my age :)
But it is the inner wisdom, the lessons learned and freedoms gained that make age a blessing.
Please may I stay healthy in every way, and enjoy my old age...

avtcoach said...

This was very well written and so true. I love the self acceptance and the disregard for other's judgement. It is refreshing. I only wish that this could be a mindset for the young as well. Would save alot of days of heartache for the young. Or maybe those days are needed to get where we all need to be. I am certainly happier at 47 than any other age!

Giovanna Garcia said...

Hi Peggy

This is a beautiful. I think age is just a state of grace. The longer we live the more comfortable we are in our own skin, and we know who we are. We become wiser and more refine.

Thank you,
Giovanna Garcia
Imperfect Action is better than No Action

mscherrylane said...

LOL I'm impatient to be "Old" so that I don't feel so discordant from my insides! Ironically it was "Forever Young" playing while I read this...LOL

miruspeg said...

I knew you would all "love" this article....wish I had written it myself!

Hey mscherrylane (Mackenzie)- I purposedly put "Forever Young" to play first because I always want to feel young, laugh like the young and dream like the young.
Oh don't be impatient to be old it will come soon enough...just enjoy the journey.

You are all wonderful blogging friends and I do treasure your friendship and so enjoy reading your blogs.


Fly Girl said...

Am I the only person who had tears about to brim over while reading this?

I'm going to read this again before I head to the beach! (And I can totally identify with staying up til 4... although I still feel guilty when I slink off to bed ... around 3 for me when I'm on a scrapblog roll).

Thank you, thank you for reminding me about life!!


miruspeg said...

No you are probably not the only person with tears welling up Roban. I just reread it again and went yeah and said out loud "And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it)."

Healingstones in my comment above I forgot to add I loved your words:

"we are all ageless and timeless inside".....wonderful motto.


Poetikat said...

This is very good. I find the older I get, the more I like myself. It's taken a long time to reach that point. We are so shaped by our parents and our peers that we measure who we are against what they expect, but one day you reach a point where you stop measuring and you just realize you are who you are.
I can look in the mirror and be pleased with what I see - oh, not the surface entirely - you know, most days I have purple under my eyes that needs covering, gray hairs that are unwanted and deep creases in my forehead. No! It's who I see beneath that facade - how I treat people, my integrity, my faith. I like ME! I like ME, more and more every day.


P.S. Peggy, somehow I lost my link to your blog (it was very like someone else's in name and she hadn't posted for ages, so I think I deleted it. Sorry!) I'm glad you commented so I was able to find you again.

miruspeg said...

Kat - I like ME more and more every day as well...isn't it a wonderful feeling, because I never dreamt I'd be as happy as I am in my mid 50's. I am now expecting to be even more wiser when I reach 60 and beyond.
Glad you found me again, I would have missed reading your comments.