---Alice Abrams

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

What? Me Get Old?

AN ESSAY ON AGING...(received by e-mail
and I do not know the author)

"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 rear. And often I am taken
aback by that old person that lives in my mirror (who looks
like my grandmother!), 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 ofmyself. 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 Ididn'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 last 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)"



Sonya said...

This is so sweet! I am going to send my mom to read it!

Travis said...

That's nice. Age is only a number.