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"Embracing Aging: Cherishing Life as I Grow Older"

Updated: Mar 3

"And So It Goes..."


I called myself 'old' the other day and was quickly reprimanded by the two women who were with me.


"You are not old," one said.


"That's an ageist term," the other said.


One of my favorite bible passages comes from Proverbs 16:31-33 (NLT) which says,

"Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by living a godly life. Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city. We may throw the dice, but the LORD determines how they fall."


I have worked in the field of aging and disabilities for nearly my entire career. With a few stints as a fifth-grade teacher and as a serial entrepreneur.


And so, I was a little taken by surprise by their comments.


Earlier that day as I was getting ready for work, I did a little self-talk in the mirror. I noticed a few more wrinkles and gray hairs. I noticed that fewer people called me these days and that my kids were so busy with their own lives that if I didn't call or text them, days went by before I heard from them.


Many of those things I talked to myself about in that mirror are parts of the aging process.


I call myself old because I'm experiencing what many older adults experience. If I hadn't learned to have these self-talk pep talks, I would be discouraged by the term getting old.


Don't get me wrong ageism is alive and well. We see it every day in the media, entertainment, and on the political stage.


And while many are fighting the good fight against ageism, I'm here to help us age gracefully, wonderfully, and well. I'm here to help us embrace every moment as we grow older.


I often wonder if all those folks who are writing ads and political commentary are even aware of the fact that one day they too will be staring in the mirror at someone they no longer recognize.


It is the illusion that life will last forever when we are young that causes us to look down upon those who are aging, gracefully, well, and not so gracefully and well.


Rather than spending our younger years accumulating "stuff" and positions, I wish I had someone who could have told me that I should collect the wisdom of the heart. You know that "stuff" that tells you that you may wait your whole life before your dreams come true and that that is okay because you just might be ready when you are older to enjoy and appreciate the dream.


I'm enjoying my life and the age in which I find myself. I have learned many lessons, and wisdom has walked alongside me to teach me a few things that keep me young inside and out. Here are a few I'd like to share with you.


  1. My children are my friends. When they were teens, I bought my children hanging wall art that said, "Always my daughter/son, now to my friend." When I purchased those, I had friends tell me that your children should never be your friends. You would always be their parent. But what do I have to parent anymore? They are both good people and I enjoy their company tremendously. They share the same interests that I do in movies, art, and music. And at the end of it all one or both of them will take care of me once I am at my most vulnerable point in life - no longer able to care for myself. And I don't know about you, but I'd prefer the person doing that to be my friend.

  2. Yes, I took really good care of my skin when I was younger, and I still do. People remark all the time how great my skin looks. Well, the practices I had when I was younger, I still do plus those that will help my skin retain some elasticity for a few more years. What's my secret? I still drink 8 glasses of water a day. I use a cucumber rinse on my skin, I take off my makeup at night and I use a face moisturizer with an SPF of 30.

  3. I DO NOT DO Drama. Other people's or my own. Stress is an ager. People tell me that's easy to say, but not to do. I refuse to stress or worry over the 90% of things I can't change or fix. Charles Swindoll once said, "Life is ten percent what happens to me and ninety percent how I react to it."

  4. I live in the present. One of my favorite quotes is one my dad introduced me to when he retired from more than 50 years as an educator. He shared that, "the past turns quickly into the future at a control point called the present moment." He shared that the quote was one from a book written by Napolean Hill and Dennis Kimbro. Why miss the present moments of our lives by living in the past and worrying about the future?

  5. I remain interested in life and not stuff. I want to know why we are, who we are, and how we get better at just "being." I want to hang out with people who still want to change the world, are concerned about the planet, the dignity of all mankind, and the hope of this world for our children's children and more.

  6. And finally, I focus on my goal. My goal is to live the best life I can with the time I have and to live in harmony with all of those around me. My goal is to go out like a light.

I love growing older believing like a kid again in the power of love, peace, joy, hope, passion, and faith that I still have time to change the world.


George Eliot said it best when he reminded us, "It is never too late to become what you might have been."

 

WEBB Advisory Group 2024 ©All Rights Reserved

"Inspired (In Spirit), we live and move and have our being."


Prayer for the Week


Dear God,

As we begin this new week, we enter into it with a heart that is full of gratitude for this gift of life. These are the best days of our lives, help us to embrace every present moment. Guide our hearts and our minds and remind us that we are our brothers and sister's keepers. We can with your guidance and your light, make the world a better place.


"Inspiring Humans...Changing Communities" ©2024.


"And So It Goes..." is a weekly blog post. We welcome the voices of all people. Are you interested in writing for us? Let us know.




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