We grow up, grow out of, grow away from, but in our society, the word old implies past its prime, out of touch, not relative. When we speak of people growing old, we have politely said they are moving to a state of unimportance. When we speak of people growing old gracefully there is a morbid sense of expecting them to “go gentle into that good night….”
A ’59 Lafite-Rothschild, a Stradivarius violin, the coliseum, have not grown old. Each has aged to perfection, gracefully, with the passing of time giving each it’s flavor, unique story, and place in our history.
I am not growing old, I am aging gracefully.
I am not running to the plastic surgeon to erase the gentle lines that define my face and reflect the lessons I have learned in my 52 years. I do not wish to roll back the clock to an earlier age when my body may have been more taut, but my mind was without the wisdom that comes through experiencing life.
I am aging gracefully. I am excited to see the sunlight peeking over the mountains, taking time to relish the pinks, blues and periwinkle that announce the breaking dawn. I entertain and utilize new thoughts, new ideas, new technologies, because learning is the one and only youth serum.
I am aging gracefully. I embrace great friendships, weed out the ones that no longer work and feel no guilt because a bad friendship is like trying to walk around in a size 6 shoe when your foot is an 8. I let go of past hurts and grudges, because those take up room in my heart, and I would rather it burst from joy than ache with sorrow.
I am aging gracefully. I am far less likely to get annoyed at insensitive people, demanding clients, snarled traffic, late dinner guests and telemarketers. I realize all are trying to make their way in life. I have, however, developed have a great intolerance for stupid, mean and thoughtless, and will call you out on it.
I am aging gracefully. I realize the only person you can change is yourself. Adult kids make choices that cause me to wonder what in GOD’s NAME they were thinking, but I have learned it is their life and it is not my place to interject my opinion unless it is asked, or they are in grave danger. Although I have fallen down some of those same rabbit holes along the way, interfering denies them their own life lessons.
I am aging gracefully. I have buried my father, lost friends to diseases, and children that were never meant to be. I understand the importance of slowing down to take time out of a hectic day to listen, really listen, when people need a shoulder to cry on or a soft place to land. I understand how critical it is to tell people you love them since that moment will pass by and sometimes you never get another chance.
I am aging gracefully. I have not clocked my husband because he has asked me the same question three times in the last 12 hours.
I am aging gracefully. In this life I sing, dance, am joyous; celebrate life and family; laugh loudly and often; treasure friendships; embrace my creative side; am giddy like a child to see animals in the wild; drive more carefully; am less judgmental; look forward to time spent with those I love; look forward to time spent by myself; thank God for the many blessing I enjoy.
I am not growing old. I will “not go gentle into that good night.” I will “rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
Quotes from Dylan Thomas’ “Do not go gentle into that good night”