Never, ever would I trade my friends or loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly or smooth, unwrinkled hands. As I’ve aged, I’ve become less critical and much kinder to myself. I’ve become my own best friend. No longer do I reprimand myself for eating a slice of cheesecake, or for not making my bed in the morning, or for buying that silly porcelain kissing frog I didn’t need, but it looks so cute on my dresser.
Being the best I can be is my own daily goal. I have mourned for many friends and family who left this world too soon, before understanding the reality of the freedom that comes with aging. It’s my business if I choose to read or write in my journal until three in the morning and sleep until noon. I can sing out loud in my off key voice and dance to those memorable tunes from the 50’s & 60′s. And sometimes I cry over a lost love when I hear “our song.” From time to time I am forgetful. In reality, some things are just as well forgotten. And, eventually I do remember the important things.
Broken hearts give us strength, understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is untouched and sterile, and will never know the joy of being able to be imperfect. Over the years I’ve known heart breaks many times. Like others, I’ve felt the pain of losing a loved one, seeing a child suffering and crying, and being with a friend when her beloved pet died.
I feel blessed to have lived long enough to have experienced my hair turning gray, to see and feel the flyaway flabby upper arms and to have years of living etched into creases, pits and grooves on my face. Maturity helps me to honor emotions and to feel my feelings, without being overly critical of myself.
Many have never laughed long and hard enough to wet their pants and too many have died before their hair could turn gray. It is a relief to care less and less about what other people think about me. Striving to be perfect does not make for a successful person. Perfect does not exist. I am unique in many ways and proud of it. I have made mistakes and will continue to slip up on occasion.
I don’t question and second guess myself as much anymore. Stress gives me the opportunity to feel my feelings, express pain when it occurs, face overwhelming events and people, and it provides a path to a new start. Aging has enabled me to earn the right to be wrong.
I like being a silver sage (aka senior). It has set me free. I like the person I am becoming. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste any more time lamenting about what could have been or worrying about what will be in the far distant future. Every night before going to sleep I express gratitude for at least one thing from the day. In the morning, I set goals for the day, then say “I accept me as I am today. I am a work in progress.”