As I celebrated with my mother on her 87th birthday this week, I thought aging might be a good topic to write about. I am first reminded by my mother that “aging is not for sissies”, but then started to wonder why we have the perception that aging is such a hard process. I think I would prefer to look at it from the perspective of a long life that reflects both the ups and downs of the past but still has a vision for the future where life is well-lived.
Certainly we cannot avoid or ignore some of the aging process as our bodies change but hopefully we can have a sense of humor about it. I remember one of the first times I felt I was aging was when I was about to turn 40 and went for my annual eye exam. I told the doctor that I thought my vision had changed a bit and that it was probably due to the fact that in my job I was increasing the time using the computer. My very respectable doctor looked at my chart and said, “I see you are about to turn 40. Your vision is bound to change.” What?! You are suggesting that it has to do with my age?!
Time marches on and before you know it you are 50 (something). At that age I welcomed the companionship of dear friends who I grew up with, and as we got together it felt like time had stood still since high school. Having those close friends to reminisce with made that age number insignificant. You can also start to see more of the humor in some of the aging process. We still laugh at our “aging” selves – but with much love.
And time goes on . . . and suddenly you find yourself at an age where the word retirement comes on the horizon, and you are asking what does that mean? What does that look like? Well it is an opportunity to set a new course and try new things! It can also mean that you are now in a position caring for elderly parents, watching how they age, and in some cases that can be hard. Yet, it can also give you a chance to decide how you want to move into that next phase of your life.
So, here and now, I celebrate long life, and a life well-lived.
until next time…