My hair is increasingly white and thinning. My eyes need glasses. My hearing
isn’t as good as it once was; and, the skin under the chin and elsewhere is
starting to sag. I could continue to descend my six foot frame and make similar observations about each and every part of me. It ain’t what it used to be.
Grow old gracefully; they say.
People may say that; but, for me, I don’t like to be reminded of aging. If looking in the mirror or feeling a new ache is not enough, I am too frequently asked, during some computer program or social network, to report when I was born. The menu starts with the current year, as if a newborn would be reporting, and one scrolls down to your birth year. I scroll down and down and down
I put on a good front, pretending to age gracefully. Perhaps “gracefully”
is not the right descriptor ? There is much going on inside me.
I cannot help but to appreciate that I am still alive and in reasonably good health.
I regularly get notices via this socially integrated internet world that someone who I know has died. One only has to look at elementary school photos to recognize how many are no longer in this world.
Here in Quito, Ecuador, I, daily, witness people with serious challenges in numbers far more noticeable than in North America. Walking cripples and others missing an arm or leg, begging on street corners are not uncommon. Some were born with affliction; other’s were harmed by accident. A mentally handicapped man often stands at a nearby street corner; blowing a whistle and waving his arms, simulating remarkably accurately, a police traffic officer.
We are extremely fortunate to be here, me writing and you reading this blog.
Now, ask if we love ourselves sufficiently to care for and make the best of what we
I suspect that, like me, there is a little child within you, much younger than the person seen in the mirror. That child, I embrace. I am incessantly curious, wanting to explore and learn.
For me, that involves moving to and embracing a new culture, language and environment in South America. For you, it might mean taking up a hobby that you always thought would be
interesting; but, never got to pursue: -painting, knitting, gardening, etc. I even add being silly from time to time to my life adventure.
I offer sage advice and support to the younger generation and they do see me as an old man; but, I live and enjoy every day, savouring each experience. I’m even admired, as I have admired the talents and wisdom of those who have gone before me. Yes, there is much more for me.
Life just “Ain’t what is used to be.” In many ways, it is better; and I can help make it so.
You can too.
The sun is shining. The morning is young. I’m going for a walk.
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