Growing old isn’t for sissies

One of the most famous quotes about old age is: “growing old isn’t for sissies”. This quote has often been attributed to Bob Hope, but it would appear that it came instead from the actress Bette Davis. The quote from Bob Hope is actually: “I don’t feel old. I don’t feel anything until noon. That’s when it’s time for my nap”. One of my favorite quotes is from Mark Twain: Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.

I received an email today from my sister who regularly sends me jokes and similar. This time she forwards a statement about growing old by an anonymous writer who apparently follows Mark Twain’s maxim and practices mind over matter. It is a delightful expression of liberation. Here is what she has to say.

Ageing can be liberating

“As I’ve aged, I’ve become kinder to, and less critical of, myself. I’ve become my own friend. I have seen too many dear friends leave this world, too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it, if I choose to read, or play on the computer, until 4 a.m, or sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 50s, 60s & 70s, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love, I will.

older people dancing

 

I will walk the beach, in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves, with abandon, if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And, eventually, I remember the important things.

Sure, over the years, my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break, when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody’s beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength, and understanding, and compassion. A heart never broken, is pristine, and sterile, and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don’t question myself anymore.  I’ve even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day, if I feel like it”.

I would say bravo and Amen to that.

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