I received this in my email this morning and although I am not yet old - though rapidly approaching it - it summed up my philosophy of life pretty nicely (I already recognise myself in a lot of it!). This is how I want to be in my old age and know that when my time comes to slip this mortal coil and return to oblivion, I will have enjoyed it to the last - life is too short to do otherwise!

"Old Age, I decided, is a gift.
I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the
person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I
sometime despair over my body, the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the
sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person
that lives in my mirror (who looks like my mother!), but I don't
agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become kinder
to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I
don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making
my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need,
but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a
treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.

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 AM and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60 &70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love ... I will.

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 I
eventually 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). "

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Tags: ageing, philosophy

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Comment by Ian Mason on January 10, 2009 at 11:28pm
Getting old. At last! Something I haven't tried before. (Danish poet Benny Andersen)
Hi Crystal. I've posted a poem on Ars Poetica that may go over the heads of our transatlantic cousins. Would you have a butcher's hook and tell me what YOU think.
How have you made such an attractive site? I've managed to put one picture on mine, and that came out 10 times larger than I intended. Such a sense for technology and a feel for poetry/the arts is a rare thing.
Comment by Clarence Dember on January 10, 2009 at 3:53am
Ah, Wisdom!
Comment by unholyroller on January 9, 2009 at 10:30pm
I've read this before and could not agree more. What a great philosophy. GrnyCassi-ism # 16.....Life is just too short to wear uncomfortable shoes!

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