For the past few years, I have been moaning about getting older. Someone should have warned me about the plethora of unexpected emotional, physical and mental changes that occur. If nothing else, I would have appreciated a small hint about the process.
Maybe I wouldn’t have believed them if they had tried to spell out how things alter over the years. About a mind that’s forgetful, a body that loses energy and desires more naps than a two-year-old, and the sense that I may get to the point where I won’t feel as useful to others.
There are countless blogs on Facebook about exercises that are safe and worthwhile as you age. Then there was the blog that boasted about a hundred-year-old woman who won her heat in a track race. Believe me when I say, I don’t have to run to feel the heat.
Of course there are the posts that mention diet and vitamins to keep yourself sprite or using your mind to solve Sudoku or crosswords. The advice is as plentiful as there are folks who follow any given page.
But a recent post caught my attention. And it had absolutely nothing to do with growing old. It was about a dear friend whose husband, a sweet gentleman only in his early-forties, who has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and has begun intense chemo treatment. My heart ached for his suffering and her role that has now begun as a caregiver. And it dawned on me….
…Aging is not something to dread as many on Facebook would propose. Yes, it means things are changing and I’m approaching a season in life that isn’t the same as when I was in my twenties. But, and this is the important part, aging is a gift.
Counting each day as a treasure should be the primary response to our lives. Not everyone has the chance to walk, run or even dance into his or her senior years. Some can’t hold a pen or use their legs. None of this means their lives are any less significant.
Growing older should not be taken for granted. In fact it has been said that gray hair is a sign of wisdom. I am not sure about that, but living a long life offers insights you don’t have in your youth.
So today begins a new season. One of thankfulness for the years before me no matter what changes they may bring. How about you? What have you dreaded in your life that you can turn into thankfulness?
Growing old happens with characters in a book as well as in real life. Fredrick Shaw has now become a grandfather and the graying along his temples attests to his aging. James and Clare are now parents coping with the responsibilities of taking care of their son. But how does each of them deal with the situation they are currently going through? Read “Bethel Manor Reborn” to find out. Click on the book cover to order. And be sure to be on the lookout for the next in the series.