In our culture, we have not learned to celebrate the aging process. Of course there is the ubiquitous emphasis on youth, with a fashion and cosmetic industry determined to counteract the ‘appearance’ of aging. Somehow this avoids dealing with the reality that we do age.
I recently read an interview with Gloria Steinem, who just turned seventy. She said that with all her other birthdays she felt she could change the age, rather than the age changing her. Her seventieth birthday however, she says, “has the ring of mortality.”
We all will, if we are lucky, see our seventieth birthdays, and more. If we spend our middle years running away from age, dreading the effects of aging, what kind of quality will there be to our lives when we become ‘old?’
How much healthier it is to celebrate the gifts of each age, each season of our lives. How much more positive to hold in consciousness those things we can look forward to as the years pass by. There is nothing wrong with growing old! It means we have survived. It means we have had more time on this earth to experience nature, other people and our own thoughts and feelings.
Consider each new day a blessing—each year a precious gift. Can you imagine a patient with a terminal illness in his mid-fifties choosing to die rather than grow old ? I hope to live to be very, very old. That will mean sharing more of my children’s lives, reading more books, listening to more beautiful music, seeing many more springs, giving more hugs, sharing more laughter, giving more love. Curse the passing years? Not on your life!
Copyright © Gwen Randall-Young, All Rights Reserved. Contact us if you would like permission to reprint.
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