April 3rd, 2006 09:32 PM
I've Decided: Old Age Is A Gift
ExSoldier's note: Okay! So I'm not quite there yet, but it's comin' and I thought this was a pretty cool way of looking at the inevitable..
The other day a young person asked me how I felt about being old. I was taken aback, for I do not think of myself as old. Upon seeing my reaction, he was immediately embarrassed, but I explained that it was an interesting question, and I would ponder it, and let him know.
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, 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 more kind 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 overeat, 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 a.m, and sleep until noon?
I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 50's & 60'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 bikini set.
If they are lucky, 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 a 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 turn 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. I can say "no," and mean it. I can say "yes." and mean it.
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.
Today, I wish you a day of ordinary miracles.
Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.
April 3rd, 2006 09:36 PM
April 3rd, 2006 09:42 PM
that's not "old",
that is simply 'content in maturity'.
good for ya!
April 3rd, 2006 09:52 PM
Kinda makes ya think. I'm not there yet, but I probably have less time to go than I realize. One day you are indestructible, then something happens (like an off hand comment from someone still in youth) that brings to realization that <poof> you are there. You are "old".
Thanks for the thoughts. Sounds like they really came from the heart.
The only thing that stops bad guys with guns is good guys with guns. SgtD
April 3rd, 2006 09:59 PM
Hmmm - I suffer an ambivalence on ''this age thing''
I am encouraged by the ''what I have learned'' aspect but sure as heck rue the bodily complaints at ever more trivial pursuits
I admit tho I am able to stretch the envelope somewhat - more than once happened!!
Overall tho - I'd love to be 40 again - ah, the relative fitness!
Chris - P95
NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.
"To own a gun and assume that you are armed
is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."
- a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.
April 3rd, 2006 10:09 PM
So true... I only have one gray hair at the moment, but already this is true. There is one uncle who is an exception though, you guys can have him for a box of .22 lr ammo.
would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly.
April 3rd, 2006 10:23 PM
"Old Age, I decided, is a gift."
Hmmm, as in a White Elephant Gift??
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the weaponry to make the difference.
April 3rd, 2006 10:38 PM
Great post Ex....I've told a few people after they ask me if getting older bothers me that no....aging doesn't bother me all that much, because the alternative to aging really sucks.....that is of course being dead.
USAF: Loving Our Obscene Amenities Since 1947
April 4th, 2006 03:36 AM
1952 - 2006
April 4th, 2006 04:05 AM
That was good thanks ExSoldier762
USN 78-82/USAF 82-93 Medically Retired
Desert Shield/Desert Storm
DAV Life Member
NRA Life Member
April 4th, 2006 06:50 AM
Whenever I hear people complain about getting old I always tell them it's all in their head.
April 4th, 2006 01:06 PM
That was scary good!
Political Correctness has now "evolved" into Political Cowardice.
April 4th, 2006 04:54 PM
Ex: Thank you. I am smiling, ******!
April 4th, 2006 05:35 PM
Some people's hair turns gray, other people's hair turn loose. Not to brag or flaunt, but mine turned loose.
Originally Posted by GoodSamaritan
We won't have hair in heaven you know - because we'll be perfect, of course.
April 4th, 2006 05:38 PM
I only have one gray hair as well. The other 3 are brown.
Originally Posted by GoodSamaritan
Really, I am 15 years older than my father was when he had his first heart attack. Last year I had to have a stress test and other checks before having some shoulder surgery. The results were that the doctor told me I needed to lower my cholesterol and in the next breath told me I was a poor candidate for artery blockage. Getting old is not for the young, but so far it is not as hard as I had envisioned it either. My high school 40 year reunion is coming up this summer and I will say the same thing I said at my 20th. These people are really looking old.
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. Albert Einstein
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