By Richard Peterson
A young person asked an older woman how she felt about being old. The older woman was taken aback because she didn’t think of herself as being old. The younger person was immediately embarrassed, but the older woman put her at ease by saying it was an interesting question and she would ponder it, and let her know. Here’s the older woman’s answer:
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 sometimes 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 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 concrete 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 a.m. and sleep until noon?
I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60’s and 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 swimsuit that’s 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 any more. 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).
Here’s some advice on the subject of nutrition:
1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
2. Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
3. The Japanese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
4. The Italians drink excessive amounts of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
5. The Germans drink lots of beer and eat lots of sausage and lots of fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British and Americans.
The obvious conclusion:
Eat and drink what you like, speaking English is apparently what kills you.
When you go into court, you are putting your fate into the hands of
12 people who weren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty.
This was in the news yesterday. A woman who lives in Fargo was weed-eating her lawn. She accidentally cut off the tail of her favorite cat.
She rushed her cat, along with the tail, over to the new Super Wal-Mart!
You might ask, why Wal-Mart?
Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in town!
The Lone Ranger and Tonto went camping in the desert. After they got their tent all set up, both men fell sound asleep. Some hours later, Tonto wakes the Lone Ranger and says, "Kemo Sabe, look towards sky.
What you see?"
The Lone Ranger replies, "I see millions of stars."
"What that tell you?" asked Tonto.
The Lone Ranger ponders for a minute then says, "Astronomically speaking, it tells me there are millions of galaxies. Time wise, it appears to be approximately a quarter past three in the morning.
Theologically, the Lord is all powerful and we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What’s it tell you, Tonto?"
"You dumber than buffalo poop! Someone stole tent."