The Blessings of Old Age

This is the reworked text of a circulatory e-mail my brother sent to me a short time ago. I was so struck with the philosophy that I had to make it into a blog. It is indeed profound, and spells out exactly what it means to be old…if you have the right attitude towards age.

Old age, I have 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, the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging behind.

Often I am taken aback by that old person who lives in my mirror and looks like my mother/father, but I don’t agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life or my loving family for less grey hair or a flatter belly.

As I have aged, I’ve become more kind and less critical of myself. In short, I have become my own friend. I don’t chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my own bed, or for buying that silly computer gizmo that I didn’t need but looks so cool in my study. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, and be extravagant.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon, before they really had a chance to understand the great freedom that comes with aging.

Who’s business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4a.m. and sleep until noon? I dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60’s and 70’s, and if at the same I time wish to weep over a lost love…. I will.

I will walk the beach in a swimsuit that is stretched over a bulging body, and dive into the waves with abandon if I choose, 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. Eventually I 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? Broken hearts are what gives us strength, 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 acquired grey hair, and to have my youthful laughs forever etched 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 and I have even earned the right to be wrong.

So yes, I like being old. It has set me free, and I like the person I have become. I know I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what might have been, or worrying about what will be….and I shall eat dessert every single day if I feel like it.

May friendship never come apart, especially when its straight from the heart. May you always have a rainbow of smiles on your face and in your heart.


My thanks to the nameless individual who originally wrote and e-mailed this.

One Response to “The Blessings of Old Age”

  1. Phil Says:

    Hey Roy – I was going to write – "profound" before I read your last line.
    Of course, it is still profound! But passed on by you not created by you.
    Thank you. Great blog…


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