27 October 2007

Being an (guitar-playing) old lady!

I received this as a mail from an old friend recently. I felt it so so right that I had to share it.

"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, she was immediately embarrassed, but I explained that it was an interesting question, and I would ponder it, and let her 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 (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 cement 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 AM and sleep until noon?
I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60&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 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 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 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. (If I feel like it)."

Well youngsters out there, that's why I am really glad I never again have to be a teenager again --at least in this life :)


  1. @hgm
    that is a lovely thought. thank you for sharing it.
    you know, one of the things on my wish list is meeting you:-) so the next time you're in bglr, please do give me a buzz.

  2. I guess I should send you and e-mail?

  3. 'I've even earned the right to be wrong.'
    How true.Aging is a natural process but aging gracefully is in our hands,isn't it.You have the right attitude and I endorse each of your claims.

  4. I think you have ompletely summed up what it is like to have passed a certain age and be able to do the things one wants to in a certain way . Adeing is a process which brings hoem a lot of truths but also brings the wisdom and the capacity to handle these truths . Also at the end of the day you can look back with satisfaction and proceed ahead with joy in your heart. A wonderful post , Sue.

  5. Hey, I don't deserve credit. I just got the body of that from an e-mail! But the sentiments were so mine too, which is why I posted it :)

  6. my younger brother once went to every old relative of ours and asked them one question :looking back ,wht wud be ur advice to the youth?

    i think u just summed it up...as usual beautifully...

    i love the grey hair that crop up in my beard and the wrinkles arnd my eyes...i hve earned them..

    hope i grow old gracefully as u have

  7. Ams, I know I'm young and I probably dont have the right to even comment upon old age, but recently I was telling Anuchech that turning 30 was actually exciting for me (it depresses most of my friends) cos I was looking forward to all the future years and the "next phase of life" and she told me "you are lucky cos you are like your mother!'

  8. Thanks so much for sharing that. I am going to link it to my blog and share with my friends and family. It helps me when I look in the mirror and wonder where the pretty and much slimmer woman went. Seems I never thought I was pretty til I got older and less pretty.

    Thanks for the gentle bump on the shins.

    grins and belly laughs to you.


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