My college-age daughter recently sent me a text that made me chuckle. It said, “Mom, I’m getting old.”
I replied, “No you’re not. ‘WE’ are and thank God for that!”
Frankly, I’ve been just fine with growing old since the day I buried my late husband at 35 years-of-age. The opportunity to ‘live’ a full life didn’t escape me on that day and it hasn’t ever since.
But the topic does keep coming up, lately, in various forms. Whether it be through a friend who’s elderly mother suddenly took a traumatic fall which changed both their lives quite suddenly or another, who recently decided to enjoy the fruits of his labor in Florida seven months out of the year. Then there is my own workaholic father who recently announced that he’s contemplating retirement and my daughters who made an announcement of their very own in the form of plans for my “moving in with them” when I am too feeble to take care of myself. It seems that once you pass age fifty, aging seems to crop up in regular conversation and become more real.
Sudden and unexpected, some people fiercely struggle against being shoved across that imaginary line (into the back nine) without warning, like we all are. Dumbstruck, they forfeit the opportunities and joys offered by aging. Entrenched in looking behind, they become depressed, as if they’ve been robbed of time and all choice. That kinda thinking never helped anyone, young or old, I assure you.
I’m not about to let aging get me down nor frighten me out of living. In fact, I quip with my kids that I will be around until at least 120 years-old and that I won’t be needing any of their rooms, but there is plenty of space in my home if they do.
My plans are to “age gracefully; go down with a fight; and live my life to the fullest.” And given that by 2030, the 65+ crowd will outnumber children in our nation, I believe I am not alone. The fact is, we live in an age when it has never been better to grow old.
Healthcare continues to make remarkable strides. We are remaining youthful, longer. And ingenuity is easing adaptation in whole new ways. I, daresay, we are the lucky ones.
I refuse to look at it any other way or the word “OLD” as being anything but an acronym for:
One Life Done AWESOMELY!
To think about it any other way, won’t stop it from happening and may, actually, result in speeding it up for some (my own daughter, included). Now, if only some of the clothing designers and retailers would get on-board with fashion options that compliment today’s “older woman.” Frankly, it’s sparse out there and I am not the only one noticing. (Off-topic, I know but relevant, real, and a bit of a nudge for some of my readers in the biz, nonetheless)