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Saturday, March 29, 2014
Growing older different than growing old
Last week, I read this quote, “Don’t
regret growing older, it’s a privilege denied many.” I though about the
truthfulness of this quote.
Growing older is a natural progression of human nature. Enjoy it! Jane Fonda struggled with understanding after she heard someone credit senior years as fulfillment time, “After all, 75 isn’t supposed to be better than 35,” she commented after celebrating her last birthday. But it is in many ways. If one’s health is good, 75 is a wonderful age. It’s a time when responsibility and accountability has changed to personal choice. If, like in my situation, one’s spouse is in good health, it is a different time to build relationship. Yet, I know many widows, widowers and single people who love this time of their life.
In one’s life time, tragedies and personal struggles are all too familiar. By learning to cope with these times in our life, we free ourselves to live each day with meaning. It is also how we release the negative and stress and welcome God’s comfort and presence that makes the difference. Everything helps as we begin to enter midlife and older age with a sense of knowing who we are in God’s love.
I love my age! I look back over the years and remember so many beginnings. For example: exercise and bone strengthening medication, watching the first man step down to the surface of the moon; the movie camera collecting family treasures, 4-track, real-to-reel recorder saving the mystery of laughter, story-telling and music; the DOS computer operating system, the Tandy 2000 and its density 5.25" floppy disks with it potential to do great things . . . slowly, and of course the flip-up cell phone where you had to tap the A three times to get C to show when texting. Plus the kitchen and car gadgets—it’s all an interesting ride and I look forward to more eye-openers. I find such a thrill in exploring more of God’s creation and putting it to good use.
Oliver Sacks M.D. says, “At 80, one can take a long view and have a vivid, lived sense of history not possible at an earlier age. I can imagine, feel in my bones, what a century is like, which I could not do when I was 40 or 60” (New York Sun Times).
The Psalmist in 90:10, says “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away . . . considering ‘strength’ as perseverance.
Shakespeare thought it worthy to paraphrase in Macbeth, 1605: Threescore and ten I can remember well: Within the volume of which time I have seen hours dreadful and things strange; but this sore night Hath trifled former knowings.
As a woman of faith, my mother, because of osteoporosis, suffered many broken bones, surgeries, casts and uncertainties in the last decade of her life as she learned to use walkers, wheelchairs and request help. She used to chuckle and say, “I’m living in my ‘perseverance years and enjoying everyone of them.” Donna Mann Check out donnamann.org The Aggie series published by Brucedale Press A Rare Find published by Castle Quay Books Canada