Everyday we are bombarded with all of the reasons that getting older sucks. On TV, in magazines, in books, on the shelves of Walgreens - we can never escape this idea. We are constantly reminded of many bereavements to come: crows feet, sun spots, memory loss, breasts that may not be quite as perky, stretch marks, gray hairs and on and on and on.
Well, I would like to take this time to remind everyone (including myself) that there are also some really wonderful things about the aging process.
The most obvious of these is wisdom. For instance, I have started a vegetable garden this year for the first time, and I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. But I am enjoying it a lot, and it is exciting to know that in twenty years I will (hopefully) have gained a lot of knowledge.
That is a very pragmatic example, but obviously the benefits of gained wisdom reach to all areas of our lives. I have noticed that this extends to my own vanity. Those who know me know that I am a girly girl and love to do my hair and make-up and put on a party dress. But still, I also don't care quite as much as I used to. My weight and my appearance are no longer such a high priority. That's not to say that I'm "letting myself go," but these things just aren't as important to me because I now have so many more aspects of my life that I cherish.
We just returned from another fabulous week-long Fourth of July vacation with my family in Chelan. It is always a week of fun, relaxation and . . . gluttony. Yes, we sure know how to eat (and drink) while we are on vacation. So I got on the scale Saturday morning and had gained a few pounds. But this is not the crises it used to be, nor am I feeling guilty for enjoying my family vacation. It is what it is and I am eating very healthfully this week and it will come off. But it is only through having experienced this vacation seventeen times that I have gained the wisdom to know this. No need to freak out and no need for dieting. (One of these days I'll write a post about why this mamma has given up "dieting" like, for eternity.) In the mean time, I will only wear a large moomoo until those extra pounds are off. Just kidding. Sort of ;)
Another aspect of getting older that I am appreciating is my heightened sense of appreciation! For example, I used to think only old farts really got into enjoying a scenic drive. I mean, come on, it's just like mountains and rocks and trees and sky and water and stuff. What's the big deal? Well, apparently I am officially an old fart, because I was riveted (yes, riveted) by the drive from Leavenworth to Chelan. So much that I wrote the following poem in the car.
So, I hope you can appreciate it and cheers to getting older!
I see this land again for the first time;
Shadows of clouds, cuts of rock, naked my eye.
A beauty so breathtakingly bright,
My eyes squint, shocked by the light.
Glimpses of God;
In the clouds' glow, their billow.
Hints of heaven;
In the elegance of trees, the weep of the willows.
Oh River, reveal your majesty--
I long to follow thee
Between the hills, into the lush, emerald valley
Where the sky reaches down its fingers, touching me.