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Why getting older rocks!


In a few weeks time it will be my 63rd birthday and I couldn't be more pleased.  If only I had known how I would feel at this time of my life.  So much time and energy wasted on fearing age.  It's true - youth is soooo wasted on the young!

As an oh-so-clever, disdainful teenager I would probably have looked at the picture of this beautiful lady and seen ugliness, imperfection and a warning of the horrors that lay in wait for me. The dreaded loss of attractiveness, sagging skin and OMG - wrinkles.

Old age then was a lifetime away.  Something that happened to other people but not me.  (The menopause was a similar delusion but that's for another blog).  A time when I would no longer be sort out, valuable or relevant.  I looked at old people with a mixture of awe and pity.

But then I got a bit older, gained some life experience and got up close and personal with many older people whilst working as a nurse.  And something wonderful happened.  I began to know the strength and tenacity, the graceful acceptance, the simple everyday gratitude and the quiet wisdom of age.

Fear melted away and as the years of my life passed I began to look forward to the countless blessings of my own advancing years.  I hardly registered turning 40 and turning 50 was a milestone achieved.  The mythical half way point.  But 60 was the one I had my eye on.  And I haven't been disappointed.

My 60th birthday was a quiet affair (my birthdays usually are).  Wandering around Clumber Park in the spring sunshine with a mug of good coffee and some lovely dark chocolate.  Just me.  I didn't need anything else because becoming 60 gave me so many gifts.  At last my Rite of Passage into the revered halls of the elders.  My induction into the exclusive club of those who are comfortable in their own skin and no longer care how the world sees them.  The smug recognition of a life lived - the good, the bad and the downright illegal.  The ability to laugh affectionately at my appalling choices, my hubris and being slightly mad.

I took my rose-tinted glasses off a while back.  My own body tells me that older age brings physical changes that eventually slow us down.  I don't see this as a bad thing.  Instead it's an opportunity.  Time to let those young people re-invent the wheel whilst I read more books, drink more coffee and eat more chocolate. Get out for more walks, meet up with my friends, watch films and the birds in my garden.

Life is good.  What I have is what I want.  I'm not wealthy but I have all I need.  Food, shelter, warmth, health, friends and the natural world all around me.  Oh and did I say books?

Like so many things in life, the trick to getting older is to stop fighting.  It's not about losing your youth and beauty.  It's about gaining wisdom, letting go of fear and finding something magical in every day.  You've got so much to look forward to!  Life doesn't end until you take your last breath.  There's a lot to be enjoyed between now and then.

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Old age, Wisdom

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