The Indiana Empowerment Challenge
Notes to the People from Onecandream.
Old Age is a Gift
Lately I have been thinking a lot about life, how it sometimes works the way that you want it to, how it sometimes works out differently, and how no matter what everything either works out or it doesn't so the best thing people can do on a daily bases is just deal the best they can with what they have, or don't have.

I have been thinking an aweful lot about time and age, and all the things that I have accomplished, and all the things I would like to accomplish.... (if anyone out there can help me get a book of poetry published... please lets talk) ...and I have been thinking about time and my relationship with time.

On a philosophical leveI think time itself is a rather neutral man made construction to help us bring more structure and understand change.

Still on a practical level, sometimes I feel I am racing against time without enough, and other times I feel time drag on, and find myself hoping that time is on my side and that my current ordeal will be over soon. I am actually rather passionate about time, and the passage of time.... Not because it tells me where and when I got to be somewhere and helps me plan a schedule, but because it measures change...

The E-mail below was sent to me as one of those chain emails. I do not know who the author is, but considering where I am at (on a personal level) right now, It touched me, and I feel compelled to share it with you.

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)

2007-08-28 22:38:33 GMT
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