Getting older and loving It...

When I was in my twenties, I was overly concerned about my appearance. I spent too much time and effort thinking that my makeup and hair had to be perfect.

I now understand that I was much too preoccupied with superficial things like that. I now know that I was being influenced by the media, whose persistent focus on youth disenfranchises the majority of women over twenty. I’m delighted to see that things are changing.

I was sure that people were judging me by my appearance, although I never applied that unachievable standard to others. One day I was visiting my loving grandmother, who was one of the greatest mentors in my life. Her friend was visiting, and we were enjoying high tea on grandmother’s front porch.

Her friend was an older woman who was stressing about some fine wrinkles that were beginning to form on her beautiful face. She carried on and on about all the money she’d spent on fancy creams and serums that did nothing to correct her signs of aging.

Grandmother had lived in Amazonia for many years, and during that time she contracted small pox. People around her were succumbing to the disease, but she managed to survive. However, her survival came with a high price.

As a result of the disease, her beautifully sculpted face was riddled with tiny pox marks. At an early age, she had been forced to learn that a woman’s true beauty comes from within. I identified with her friend’s concern, as I was also afraid of losing my looks someday. But at this moment, I was worrying that this woman’s comments might make my Grandmother feel sad.

Grandmother simply smiled as she listened to this woman complaining about the inevitability of aging. I saw that there wasn’t a trace of sadness on her face. She waited until this woman finished her rant, and then she made a remark that I will never forget.

Grandma said she shouldn’t worry too much about her wrinkles, because she knew the secret to preventing further aging. Both her friend and I were anxious to hear this wonderful secret. Grandmother then said “The secret to staying young and beautiful is to die when you are twenty one.” Needless to say, grandmother’s friend had nothing more to say.

That thought-provoking comment has stayed in my mind for the past fifty years. I’m now in my seventies, and these truly are my golden years. I attribute part of my good fortune to the choices I have made along the way.

I’m enjoying being an elder because I started taking care of my health at an early age. I decided that I would not become overweight, as that can age you and make you predisposed to many illnesses.

I have enjoyed many of the so called vices that are part of today’s lifestyle, but in great moderation. For example, I believe it’s healthy to have a glass of wine now and then, but don’t drink the whole bottle. Have a slice of pecan pie, but not the whole pie.

I’m sure you get the point. Know that you are n amazing organism, and take care of yourself. Learn to love the whole you, and let the world know about it in a gentle way.

Also, never stop moving your body. Stretching exercises and yoga will keep you limber. I walk a half hour a day, as my cardiologist insists that doing so will prevent forty percent of all cancers. Breathe clean air, and drink pure water.

Find a way to laugh every day, even when you’re hurt or grieving. I have found that having pets fulfills my need for laughter, as well as giving me a sense that there is always someone at home that is grateful to be in my life.

Research has told us that having a pet does prolong our life. A metaphysical philosopher once told me that an animal’s physical presence contributes life to our own energy field.

John Barrymore once said “You’re not old until regrets take the place of your dreams.” Never stop reaching for the stars. Having something to look forward allows your mind to hold onto the future, No matter what life throws at you, always have a plan B that will show you the way to go forward.

I used to agonize over mistakes I had made in my younger years. I once read a biography about Ben Franklin that addresses this. He was reported to have said that “Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.” Hold on to the thought that we are all on this planet for a reason. We are here to learn whatever we need to learn to enable our soul to evolve.

Older people who become bitter and angry are those who have missed the importance of their trip to the planet. They can be recognized by their self-centered mindset. They are those who hold onto every penny and dismiss the chance to be of service to others.

We’re here to love and serve others, and when we do, we never truly age. We appreciate the joy of a butterfly in springtime, and the majesty of falling leaves in the fall. In loving and serving others, we learn that every day of life is a gift.

There is a fount of wisdom that accumulates in our soul as the years go by. As an elder, we are able to guide younger people. We have the power to do this as we discern the difference between unwanted attention and worthwhile advice.

As we age, we find ourselves seeing events with a renewed awareness of our power. We begin to truly understand that we are all part of a Master Plan. The sense of peace that comes with this level of acceptance is hard to describe.

Please visit me at Keep in touch, as I will continue writing until it’s time for my transition.

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