Why are we so afraid of the ageing process? Is it because we believe that there is no value to those who live a long life? Ever since I was a young child I have been fascinated by the wisdom of the elders. Granted there are some folk who have simply aged, they have never matured or grown in either wisdom or stature and from those, I would stay clear.
The difference between the persons who have aged and those persons who have truly lived and matured seems to be their attitude towards life, it’s a classroom and they have been willing students. Another difference I’ve noticed is that they seem to have loved and accepted themselves. Yes, they recognized and acknowledge that they had made mistakes, but they’ve cut themselves slack and have appreciated their mistakes as life lessons. They have blamed no one for circumstances that they fell into, or the choices they made that brought consequences to them instead of benefits. They are joyful and take life one day at a time. They’ve learnt to have a good laugh at themselves and to be willing to pass on what they have learnt.
I’m really grateful for the time I spent amongst the elders when I was younger; it is helping me now that my numbers are increasing to be more appreciative of this season. I am currently in the late summer of life. At first physical signs of this season, I was kind of startled to find that body pains take on a new dimension. In spring and early summer they never nagged or stayed around for as long as they seem to do now. No description of this phenomenon prepares you for the actual experience.
In reality there are many facets to the process of ageing, there’s the physical, spiritual and intellectual or should I say mental?
Keeping it on the physical for a moment, if your gene pool is one where the outward signs of ageing go slower than your numbers are increasing great, but if as soon as you turn forty, everything starts to look like its heading south, you could be in for a shocker. Yes, along with the pain factor there are the wrinkles, the change of skin texture, grey hair and some issues with your agility. Did I also mention the thinning of the hair? My precious sister girlfriend is still fussing about my new hairstyle, or lack of style in her opinion. As soon as the thinning began for me I cut it all off, this suits me fine but to her, I’ve destroyed my beautiful long tresses. As I say to all and sundry who question how I could cut off all of those beautiful locks, it’s because it’s on my head and I am entitled!
I’ve always taken good care of my skin so the wrinkles don’t seem to be a major factor in this late summer season, what did startle me though was the area just around the jaw line. On inspection one morning I realized that it definitely wants to go south. Personally I think it’s a bit early, but what can a girl do? Facelift, you say? Nah, too much trouble and since my pain threshold is miniscule, not worth the inconvenience, this is where I am applying the love yourself as you are lesson. I must admit though, that I now invest in the anti-aging line of the very best brands I can afford at the moment, and I do try to stay abreast of all of the new breakthroughs. Proper nutrition, exercise and supplements seem to be doing a good job in the area of agility, skin texture and joint pain so I’m maintaining a regular regime as I’ve been advised.
Another great benefit of hanging around the elders in my youth was the discovery that there is a higher power. I came into a relationship with God in my late spring. Spiritually, I’m just so very appreciative of the intimacy I now share with God and the wisdom that comes from spending time with Him and His word. I am so much more at peace with myself and life in general. Grateful and really, really loving this, some things like relationships, get better and sweeter with age. Wine does too and I also highly appreciate a good aged red wine. Solomon, that wise old sage from the bible says a little red wine is good for the stomach. Just to give a small example of some of the great wisdom you glean from reading the bible.
So we’re down to the intellectual and or mental, my other sister girlfriend who is a professional counselor tells me that the human mind stays at about twenty six years young. I agree I still feel like I am in my early summer mentally. Often when playing games like soccer or cricket with my grandchildren I am reminded of the actual season of my life by the reaction of my body. It never ceases to amaze me that my body is thinking so different to my mind. Intellectually I am so much more now than I was in spring or early summer. I know more, I have far more discernment, and wisdom is really beginning to show herself in my life in far greater measure. Another sister girlfriend who is in the early autumn years and is in her second year of a degree program, assures me that once you keep exercising the brain, the intellect never fails you. Of course as a result, I am a continuous learner and am presently in school myself.
For me growing older is an exciting adventure filled with wonder and much rich laughter. I believe that I am far more valuable to life and to those with whom I interact. As I step gingerly in this late summer of life my value increases daily. Ageing is nothing to be fearful of it is to be embraced for all of the wonderful things that you become as you age. We may not look the same physically but even there I feel that we will radiate a different and richer beauty than our youth just by the way we appreciate and love our new refined and enhanced self.
I am sincerely grateful for the elders who have given so much value to my life through our times spent together and the wisdom gleaned. It is now my turn to give to the younger generation and I do so with love hoping that they will become even greater and more valuable in their time.
Joyfully BIG! (Believing In God)
Much love and blessings!!!!