Enjoying the freedom that comes from aging

As we boldly head into a new year, we will extend best wishes to everyone we come in contact with,

HAMMERTIME

As we boldly head into a new year, we will extend best wishes to everyone we come in contact with, daring to hope that somewhere throughout 2015 many of our wishes, expectations, goals, dreams, resolutions and successes will come true. Of course, we will fondly reminisce about the best and the worst of 2014, but that is now all in the past, and it is time for us to look into the future with excitement, enthusiasm and confident optimism that together we will do just fine.

As parents and grandparents, we will hope and pray that our younger generation will have every opportunity to pursue their education and careers while also having a great time growing up through the new hectic social and economic adventures of the adult world. For those of us who are now seniors, we should be very proud that we have managed to survive most of the challenges along the way, and should now sit back and enjoy our siblings and all that we have accomplished over the years, while hopefully looking forward to taking advantage of some of the freedom that comes with aging.

We have all seen far too many dear friends and acquaintances who have left this world far too soon; some way before they could understand and enjoy the precious freedom that comes with growing older.

Whose business is it if we choose to play on the computer, stay up and play cards or watch old movies on TV until 4 a.m., and then sleep in until noon? In the comfort of our own home, we might even dance or sing to ourselves in the company of those great old tunes of the 50s, 60s and 70s, although now our moves may not be quite the same as way back then. If at the same time the memories come roaring back, and we wish to weep a little over a lost love or old friend, we will.

We know very well that sometimes we are forgetful, but then again, while some of the lifestyles and trends of today are just as well forgotten, we will eventually remember the most important things, like family birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, graduations, and good old friends. What is wrong with walking in the park in bright red shorts and sandals or strolling along the beach in an ancient swim suit that is now stretched over a bulging body, and then diving into the waves with great abandon if we choose to, just like we did with the kids so many years ago? We may even get some strange and pitying glances from the jet set, but then again, they will also get old someday.

Sure, over the years, our hearts have been broken many times, but how can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, when a child suffers or when somebody’s favourite pet is tragically taken away by death. But along the way we have had to learn that broken hearts are what gave us strength, understanding, and compassion, and that hearts never broken will remain pristine and sterile and may never know the joy of being imperfect or that it is okay to be wrong sometimes?

As seniors, we are so blessed to have lived long enough to have our hair turn grey, and to have our youthful laughs be forever etched into the deep grooves in our faces. Sadly, so many have never laughed or have died before their hair could turn silver. As we get older, it is easier to be positive, because we care just a little less about what other people think, and we do not have to try to impress everyone all the time, or question or expect too much from ourselves anymore. So when they ask us how we feel about getting older, let’s assure them that we love it most of the time, we like the person that we have become, and although we are not going to live forever, we should just go ahead and relish the extra freedom and pampering that we so richly deserve. That means if we want to eat dessert every day, go for coffee with the gang, or buy something special that we always wanted, just go ahead and have some fun.

Instead of wasting too much precious time lamenting about what could have been, or worrying about what will be, we should always remember that good friends and family are like well-made old patch quilts….they age with us, but they never lose their warmth.

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read more fine books and kiss someone who thinks that you are wonderful every day, and please don’t forget to make some art, write, draw, plant some new flowers, build something, sing or play a tune, play a game with your grandchildren, share, keep your faith, and just go ahead and live to the fullest like only you can in your own unique and very special way. Somewhere along the 2015 rainbow, I hope that you surprise yourself with all the joy and success that you so richly deserve. Have a great week, all of you.