While most of the world was watching with avid interest, two country gentleman and their political parties squared off in a lively barnstorming campaign to decide the next president of the economically stressed United States of America. Although there were months of fireworks and thrilling rallies across that entire nation, the Barack Obama/John McCain showdown seemed to be cleanly and fairly fought most of the star-studded way.
What it did succeed in doing was to create an over-whelming response of enthusiasm and pride from millions of citizens of all ages and all walks of life; many who would mark a ballot for the very first time. After all those votes had been cast on that historic Nov. 4, 2008 election day, Democrat Obama had won a spot in the White House following a spirited competition that attracted close to 65 per cent of the eligible voters to the jam-packed polls.
So now that the much-hyped election is over and the Obama Age has begun, the rest of the world, including we as great neighbours in Canada, must all work very hard to get along together in an ongoing plan to protect and promote all the global good that is around us, while squashing the evil.
Old age I have decided can be a gift
I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not necessarily my body. I sometimes despair over my body, the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt. Often, I am taken aback by that older person who lives in my mirror (who looks like my mother!), but I don’t agonize over those things for very long.
I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, and 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, and in fact I have become my own very good friend.
I don’t chide myself for eating that extra cookie or dessert, for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement fountain that I really didn’t need but looks absolutely great on my patio. I believe that at this point in my active life I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant, and to occasionally do something wild and silly.
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 a.m. and then sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the ‘60s and ‘70s, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love or an old friend, I will. I will still walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and I will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to; despite the pitying glances from the jet set…. who will too eventually also get old.
I know that I am sometimes forgetful, but there again, some of life is just as well forgotten, and I will eventually remember the important things. Sure, over all those years my heart has been broken, but how can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when a car hits somebody’s beloved pet? But is it not the occasional broken heart that gives 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, to be able to understand my kids and pamper my grandchildren, and to have my youthful laughs and precious memories forever etched into the deepening grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have passed away before their hair could turn silver. As we get older, it is easier to be positive. You care just a little less about what other people think so that you don’t get your feelings hurt so easy. I also try not to question myself anymore, because I believe I’ve even earned the right to be wrong once in a while.
So to answer your question, I like growing old simply because it has set me free, and I really like the person I have become. I know I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste any time lamenting about what could have been or worrying about what will be! I will strive to enjoy family and good friendships to the fullest, I will take every day in stride and go at the speed I wish…. and I sincerely hope that each and every one of my fellow seniors feel and act exactly the same way.
If this is winter, we should enjoy it; and wouldn’t it be great to party hardy while watching a Calgary Stampeder/Edmonton Eskimo Grey Cup game in Montreal? Have a great week, all of you.