Thoughts on Being Old on a Silly Saturday – Part 1

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, 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 avant-garde on my patio.
I am entitled to overeat, 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’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 bikini 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 a 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 turn 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.
I can say ‘no’, and mean it. I can say ‘yes’, and mean it

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
— Author Unknown

Inside every older person is a younger person –
wondering what the hell happened.
-– Cora Harvey Armstrong

[Funny Times is a humor magazine with cartoons and columnists that make you laugh, moan, scream and cry. They are kind enough to allow me to reprint the occasional cartoon.  Of course, humor — like beauty — is often in the eye or ear of the beholder.  http://www.funnytimes.com]

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About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
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7 Responses to Thoughts on Being Old on a Silly Saturday – Part 1

  1. sharonandsal says:

    Ha! I needed a laugh this morning! Thanks!

  2. nancy says:

    just love it it sums up life .

  3. CAROLYN GIPSON says:

    I didn’t realize I was old until I read this! HA!

  4. annette morgan says:

    As my wise mother, Michelina Iacullo, always said ~ AS YOU ARE I ONCE WAS, AS I AM YOU WILL BE!

  5. Outstanding post. Thanks!

  6. Barbara Lilly says:

    I really enjoyed this and thought to myself how true it is and I hope I can continue life as it is but will stay prepared for the next.

  7. Vesita Lowman says:

    This was great…After reading what came to mind…getting old is wonderful

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