Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Down with, Curmudgeoning, er....

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter......Mark Twain

Two of my favorite people to quote are Mark Twain and Will Rogers. They call it as they see it, and sometimes they see it more clearly than I can put into my own words. Age is indeed an issue of mind over matter. 

So often I find myself in a conversation with friends who are my same age, regarding the change in the way we look at life. A pleasant change we wish had taken place when our children were young. A clarity that seems to settle in as the years pile up. What makes us old? Aches and pains? That's for sure. Narrow mindedness? Bitterness? That extra candle on the cake? What makes us seem old?

With wrinkled hands, he rummaged through his change purse. "This getting old isn't for the young," he said. "My body just can't keep up." Still he had a smile on his face. His bent shape and trembling hands did not keep him from his task of living, did not erase the smile from his face.

She brought the sympathy card to the counter. I could tell that she had purchased more than one in her later years. "Another one," she said. "It seems like all I do is by sympathy cards."

"It makes each day more precious doesn't it," I said. "I always think that it is a reminder of all I have in my life at any given moment." She smiled at me. I can't give relief from her loss, but I could give her a smile and maybe a bit of ease from her sadness.

Sure the body aches. Our kids have no idea how much it hurts at times, yet we are on an adventure. God isn't done with us yet. Often someone will comment on how lucky my granddaughters are to have such a fun Grams. Hey, I'm just doing what we all can do. I continually reinvent myself finding new parts of myself yet to be explored. Sure my joints ache when I sit on the ground or chase a fly ball across the yard, but I can always lick my wounds tomorrow for I only have today. I can learn new things on the computer, because the only thing holding me back is me. I can be creative and come up with new ideas, because my brain has lots of places that have yet to be explored. I can become a better person, because I care to be a better person. I can make a difference in the world and show those around me that old age is just a frame of mind. A frame of mine.

I have a friend who is bedridden. There is not a day that I don't go to see her that she doesn't have a smile on her face. She can do nothing more than move a couple of fingers. Yet she impacts my life making me a better person. She makes me want to live life for her. She is good friend because she listens and is my sounding board. They just discovered that she has a melanoma. Still her smile has not been erased. We can chose how we want to get old. Our aging bodies do not define us.

I hope that I don't give up my view of aging. I hope that I still embrace what I feel and embrace what I can learn when my body has decided that it is indeed very tired. I hope that I look forward to learning from the younger generation what is new and exciting in the world.

I refuse to be a curmudgeon. Remember, if you don't mind, it doesn't matter.

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