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on growing old (from my "ageless" inbox)

by jonah jones / April 1, 2005 5:36 PM PST

I know that our age group receives many such reminders of our age but on
reading this story it struck a rather meaningful chord and I would urge that
you take a moment and read before deleting.


The other day a young person asked my how I felt about being old. I was
taken aback, for I do not think of myself as old. Upon seeing my reaction, she
was immediately embarrassed, but I explained that it was an interesting
question, and I would ponder it, and let her know.

Old age, I decided, is a gift. I am now, probably for the first time in my
life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometimes
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 until 4 a.m. and sleep until noon?
I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 40'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 that 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
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 or a bite of chocolate every
single day!

jonah "and THAT is the bottom line" jones


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Collapse -
(NT) (NT) You'r a jewel. Thanks.
by Jerry562 / April 1, 2005 6:43 PM PST
Collapse -
(NT) (NT) Jonah, that is awesome! Thanks :))
by MarciaB / April 1, 2005 10:56 PM PST
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