Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Better than the alternative...

Last year on this date, I turned 70. That number sounded old to me, but I didn't feel especially old--a good thing, of course.

You've probably figured out that today is my birthday again, 71 this time. This time I do feel older. It's partly because of those two or three falls I took in November, and the two cataract surgeries I had in February. And also this: Now that I can see better, I am much more aware of all my tiny wrinkles. I was thinking that my skin had aged a lot in the last month or so, and I was blaming it on our everlasting winter weather. Then I also noticed more "salt" in my salt-and-pepper hair. I like the effect, but that's beside the point. It isn't the weather...it's the fact that now I can see what's been there for a while.

To avoid falling when walking outside in winter weather, I plant my feet and walk slowly, watching the ground. I think, "Geez, I'm walking like an old lady." Then I remember that I am one. This is real.

In fact, growing old is a gift. My mother would have been a delightful old lady, but she died just before her 64th birthday. It doesn't take much for me to remember that as bad as it may be to grow old, it's better than the alternative.

This morning after breakfast I was sitting on the window seat in the kitchen and two lovely children crawled into my arms. We've been talking about my age. Vi has her eye on a few things she wants to inherit when I die. In the next moment she hastens to say she hopes I live to be 200. I tell her my goal is 90, or maybe 95.

I know, of course, that we don't control these things. Instead, I remind myself to enjoy the moments, the delights, the gifts each day brings. I make a birthday resolution to remain open to the lovely moments of life. Then I go back to writing the book, facing an unrelenting deadline. And then I take another few moments to write a blog post to remind myself, and to share with others, what a lucky woman I am.


Related Posts with Thumbnails