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Nightingale









Friday, June 02, 2006
We turn not older with years,
but new every day!
Emily Dickinson


The other day an officemate asked me how I will be feeling about becoming a year older in a few days time. I was taken aback, for I do not think of myself as old. For me old is way past 70 years and I'm just in my fifties. Upon seeing my reaction, he was immediately embarrassed, but I explained that it was an interesting question, and I would ponder it, and let him know.

Growing old, 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 sometime despair over my body ... the wrinkles and the baggy eyes that have started to be noticeable. And often I am taken aback by that aging 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 grey 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 decor that I didn't need, but looks so beautiful on my patio. I am entitled to overeat and to be extravagant.

I have seen 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 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 dress in a manner I choose to , and they have no right to complain or to criticize.

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 dies?

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 start turning grey, 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 start turning 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 growing 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.

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14 Comments:


  • At 6/02/2006 10:33 AM, Blogger Paige

    Happy birthday to you
    Happy birthday to you
    Happy birthday day dear Marie
    Happy birthday to you

    YEAH! {claps hands wildly} blow out the candles on the cake & make a wish. Ssshhhh don't say what it is! Have a great day & whole birthday weekend.

     
  • At 6/02/2006 12:01 PM, Blogger Connie and Rob

    What a terrific post. You said everything perfectly. This is one I am going to print out and read to myself periodically.

    A very Happy Birthday to you and many, many more!

    Take care,
    Connie

     
  • At 6/02/2006 5:40 PM, Blogger FRIDAY'S CHILD

    Happy Birthday To You! Your post is one of a kind. Very well put.
    Have a nice weekend.

     
  • At 6/02/2006 5:41 PM, Anonymous Pat

    Happy Birthday to you!! Hope you have a great day!

     
  • At 6/02/2006 5:54 PM, Blogger Petite Queen

    Hepy Burfday To You!
    May God Bless u with good health,lotsa luck,joy n happiness!!!Be young at heart-alwiz..:)Enjoy your day!!!!

     
  • At 6/02/2006 6:48 PM, Blogger The Mistress of the Dark

    I hope you have a splendid birthday!

    Many hugs to you!

    Andrea

     
  • At 6/02/2006 11:30 PM, Blogger no_average_girl

    it's great to see you still so upbeat! :-) That's encouraging, because it's not long until I'm a year older, as well...and oficially out of my teens ~nervous smile~

     
  • At 6/02/2006 11:49 PM, Blogger Trinity13

    Happy birthday...and have a wonderful weekend celebrating!!!

     
  • At 6/03/2006 12:17 AM, Blogger Jean-Luc Picard

    A great post there, Viamarie. It's a pleasure visiting your blog.

    I wish you a wonderful birthday.

     
  • At 6/03/2006 3:07 AM, Blogger mar

    Happy, happy birthday to you! don't let the image in the mirror fool you, you are just as old as you feel, it's the way I think since I started avoiding mirrors :)
    Have a wonderful, wonderful day!

     
  • At 6/03/2006 9:44 AM, Blogger Chrixean

    Happy birthday, Viamarie! God bless you always!!! :-)

     
  • At 6/03/2006 8:37 PM, Blogger Irish Church Lady :)

    Happy Birthday Week! Wonderful post! You got the right 'tude!

     
  • At 6/04/2006 8:22 AM, Anonymous Loni

    Happy Happy Birthday! Hope you've had a wonderful day! :)

    I love your birthday picture and quote too! Can I use that for my birthday in Sept?!?!?! (really thinking ahead, huh???!!!!

     
  • At 6/05/2006 8:51 AM, Blogger Lazy Daisy

    Great post. Loved every word of it and can identify with every thought. Congrats on a life well lived. Wishing you blessings and a clean slate every day.