“Time waits for no one.” That’s one of my favorite sayings because it’s a truth that is hard to swallow. One day our physical self will be no more in this world. We can either wallow in the sadness of that truth or we can celebrate every day we are among the living.
Someone I love dearly just had a birthday. We celebrated all weekend because that’s what you do. (Or take a month like I do.) I just asked him how it feels to be at Level 49. I didn’t say, “Hey, how’s it feel to be in the last year of your 40s?” I’m not giving in to the age number I am without a little fight, right? So neither should anyone else. Let’s celebrate each level as we become experts at living. Ha!
Growing old gracefully has not always been a mantra of mine. We all want to retain our youth. You know like when you woke up without your back hurting, or a neck or headache that causes you to worry it might be something serious. This is life, my friends. We can do our best to slow the effects of time, but we cannot stop it. I remember saying when I was 35, “If I cannot look 21 again, I can still act it.” Maybe not the wisest decision at my age now. But I can change it…“If I cannot look 35, I can still act it.”
Most of all, no matter how I feel on any given day, I just want to feel grateful that I made it this far without too many scars. Sure, I’ve felt the sting of loss many times from different types of tragedy but I’ve also encountered the love of others, which is what we really need to live for.
My mother’s last bit of advice to me right before she died was, “Love comes first.” If we encountered a miserable person, she would say, “They just need love in their life. Show them love.” Many people are so jaded by this sometimes harsh world, they need a little extra loving from others. It’s been a challenge to really live out that motto, but it is great advice. And I guess as I get older I see the wisdom in it. How could you not be happy with how your life turned out if you lived it with love?
When you are happy, you smile more, frown less. This is the best way to grow old gracefully—with a smile on your face.
Email Paula at paulaparisot@gmail.com.