prayer50 – AGE MATTERS

Dear Grace, I rewrote your inspiring email.
As I age, I have adopted a new way of life. I find that I have become more gentle, not only to others in their unkindness and insensitivity, but also to myself in my failures and frustrations. I have achieved precious inner peace, wherein no one can hurt me unless I want to be hurt. It is a matter of will. In my old age, I now accept myself as myself. In my youth, I had too many unfulfilled expectations. The humility of age makes up for the arrogance of youth.
When I see a new strand of white hair or a new wrinkle on my forehead, I no longer fret but smile. I even tend to laugh loudly for emphasis. My grandson loves it. His father thinks I’m crazy.
I no longer think so much of uric acid and arthritis when I take my favorite bone soup (bulalo). I have learned to relish what is physically banned, but spiritually comforting, to accept the pain of my undiscipline, namely knee aches and joint aches, on the reasoning that all of us will one day reach the pre-departure area anyway, no exceptions. I find it exhilarating living for the day.
I turn my room of loneliness and emptiness into a private inner garden where I meditate on my friends, and relish their vicarious presence. I talk to myself many times as a friend and even castigate myself for infractions against life. There are very few who are closer to me than myself, and I love myself. One day, my grandson caught me. He asked whom I was talking to. I said, to myself. He said, “Wow, just like me. That’s great grandpa. Keep it up.”
In my twilight years, I have realized my inalienable right to be messy, noisy and laughable, to be obsessive, compulsive and pitiable. But pitiable may be others’ point of view, not mine. For me, I am adorable. I have the right to be wrong and have learned to respect the blunders of others in return. Patience, I discovered, is a youth serum.
The kitchen and bedroom are extensions of my inner garden. I do not have to go to the mountains to see panoramas. They are in my inner garden with better color and contrast. At about dusk when everything is mellow inside and outside the house, it is the same inside me, and I extend it to midnight.
I regret how many friends have gone away, not that they have gone away, but that they failed to experience the freedom of aging that I have learned. I want to put up a school for the aged to teach them my new-found freedom. My subjects would be ‘Life 101’ and ‘Freedom 101’. That freedom includes the many things I do that people find odd or unacceptable, for example, my addiction to facebook until the pink of dawn when no one could talk to me; the hearty breakfast after, of oatmeal and bananas, before bed. I wake up at 3 pm for lunch and start my ‘day’. Before, a job offer makes my day. Now, blue skies make my day.
I smile at people who stare at me at the beach for wearing a skimpy suit to ‘uncover’ my bulges. If it bothers them, that is their problem, not mine. I begin to like not just classical music but the noisy rock of the kids. And I thrill them when I try to dance awkwardly. I have somehow opened myself up in my old age. The children have rekindled the potential energy so long bottled up inside me, waiting for the opportunity to become kinetic. Youth rekindles age. Children bring out the best in me.
Many times I forget things. I go to my room to get something, but I have forgotten what to get, so I go back to where I came from to remember that it was just a silly pen I wanted. Sure, I forget the peripheral, but I always remember the essential – life, humor, good food, music, serenity, things I which were peripheral in my youth. The kids take care of the bills. I take care of reminding them, which I often forget. But just looking at my smile, they remember.
My days are now timeless. My only schedule is not to have one. What I squandered in my youth – time, I relish in my old age. I relish wasting time. In my youth, time ruled me. In my old age, I rule it. My plan is not to have plans. In my youth, I had tight schedules and many appointments. I lived by the hour. Today, I live for the present and for a lifetime all at once. In my youth, I worried about making money. In my old age, I ‘worry’ about breakfast, a good movie, a good book. I pity the tycoon who worries over his business empire which took him a lifetime to build and which is making him older faster. I wish he were in my class.
As I grow weaker in body, I grow stronger in spirit. I now give more time for prayer and meditation because I know all paths lead to Him. In my youth, I took Him for granted. In my old age, He is an intimate friend I talk to before I sleep. That really makes my day.
Finally, death, which many feel should not be talked about, may be a whisper away for me, but I worry less because I know there is no avoiding it for everyone. So why should I fret about it? The thought of death, which becomes more frequent as I age, has made me cling to life more and has made me more ready for it. I find myself lucky that I am more aware of it now in a positive way when many others ignore it until it hits them in the face like a lightning bolt. Death is a balancer and equalizer between attachments to the material and the spiritual.
The thought of death cleanses us, makes us whole, and reminds us who we are, where we are, and where we are going, which we often do not realize in the thought of life. The thought of death is a source of not only of wisdom but also of goodwill to others and to ourselves. Now you know why age matters.
rewritten from
an anonymous internet source
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