“Few people know how to be old.” – Francois De La Rochedfoucald

They say that  youth is wasted on the young.  This is untrue.

Youth is wasted on the old, if all they do is pine away to become young again.

There are many great things about growing old. If you can accept the aches and pains, the wrinkles and creases and dimples; crow’s feet; the spider webs and the thinning lips and hair; the body’s cruel betrayal of skin, spilling brown spots and lines all over; sunken cheeks, the dimmed eyes, dropped teeth, migraines and the universal lower back pain — then say goodbye to youth, with the ability to throw it down the bedroom.

Eat your hearts out, you sweet young things.

I speak of growing old not gently, perhaps, not even gracefully, but with a wonderful outrageous sense of style.

As we explore the daily nuances of growing older — reflecting on personal experiences, feeling the pride and future terrain of old age, its hopes, fears, joys, sorrow and courage — we grapple with the multi-faceted growth of potentials in journeys through growing old.

Our identities are not tied to our age. We’re never our age. As we come to terms with aging, we create our identities on our own terms — the years are just runways.

By embracing the loss of youth, we transcend our anxieties and dread of growing old. By accepting, we celebrate the beginning of the rest of our lives.

Women in that certain age are in their oneness.  They wrap scarves around their necks to hide wrinkles, flatter their bossom with bold beads and  brochures.

Their voices are light and they dress themselves, buttered with flowers.

There’s an inner glow that makes them bloom even in the spring time of their senility. Their hands brushed tears away — hands that were once held and warmed by husbands. They are indomitably widowed by men who couldn’t cry, couldn’t touch and died of heart attacks.

They defy the grave with bright colors and perfume, tending time which is more fragile than youth, clutching their unfreedom in high-pitched sighs and smiles that tell of pain for time forgotten.

In a fragile package are their age spots, menopause and arthritic homes.

Growing old has stifled dramatically — influenced by the prospect of a longer life span, increased awareness of health and fitness, and the changed perception of the elder women’s role. They are now taken more seriously by politicians, the medical county and the community they move around in.

Now, they can demand the freedom to take life less seriously — to be unconventional, to flaunt their grey hair and wrinkles and double chins and falling wombs. To age proudly, not only by embracing the loss of youth but by transcending the dread and anxiety of aging.

With an acceptance that’s beyond age lies a gentler joy and peace that sanctifies old age.

It is an exciting time to grow old. For better or worse, outliving all bodily capabilities, you learn to look for the treasures in growing old.

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E-mail Mylah at moonlightingmdl@aol.com

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