For many of us we expect nothing less then old age. Those who lived during the other eras; eras of war or famine or plagues knew that life after 40 was uncertain and those who reached that point treasured each day.
Our era is one where it is an exception, and a tragedy, to not see old age. When your knees creak in the morning and you see new wrinkles you might not think that growing old is very fun but consider the alternative. Take a moment to reflect on the positives of age and before too long you will see some pretty great things that come only after many years.
The famous poem by Jenny Joseph begins; “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me…..” The poem talks about one gift that comes with age, the gift of self acceptance. The insecurities might not be totally gone but you have come a long way since high-school. When you get to the point that you don’t care if your impressing anyone you can do the things that really matter, or, whatever you want.
Wisdom and perspective are very broad terms but are gifts that grow with age. Over time you gain a worldview where you can recognize what is truly good and the ability to accept the things that are bad. Prespective is also how you know what is an acceptable ‘bad’ as in just not to taste or different, and, what is truly bad. Perspective and wisdom yield the ability to know what kind of bad must always be opposed and hopefully how.
Acceptance and patience are two more gifts of age. At some point you learn that lots of things take a long time to come, and, lots of things don’t necessarily come ever. The gift is being ok with that and being happy with what you do have. Acceptance and patience are also important when you are with other people, the ability to be there for your friends and family and just listen is a golden trait.
The most literal gift of age is the fact that you have likely amassed many many things. At a certain point you have all the things you need and most of what you want. Your friends and family need to be very creative to come up with gift ideas and most resort to consumables like a favorite food. There is nothing wrong with collecting things and the gift is the point where you feel you just don’t need anything anymore.
You might not feel you have these gifts but if you look closely you may see them or you may see others. With age comes an appreciation for the finer things and often a better sense a humor. Betty White shows us that you can get away with almost anything after a certain age. With time comes the ability to see the big picture, to see there are more then one side to a story, to know that the world is mostly shades of gray.
We might not live in a dangerous world but as you age you begin to realize one thing for sure, you are not immortal, and with that realization you value the years you have had and treasure those to come.