Why do some people think you only have a lot to offer if you are young and just beginning?
I am a firm believer that we are all unique souls - in old bodies or young - and the world is in need of each and every one of our perspectives. Last night we had the pleasure of sharing a delightful birthday dinner with a 92 year old friend. He still sings in a rich baritone voice, is a war veteran and lifelong bachelor, and has the twinkling-est blue eyes you ever saw. He drove himself to our home, enjoyed a glass or two of wine and lively conversation with our other guests, oohed & ahhed over the homemade birthday card our youngest daughter gave him, and warmed our hearts with his presence - in our home, and in our lives. Even if he wasn't still so active and spry, so fully present mentally, he would be someone I would want to know. His stories, his wisdom and humility, and his readiness to see the best in people - those are things I want more of in my life.
We are all in the process of reinventing ourselves. We're shaped by circumstances, by our culture, by those we associate with or allow ourselves to be influenced by, but mostly by our attitudes.
About a dozen years ago, our elderly friend suffered a stroke. When he didn't show up to sing in our choir one Sunday morning without calling anyone, we knew there was a problem. Thankfully, his hospital stay was a short one, and he was lucky. The paralysis on the left side of his body gradually wore off, and now, except for his constantly chilly hands, you would never know anything ever happened.
For some, an event like that is a death sentence, if not literally, then at least an end to their current way of life. I think it was his attitude that made the difference. At the time, not knowing if the damage would be permanent, he simply accepted the new cards he'd been dealt and went on with life. Not angrily or begrudgingly, but adapting with good humor and grace. And he continued to grow better.
Some of us continually work at becoming improved versions of ourselves. Others are content right where they are. Some, unfortunately, are never happy - no matter what. Me, I want to defy age, to be truly age-less.
Today my third novel goes live. A new birth. A new beginning. A new reason to celebrate life.
Note* Yes, that is my face underneath all that make-up. Someday those wrinkles will be real, and I hope I can wear them with pride.
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