Monday, June 15, 2009

Celebrating Aging

As we live longer, we have come to appreciate the value of remaining active, keeping our bodies moving, whether it is going to the gym, yoga, tai chi, dancing, hiking, walking, swimming, whatever.

We also have set aside that notion that retirement means sitting around waiting for a check to come, just watching TV and whiling away the time. We now look at continuing to do things that generate income because we enjoy doing them. Yes, there are those who will have to work as long as they can because they have lost everything, but still, we will be very active longer in life.

Have you ever noticed how the definition of old keeps moving. I remember thinking that 30 was old. I remember when I was a kid, looking at my grandparents when they were in their 60s thinking that they were old.

But now my mother and some of her friends are in their 80s, approaching 90. She does water aerobics and yoga and gets around with her friends, living an active life.

Old keeps on looking like some place beyond where we are. As long as we keep doing things and enjoying ourselves, it can keep looking farther away. Our happiness is here and now. True, our skin may not look as tight and smooth as it used to, but who is to say that beauty always looks like that? Beauty can also be skin that someone has been comfortable living in for a number of years, inside a body that has known many experiences. Smile. We are not old yet. Old will always be more of a state of mind. We can also consider ourselves aged well, like a fine wine.

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