Posted by on Jul 16, 2015 in Advice, Aging, Health, Life Philosophy, Memoir, Personal | 11 comments

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Jump - Renaissance Park in Chattanooga

I’ve arrived at that ambiguous age where people tack on a little qualifier when they say something about you, to you–

You look good for your age

Your wrinkles aren’t bad for your age…

You’re exercising as well as you can for your age

A lot of people have insomnia at your age

At your age, just about everyone looks all over the house for their glasses and finds them on their head.

There are certain things cliched by age and I’ve noticed myself snarling more than just a little sometimes when I slip my foot into that tattered shoe and it fits. One morning you wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and the next day you feel like someone took a bat to your spine while you slept.

A big wallop of What the heck?

But here’s the thing I’m happy to share when your body begins to betray you and you feel the weight of your years:

Age is gain and not loss.

 

Age is gain and not loss.

Repeat this phrase until you believe it.

I love how Jean Fleming in her fantastical little book Pursue the Intentional Life altered the way I view my own body’s betrayals: they’re a reminder this world is only temporary. Signs of aging point to eternity in that my current body is perishable but the one to come is not.

It blows my mind and I can’t think about it too much, the same way I can’t look at the sun for long. Its incendiary.

The Wonderful Thing About Growing Up - Robin Dance

Don’t fall into the sinkhole that believes already having lived more years than you have remaining is “less than.” Instead consider the accumulation of those years and all they represent. Value your experience and experiences as wisdom builders and memory makers. 

Look back at 30 and acknowledge all you learned since 20. Think about 40 and all the milestones realized since 30. Celebrate 50 by regarding the highs, and yes, even the lows, of your 40s. Consider the relationships you’ve made during each decade, the people you’ve met and your mutual impact to one another.

I’ve said it before and I believe it with all my heart:

Age is the price we pay for life and it’s not a privilege everyone has.

 

I love how Madeleine L’Engle says it–

“The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.”

She gets it. Age is gain and not loss…not in the ways that matter most, anyway.

Which, at my age, is important to remember.

 

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