“Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
Paula’s husband, a handsome man in his late 70s, proudly volunteers that he is 78 years old. This annoys his wife of 50 years because, in her words, “He is broadcasting my age; not just his. It’s nobody’s business how old I am”. Though still a beautiful woman, one can clearly see that she is in her mid to late 70s. But, apparently, she doesn’t want this confirmed. While her husband fully embraces his age, she doesn’t.
Whatever your age, it’s something to be proud of! Embrace it! Be proud that you’re still in a position to be of service; to enjoy life; and to make a difference – in some small or large way. It’s impressive, attractive, and empowering when you fully embrace your age –whether you’re 50 or a 100. My friend, Helen (above), embraces her age; and already making plans to celebrate the big 8-0.
When I think about embracing your age, I am reminded of this Maya Angelou poem which beautifully expresses how we ought to feel about aging. And, it challenges the longstanding view of aging as decline.
“When you see me sitting quietly, like a sack upon a shelf, Don’t think I need your chattering. I’m listening to myself. Hold! Stop! Don’t pity me! Hold! Stop your sympathy! Understanding if you got it, otherwise I’ll do without it! When my bones are stiff and aching and my feet won’t climb the stair, I will only ask one favor: Don’t bring me no rocking chair. When you see me walking, stumbling, don’t study and get it wrong. ‘Cause tired don’t mean lazy and every goodbye ain’t gone. I’m the same person I was back then, a little less hair, a little less chin, A lot less lungs and much less wind. But ain’t I lucky I can still breathe in.”
How do you feel about your age? Do you treat it as if it’s some big state secret? Or do you embrace it? Let me hear your thoughts.