Sunday, March 14, 2021

Accepting my Age

I’ve had a hard time accepting my age--70! I always told myself that I would not be one of those “old ladies” who tried to dress and look like a teenager, while everyone secretly laughed behind their back. I told myself I would accept my gray hairs, my wrinkly skin and learn from the wisdom I would surely have gained. I would be a benevolent (whatever that means), graceful older woman, a loving grandma and a spiritual matriarch for my family. 

 But that hasn’t happened. I’ve gone screaming and yelling into old age, denying it, ignoring it and trying to forget it. One of the reasons I’ve resisted getting old, I’ve come to understand, is because I am still a teacher. I love to teach ukulele to groups of students and take them to perform to “old people”. I don’t want them to see me, their teacher, in the same category as our audience! Another reason I don’t want to be labeled as old is because I don’t feel old. I’m blessed with good health, love to hike and be outside and have many interests I am pursuing. Also, I feel like “old people” are not respected but are seen by others as decrepit, out of date and having nothing to contribute to the world. I don’t want to be seen like that. 

 But gradually I’m coming to grips with my age and starting to embrace the positive aspects of it. My walk this morning on the beach, where I am spending the week with my daughter and her family helped open my eyes. For the past 3 mornings, I would wear my tennis shoes, tightening the laces so that no sand would get into my shoes. Then I would start walking on the beach. But this beach is kind of slanted. If you don’t want the tide to come rushing at you and get your shoes all wet, you have to keep away from the ocean by walking through thick sand to higher ground. Then after a while you can walk back down to lower sand, always looking out for the next higher tide of water to come rushing at you. It’s a stressful sort of walk on the beach and hasn’t been very fun. 

This morning I decided to embrace the sand and water and wear my water shoes so I could walk on a flat beach the whole way. As I walked along the beach the tide would rush upon me and I would enjoy the cool water soaking my shoes and ankles. “This is the way to do it!” I decided. I should have just walked all week with these shoes and enjoyed the ocean, sand and flat beach. It made me think about getting old. Why don’t I just accept and enjoy the perks of getting old? I should go with the flow, make life easier for myself, and enjoy the journey. 

 And so I will. But I did see some negative aspects of walking on the beach closer to the tide and getting my feet sandy and wet. I couldn’t walk as far because the tide brought so much sand with the water which piled up in my shoes. And that was not comfortable to say the least. And if you take your shoes off and go barefoot while you walk, it gets tiring and the sand starts hurting your feet. 

 Life is like that. The good and the bad. The positive and the negative. So I say to myself: Deal with it, Cathy. Accept the negative aspects of getting old but focus on the positive parts and enjoy this stage of life that I’m in. It’s really a great place to be! 

 Okay. I’ll try!

Thanks for reading,


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