Aging is one of the most sensitive topics of all,
especially among the people who are doing it. Some
people deny the fact that they're aging, and they try to
hold on to their youth in often ridiculous ways.
Others age without much grace, growing old very quickly,
with a perspective on life and living that's more
destructive than anything else. Other people age
gracefully, acknowledging the fact that they're getting
older, but still holding on to the best things in life,
enjoying them now as older people, without trying to hold
on to the ways of youth now that they've discovered many
of the benefits of aging.
I believe that the most important element of aging
gracefully--and having fun while we do it--is acceptance
of the fact that we all grow older. As George says
"You can't help getting older," so what good
does denial do? When we know we're going to age, we
can keep our attitudes healthy and keep our enthusiasm for
and joy of life alive and well.
I know people who are old who are enjoying their lives as
never before--they don't feel the social pressures that
they used to feel, they don't feel the need to impress
anyone, and they feel free to do as they please--and they
search out many things that please them, such as
traveling, helping others, spending time with their
grandchildren, and many other enjoyable, productive
things. No matter what their age, they certainly
haven't grown old.
I also know older people who spend their time being grumpy
and annoyed with the world, who constantly complain about
their health and the ways that other people treat them,
who feel sorry for themselves, or who spend their time
being angry or having regrets about things that they did
or didn't do in their past. They've certainly grown very
old, no matter what their chronological age.
Which kind of person do I want to be? It certainly
is my choice.