Oliver Goldsmith, writer and physician (1730-1774)
Did you ever hear the expression "We get too soon old and too late smart?" It is usually spoken in a Pennsylvania Dutch or German accent. That's sort of how I feel about reaching seventy. Why couldn't I have been smarter sooner? The answer could be....you have to have lived long and experienced life in all its aspects before you can achieve the wisdom that common sense imparts along with book-learning. Not that I have achieved wisdom, mind you, but I am a mite smarter now that I was at 16 (and 26.)
Why are we so impatient to experience everything that life has to offer before we are smart enough to know how to handle it? If I knew the answer to that, I could save many a parent a lot of worry and despair, and a lot of young people a good bit of wasted motion. Plus, if at age 16 (or thereabouts) we knew just how fast those years were going to fly by, we might slow down a bit and savor them to the fullest, instead of hoping, wishing and seeking more experiences, more people, more things or more money.
Being seventy has advantages, although it may take me a while to think of them...LOL. The main one is that you are alive - which is certainly preferable to the alternative. The disadvantage that I notice most is when my children treat me as if I might become an invalid at any given moment. Of course that could happen, I just don't want to be reminded of it so often. And while my stamina is not what it was ten years ago, I don't have one foot on the banana peel either.
Growing older means accepting that we have limitations now, as opposed to the limitless options we have as younger people. What I have always wanted and hoped to do was grow old with grace; accepting the gray hair, age spots, spare tire and whatever else life decides to give me. That doesn't mean we can't fight them a little, with exercise and good food choices if nothing else. But it is very odd to me to see a woman my age on TV who has been pulled, tucked and plumped every which way by a plastic surgeon; who has no interesting lines on her face to show that she has actually lived life - not just coasted through it.
There was a video on Facebook today that I want to share with you You can find it here: Dancing Under the Gallows". The woman, Alice, is now almost 107 and plays Scrabble everyday along with her beloved piano. She was spared during the Holocaust because she was a concert pianist. What a wise, wise woman (with such an active mind) - whom all could emulate to good ends. One of her quotes went something like this..."I don't hate anyone. Hatred breeds only hatred." Nothing could be truer, and I wish that all people who evidence hatred today could see the outcome of it.She is (to me) an excellent example of growing old with Grace...and yes, it should be capitalized.
As for the quote at the beginning: In my life, I have not always set a good example - even though I sometimes preached a good sermon with my lips. I hope, in the future, to be setting a good example for my children and grandchildren through my way of living and not through my lips.