.....or, the Treasures of Aging
A friend of mine has been under a lot of stress. Coupled with the pressures at work she is dreading her fast approaching birthday. This will be the big five-oh for her, a milestone that she looks at with fear. She has a loving family (children in high school and college) and a very active lifestyle (just taken up running) but for some reason she equates being fifty with "old".
I've never considered a number to determine what I am. Forty was not the end of youth. Fifty was not the beginning of a decline in body or spirit. I was blessed to have grandchildren begin to arrive when I was in my forties and love being called "Nana". Until they moved cross-country a few short years ago I would help them build snowmen in the winter and ride bikes with them in the summer.
Along with my treasure chest being filled with children, grandchildren (another one on the way!!!), and friends, it is overflowing with experiences. Every job I've held and what I've learned there. Every cut, scrape, bruise, and banged toe. Every joy and every sorrow. It's all stored away. It's what makes me, Me.
I've swung a hammer, mowed my own lawns, raised beautiful vegetables, ridden bikepaths in five different states, and attended concerts in amazing locations on summer evenings. (And I intend to continue to do more of the same!) I have looked for the elegance of Nature, be it a silent snowfall or the sunlight filtering through bright orange Autumn leaves.
More than this, I look forward to what tomorrow will bring. I have been intrigued to hear about people launching a "second career" upon retirement and can't wait for the opportunity for myself. My own retirement savings are not what they should be so I intend to continue on in some fashion. Aside from that, I cannot see myself sitting still once my last paycheck is cashed. I don't want to sit home and watch the world on a 23-inch screen, I want to be out there in it! My friend doesn't understand this, though. She is more concerned with covering an increasing number of grey hairs. It will be interesting to talk to her in a few weeks time to hear her reaction once the date has passed and she has realized that it was just another day!
This tire isn't flat, it holds potential. It will be filled again and by the end of the day it will have rolled many more miles!
Here's to a wonderful week filled with good experiences! Wishing you more "jewels" to add to your treasure chest :)