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Benefits of growing older
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Grow old with me!

The best is yet to be,

The last of life, for which

the first was made.

—Robert Browning


My neighbor, who lives down the street, was driving past when she saw me.  She stopped, honked the horn of her car.  Catching my attention, she rolled down her car window and beamed.

“Philip, It’s my birthday.  I’m 60 today,” she boasted.

“Well, that’s terrific,” I answered. “Happy birthday.”

Oh, that’s a terrific age, I thought.  But my age isn’t too bad, either.

I passed 60 some years ago and crept slowly past the three-fourth of a century mark.  But I know my life wouldn’t be too much different if I were able to relive the past 10 or 15 years.

I think I’m finally getting everything together.  Perhaps by the time I rub shoulders with Methuselah, I’ll complete the circle.

This age can be special, this age when you can laugh at yourself and admit your shortcomings of which we have many.

We hear that pride goeth before a fall and we remember the many times we picked ourselves up.  But we’re not falling as much now.  Is that called growing wiser?

Concern for others is stronger, being sensitive to a moist eye, a face turned slightly away.

Willingness to admit errors becomes easier.

What else?

You’re willing to talk less and listen more.

Opinions are less volatile, but experience says stand by opinions when you know you’re right.

You don’t worry about gray hairs and other blemishes.  You are beyond such vanities. You don’t worry about another wrinkle or two. No skin cream helps.

Curiosity doesn’t diminish.  It grows stronger.  The search for knowledge becomes a need. A free on-line course on “Don Quixote” is intriguing, but having to write several papers is a quick turnoff.  In another life, perhaps.

Disappointment still hurts, but pain doesn’t last as long as it once did.  Put it behind and get on with living.

Excitement. Smelling the flowers more often , noticing the buds and blossoms. Their hues and their life spans in days, weeks or months  becomes important. Roses everywhere, pinks and whites and reds.  Oohs and ahs at the purple tulips.  You marvel at the abundance of the peach tree and wonder what you can do to get cherries moving next year.  

A sainted dog who asks for nothing but friendship is now indeed a close friend, sharing more than house and growing older with me.

I watch grandchildren, computer literate at 4 or 5, who never knew cars with running boards, manual typewriters and whiteout and only the radio to feed imagination.

A few years, ago we fought for the lives of fragile birch trees in the back yard.  They have their roots, something we seek for ourselves all our lives.  But they still bend with the wind, as everyone must do to survive

It is a time for honesty with one’s friends, acquaintances and one’s self, if indeed we consider honesty a virtue.

It’s a time when we can stand up and be counted.  If we have the courage to do so, we should.

Time.  It’s wonderful.  It improves mind and soul.  It heals body and soul.  It seals the good and erases the bad.

Ah, 60 is a good year, but each one after that can be better.