Aging – gratefully.

Sometimes I wonder if writers are telepathically connected because often, it seems that we percolate on a like subject simultaneously. Today was one of those days.

Early this morning, I happened past a post about Melissa Gilbert and aging gratefully. How I could relate yet not having had the time to read the message in depth, I perused just enough to plant the seeds of thought at the start of my day.

Mid-day during a stretch break, I had the good fortune of seeing an article published by a fellow writer and lovely human, and made the time to read it. Ironically, it was on aging and how we trade the beauty of youth for sage inner beauty.

Never should we fear, loathe, or regret aging – some are denied the privilege, as the saying goes. Birthdays are a gift and every day is a blessing, no matter what our age.

It’s not without its woes, that’s for sure.

We don’t need a meteorologist. Our knees let us know when the rain is coming.

We can no longer ditch the calories consumed in a night of good living. Two days of exercise and water make no difference – the pounds won’t budge. The nachos and margaritas stick around – forever.

Insomnia becomes an unwanted habit, even if you fall asleep as your head hits the pillow. Hello 3 am – foot pain, leg cramps, back spasms, day in review, planning, shopping lists, wondering at what age you learned to ride a bike, who was your prom date, recalling the top 100 hits from 1981 – your mind goes round and round. Exhausting – yet you can’t sleep.

For the ladies, it’s summer year round – the heat, the sweating. There’s no heating bill, but wow look at the cost of AC! Chin hairs, not one but maybe three bellies, mood swings accompanied by a ‘I no longer give a s#%*’ meter. Whatever. Fine.

For the guys, I’m not sure. Low testosterone? Belly fat? ED? BPH? Leave me a comment and share what ails you.

Good times, my friends. Good times.

And then there’s this: “Tired? You’re too young.” Inside you silently scream. Try feeling like you have the flu almost every day of the week. I’ll trade you. Why?

It may be that I’ve grown insensitive to those who complain about getting old, the aches and pains, the wrinkles and poor memory and let’s not forget the fatigue and energy loss. I got a head start at the age of 30, finally diagnosed with autoimmune disease at the age of 35 and because I was an overachiever, I got not one – but two! But lucky me, because there are children plagued by juvenile arthritis or a host of other illnesses, including cancer, who suffer from birth. I had 30 good years. Thank you to the Lord above, and bless them.

Oh, and the upset about memory loss? I have early degenerative vascularization, white spots larger than they should have been at my last MRI. The struggle is real, but I forge forward. Blessed. Grateful. Alzheimer’s runs in my family. Please allow me to make the most of every day and do as much as I can with the time I have. May we all.

I want to do everything I can, while I can because sooner, rather than later, I may not be able to – but, may I defy the odds.

As I write this, I wonder if I sound angry, intolerant, or insensitive. I’m not. I believe in tapping into our strength, powering on, and making the most of what we have, while we have it.

Call it tough love. Call it motivation. Call it whatever you’d like. Because I’m menopausal so – my give a s#%> meter doesn’t give a s$&@ – yet those who know me, know I will always give a s#*^.

We can fight aging. We can spend our money on Botox, weight loss, laser treatments, and more. We can waste precious time missing our youth, pining for a time that may not have been as wonderful as we recall – because back then, we were insecure, fearful, and lacked confidence. we didn’t even see ourselves in actuality, appreciating our youth and everything we had to offer the world. We always wanted more and we thought the older we got, the better it would be.

If you think about that and take a moment to reflect – it is. It is better. Though we may lose our taut bum, our smooth skin, and bright eyes – we gain much, much more.

Confidence. Strength. Wisdom. Humor. Faith.

The reality is we start in diapers, and may end in diapers. We learn to walk as babies, then struggle to stand up as we age. We need help to sleep, eat, and drink at birth, then again at the end. If we’re lucky, we will get the opportunity to come full circle. We will live in full color, love loudly, and though we may not age gracefully – who does?! – we should age gratefully.

Author: E.M. Murphy

A voracious writer, lifetime learner and eternal seeker who aims to open minds and hearts. Armed with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a NASM Certified Behavior Change Specialist, humanity and humor is at the heart of my writing, reminding us that the key to success will always start with a genuine concern for others while making sure to be true to our authentic selves.

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