Sunday, September 22, 2013

Aging Has Its Benefits

Just like anything else in life, aging has its pros and cons.  I am just not as quick or active as I used to be.  I don’t have as much tolerance for salty, junk food.  I can’t eat as much as I used to and not gain weight.  I have to pluck my beard.  And I know I shouldn’t complain because I might see about five or six hairs every now and then while some people get five or six a minute.  Speaking of hair in unwanted places, the most annoying thing about aging has got to be seeing gray hair in unexpected places.  Yes, I am definitely going there.  What!  Am I the only one willing to admit this?  Wait, are you telling me that I’m the only person here who has gray nasal hair?

However, there are so many things that I appreciate about getting older.  I know right, who would have thought?  The best thing has to be not caring what others think.  When you become a certain age, you just don’t care anymore.  Not that you don’t care what people say or think, per se; you are just too old to give a damn about it.  And you can say exactly what’s on your mind without fearing what others will do.

And how about seeing the world in shades of gray and not just black and white anymore?  Back in the day, I hated when slow drivers were in front of me.  I wouldn’t hunk my horn because that is downright rude, but I would certainly huff and puff.  Now I just wait for a safe chance to overtake, then go about my business.  I have realized that the driver could be old and feeble, which I hopefully will one day be, since it beats the alternative; ill, which I have been and have had to drive; a new driver, which my children will soon be; or a driver who has had a traumatic experience and is afraid to drive – been there.  If my children are in a hurry and expect me to tailgate, I calmly remind them that had we left earlier, we would not have been in this situation.

Then there is taking things into such clear perspectives that I am able to play out scenarios in my mind before events actually happen, which would enable me to be better equipped to handle them.  For instance, if I find my husband in a restaurant with another woman, I don’t think I’ll be as fazed as I would have been many years ago.  As much I love to eat, I’ll probably ask them for some food and join the conversation.  Okay, not very likely because he is not a restaurant person, but you get the drift.

So let’s suppose I come home and find him in our bed with some strange woman.  Man, if I’m tired, I’d probably say, “Guys move over.  Lemme get some rest.  You know how those kids have me ragged.”  Okay, again not likely; he wouldn’t be that dumb to use our bed.  But today I would take a deep breath and give him a chance to come up with a flimsy excuse, while a few years ago I might have accidentally spilled some gasoline on the bed, then accidentally dropped a lit match on it.

And not too many people or things surprise me much anymore.  I think due to the fact that I had gone to more funerals than weddings by a certain age, and because my own mother died so young, news of people dying don’t shock me as much.  I admit every now and then, I’m still taken aback by a sudden death or two; but mostly not.  And one annoying phrase I avoid is ‘untimely death’.   No one dies before his time.  When someone dies, that means that his number just came up.  When Dick Clark died last year, I was surprised when people expressed shock.  Seriously?  The man was 82 years old.  Had suffered a severe stroke seven years prior.  Not to mention that he had lived a full life.  What!  Too soon?

Watching the rewards of the fruit of my labor is quite appealing.  This is just the beginning, but it still feels good.  Just the other day my youngest informed me that he is getting annoyed with a parent who constantly complains about the coaches.  I listened, but didn’t think too much of it.  A couple days later, he resumed the conversation.  Then he said, “If he doesn’t think he is doing a good job, why doesn’t he do it himself.”  I almost shed a tear!

Realizing how short life is and not sweating the small stuff are great things about aging.  I confess I’m a huge fan of Judge Mathis.  Looking back I should have just stopped watching him because over the years, nothing has changed, except for the guests and his bailiff.  The problems are the same.  The people even have the nerve to admit that they watch the show and should know better but never think it’ll never happen to them.  It makes me wonder if they only want to be on TV because there is no way I’d sue somebody for $200.  I won’t even get angry if somebody didn’t pay me back $2,000 - would not lend that person money again, but I won’t lose any sleep over it.

In my teens I would never have done this; in my 20’s I would have felt self-conscious doing it, and in my 30’s I would have felt judged doing it, but as a 40 something year old woman, I leave my house nonchalantly braless because not only is it liberating, but this might be the last decade that I’m able to do so, and perspectively speaking I refuse to let anyone rob me of those moments of pure, unadulterated bliss.


  1. Me too, am kissing 40 in a few short weeks and I'm so looking forward to it.