Daily prompt: Aging? The privilege of having the chance

What are your thoughts on aging? How will you stay young at heart as you get older?

Aging? Love it! And why not?

For a start, I’m retired. No more crawling out of bed half asleep to flog my way through rain, hail or glorious summer mornings to be polite to people being rude to me, in order to sling money to the sharks smacking their slobbering chops at the thought of what they might do to me and my defenceless children if I don’t meet the bills. The sharks still circle, of course, but now there’s only me to chomp on, I’m quite likely to stick my thumbs in their eyes and tell them to back off. The power is dizzying.

And then there’s the freedom from angst. Yes, of course I worry about things from time to time, but that’s quite different from the gut-wrenching torture of broken hearts, broken dreams, unrealised hopes and cruel awakenings. I can still be hurt, but my skin is thicker these days – positively leathery, in fact – and although I can’t run (but then I never could), I can walk away. You can’t do that when you’re young.

Experience, you see, is a wonderful thing: the clarity of hindsight, the perspective of time. I know now that a lot of the things I agonised over didn’t happen, and those that did, I dealt with and moved on. Because after all, what alternative do you have? If life empties the bucket right on your unsuspecting head, it sharpens the mind like you wouldn’t believe!

Western society, it seems to me, has a lot to answer for on the question of aging. Yes, I’ve got grey hair and wrinkles, my skin no longer glows and my boobs no longer perk. But so what? I’m 70 for goodness sake. I didn’t get here in a golden carriage with all mod cons and a charmed passage through life’s vicissitudes, and if it shows here and there, they’re honourable scars, in my opinion. But society seems to think there’s something shameful in that. Bollocks! Women in third world countries would give their eye teeth for half a chance. What’s more it takes a village to raise a child, they say, and that means people of all ages and levels of experience, willing to be who they are and pass on what they’ve learned. Oldies obsessed with pretending they’re not – they don’t quite cut it, I’d have said.

As for staying young at heart… Keeping an open mind would be high on the list. Nothing is static. My grandmother would be spinning in her grave if she could see me still in the surf at my age. And baring my legs in the process… What has the world come to!


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14 Responses to Daily prompt: Aging? The privilege of having the chance

  1. bkpyett says:

    I can share your enjoyment of getting older. Your expressive words evoke many similar ones in my own head. Freedom from the ‘right way’ is wonderful. I go for walks in an old battered hat and think, ‘what the hell, it does the job!’

  2. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Young At Heart | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

  3. Pingback: Young At Heart | Alexia Jones

  4. It is so good to have you back writing again! You rock, Helen!

    • Oh my goodness! Nobody’s ever suggested I rock, before! (Well, except for a note on my whiteboard that says, ‘Grandma rocks!’, but Matilda was only 7 at the time.) So thank you, Maggie, you’ve put a whole new spring in my step!

  5. Pat(ricia) says:

    Truly an inspirational and wise piece of writing! Thoroughly enjoyed it 🙂

    Keep on surfing!

  6. Billie says:

    Thanks for commenting on my blog post Helen!

  7. Mark Rodgers says:

    Well said Helen. I find myself that I still enjoy many of the things in life I did when I was 20 or 30 years of age but now, quite a few years on, I do them better. Writing is one of those things and its a joy to have the confidence, which only came from the passage of time, to go for it !

  8. Maybe it’s like complimenting someone on their pretty dress, but your blog’s title is so charming!
    I’m enjoying your posts very much.

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