George Burns once said, “You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.” He lived to be 100, and almost right up until the day he died, he was performing in movies, in Las Vegas, and on TV. Some of his greatest works were performed after he was in his 80’s.
Aging is something that happens to most of us. As I have often said, “The alternative stinks.” We can choose to age gracefully, or we can complain about the aging process and try to take others down with us. I choose to accept what happens to me and make the best of it — wrinkles, gray hair and all. I have never been ashamed to tell my age. I can’t change it no matter what I do or say, and so I just appreciate every birthday I have. So far there have been 68 of them for me.
There are a few observations I have made about aging. (These particular observations are about the physical aging process.) My friend Bob said, “Hair stops growing on your head and starts coming out your ears and nose, and your eyebrows go every which way.” This seems to be true for many people. An additional observation I have made is that the hair on the head becomes gray or white, but the hairs coming out the nose stay dark. I wonder why that is.
Even the clothes we wear can make us appear older than we are, or at least older than we want people to think we are. There must be an age at which we stop wearing clothes we would see on a teenager. Most teens wear clothes I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing; and most of the clothes I wear no teenager would wear, either.
Regular exercise helps our bodies to stay fit, so that the aging process is less obvious. As long as we keep walking and moving our bodies, we maintain a certain amount of flexibility and agility. I am not a stickler for exercise, and so my body doesn’t exactly look like those lovely girls on Dancing with the Stars. I have one of those soft tummies, and a bit of “grandma flab” on the arms that is typical of a woman my age who doesn’t do bench presses. I know that some exercise would do my body a lot of good, but a strenuous regimen of exercise is just not in the cards for me.
Some folks seem much older than they really are. I have a friend (a man) whose girlfriend is 5 years younger than he is, and yet she seems to be the one who is 5 years older. He keeps himself busy and connected with people, and he doesn’t let “life” get him down. She, on the other hand is what my dad would call a “hand wringer.” She worries and frets about what happens in her life and in the lives of family and people she knows. Worry makes us age faster than almost anything else.
One of the most important ways to stay youthful is to keep a smile in your heart, and let that smile show on your face. Laughter is the best medicine for what ails you, and the smile adds value to your face.
Have a great weekend. Walk a little, and laugh a lot.
— My love to all,
• • •
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.”
— Psalm 103:8