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Old age is a gift

One of the readers of this column recently asked what has happened to the aging title. His complaint was that he hadn't seen anything about aging of late. So today, I'm giving it a special go. Shouldn't be too difficult for me; today is the oldes...

One of the readers of this column recently asked what has happened to the aging title. His complaint was that he hadn't seen anything about aging of late. So today, I'm giving it a special go. Shouldn't be too difficult for me; today is the oldest that I've ever been. On the other hand, it is the youngest I'll ever be too, as the years pass.

Hmm?

My conclusion, after giving it serious thought, is that aging is a gift. Way too many people don't have that good luck as obituary columns daily attest. We, very definitely, should not regret growing old; it is a privilege not granted to everyone. Most of us in the "over the hill" crowd do not have to punch a time clock any longer. Retirement has a number of other advantages. We can sleep in if we choose. We can nap during the day if the need or pleasure should request.

We don't have to "tog up" on the working days of the week, if our employment called for that. Calorie counting is less demanding. Many physical things that we might view as unfortunate actually have a good side. For example, isn't it great that wrinkles don't hurt? When an invitation doesn't appeal to us, we can say we'd love to come, but we are a little too tired and not be lying.

I do know that I am more forgetful, especially on names. Embarrassing, but many acquaintances have that problem too. And because of that, they are quick to forgive me. I've always forgotten things, but now I have old age to blame it on. One promise that I wish had come -- is the one stating that wisdom comes with old age. In my case, older age came all by itself.

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Any negatives to old age? For the lucky ones that live long, a negative is the loss along the way of cherished relatives and friends. Our list for sending holiday greetings is growing noticeable shorter. I now have younger ladies hold the door open for me, which isn't that bad, at all. Some memories cause both good and bad. Loved one lost, when remembered, revives pleasant memories, but are also reminders that they will never be seen again, at least on Mother Earth.

It is then that the first two verses of Robert Browning's poem return, "Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be." Infirmities make that questionable at times, but, luckily and optimistically we keep that in mind for the long haul.

We've been heartened by the bright sun after a few dark, dreary days. We've been enchanted by a beautiful full moon on a lovely summer night. On the other hand, a quiet blissful evening has pleasant features as well. Older age has similar pleasures. Don't sell it short.

Additional old age quotes that are appropriate.

Bob Hope said: "You know you are getting old when the candles cost more than the cake."

Oliver Wendell Holmes gave us a rule of thumb for determining old age when he said: "Old age is fifteen years older than I am."

Maurice Chevalier said: "Old age isn't bad when you consider the alternative."

Mark Twain said it best in my opinion: "Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."

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