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Getting older is getting better all the time

In regard to my rather long absence of late, I have been recovering from a scheduled surgery that I finally stopped rescheduling. Now that I'm feeling a bit more like myself again, I have been pondering a topic on which to wax nostalgic. I'm glad...

In regard to my rather long absence of late, I have been recovering from a scheduled surgery that I finally stopped rescheduling. Now that I'm feeling a bit more like myself again, I have been pondering a topic on which to wax nostalgic. I'm glad I waited just a bit longer.

I had been composing in my head a litany of complaints on aging, spurred by the reality that I did not recover or recuperate at any pace pleasing to me (or predicted by my doctor). Getting older stinks. I thought it as good a topic to write about as any.

Yet . . . here I sit in my almost utopian-like backyard, enjoying a favorite pastime in the quiet, early evening, and it is only one of the privileges of my advancing years.

I spent this warm afternoon gathering seed heads from my coneflowers, marigolds and morning glories. I picked up fallen branches from the last windstorm and now, as the sun sinks lower in the sky and the hint of a fingernail moon hovers in the southwest, I am fending off a chill with the warm fire burning in my portable fire pit.

If I were still racing with the other rodents, still struggling to raise family, meet financial obligations and goals, still spreading myself thinner than deli sliced turkey, I would just now be making it home. After a day at the office and running errands, I'd be fighting the guilt of putting another quick fix meal on the table.

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I'm not old enough yet for social security payments, but after an adult life of hard work and living within (and below) my means, I can sit back and enjoy the perks of my still young, old age.

So, here are 10 things I like about getting older (in no particular order):

I may not have all the answers, but I've got enough experience to make figuring out the best answer a whole lot easier now.

After 30 years of hard work and dedication as a full time mom, I now have the satisfaction of a job well done - and the joy of watching my children and grandchildren continue to grow and learn.

I'm still young enough to remember how difficult those early adult years can be, but old enough to know that I survived, and my kids will too.

I've hung around long enough to be able to complete a degree entirely online - from the comfort of my home (in my jammies if I choose). I couldn't have done that 30 years ago.

I need fewer things. I've learned that things don't make me happy, people make me happy (see below).

I have a lifetime's worth of peeps - and again, thanks to computer technology, it is easier to stay in touch and find those friends I've lost track of over the years (This column has helped turned up no less than half a dozen old chums).

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I've arrived at a comfortable place with my mortality - or mortality in general. I believe that death is just the beginning of another experience. If I'm wrong, and there is nothing after this life, then I guess it won't matter what I choose to believe to find comfort now.

People younger than I respect my opinion and value my advice. They even ask for it now. How cool is that?

In the memorable words of Evelyn Couch in Fried Green Tomatoes, "I'm older. I have better insurance." Literally and figuratively. At this stage of the game, I'm pretty well prepared and protected for most of life's little complications.

With 50-plus years of life, I finally have the freedom to pursue my first love - writing, and so much more to write about than when I started 30 years ago.

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