People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.
Today will be interesting; I have my usual early morning stuff followed by a 7:30 AM Kiwanis meeting. The day will include substantial catch-up activity and will be capped off by a Salvation Army Victory Dinner paid for by sponsors that will take place at a downtown hotel. Bedding down late only to be followed by a 4:30 AM alarm to get me moving to get to the fitness center by 5 AM may be a challenge. But I know it is worth it.
On another subject, I had e-mail from the daughter of an old friend who is no longer with us. Fortunately for me her dad introduced us remotely many years ago and we have become friends. Life has not been easy for her between health problems, the loss of her beloved parents and difficulties faced by one of her children that have created burdens that many of us could not handle, but she does. As I read what she wrote I realized that one of the best things going for her is that she has herself. That may sound as if everyone does but they don’t in the way I think my friend does. I believe she forgives herself her setbacks, I think she is a person that she likes and I believe that she has found that your very best friend can be yourself.
As I thought about this dear friend it reminded me of something I saved years ago. While it is written from the standpoint of a senior I believe that it describes behaviors that are worth adopting as early in life as you can for if you do you’ll have many more good years than you than you otherwise might. Here is what I copied so long ago:
As I’ve aged…
I’ve become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I’ve become my own friend. I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.
Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4AM or sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60 &70’s, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love… I will.
I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get old.
I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.
Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody’s beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.
I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.
As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don’t question myself anymore… I’ve even earned the right to be wrong.
So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it).
We have to learn to be our own best friends because we fall too easily into the trap of being our own worst enemies.
SHE SAID: If we become engaged will you give me a ring?
HE SAID : Sure, what’s your phone number?
Remember, half the people you know are below average.
Shirley and Abe, a retired couple from New York City, living in Miami Beach, are getting ready to go out to dinner. Shirley says, “Abe, darling, do you want me to wear this Chanel suit or the Gucci?”
Abe says, “Do I care?”
A few minutes later Shirley says, “Abe, should I wear my Cartier watch or my Rolex?”
Abe says, “Who cares?”
A few more minutes pass and Shirley says, “Abe, love, shall I wear my five-carat pear diamond ring or my six-carat round diamond ring with the baguettes?”
Abe says, “Shirley, I really don’t care what you wear, but if you don’t move your tuchas, we’re going to miss the Early Bird Special.”
I never eat when I can dine. MAURICE CHEVALIER
A man bumps into his old friend in a pub. “How you doing?” he asks.
“Fine, I’ve got a new job at the morgue, you should come around sometime.” The man isn’t exactly thrilled at the prospect of such a trip, but for old times sake he agrees to go. A few days later he goes on the tour. Eventually the friend starts showing off the bodies. The first one has an enormous grin on his face.
“What happened here?” he asks.
“He’s an Englishman. England had just won the 6 Nations when he died of a heart attack, so he died a happy man,” came the reply.
The next corpse also has a huge grin. “Another England supporter, I suppose?” asks the man.
“No, he’s a Scotsman. He drowned to death in a vat of whisky, and died a happy man.
The third stiff also has a huge grin. “Some morgue you have here. What was this one, rugby victory or alcohol?”
“Neither,” came the reply. “You see, he’s Irish, and he was struck by lightning.”
“But then why the big grin?” asked the man.
“Oh, he thought he was having his photo taken!”
“Once in the wilds of Afghanistan, we lost our corkscrew and had to live on food and water for a number of weeks.”
W. C. Fields
An elderly gentleman wasn’t feeling well, and became irritated with his doctor because he wasn’t getting better after five visits.
“Look!” said the doctor. “I’m doing all I can to help you. I can’t make you younger!”
“I wasn’t interested in getting any younger,” said the man. “I just want to continue getting older.”
Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong.
Peter T. Mcintyre
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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