Of course, no one can really welcome the first gray hair or look upon the first wrinkles as beautiful, but even those things need not affect our happiness. There is no reason why we should not be merry as we grow older. If we learn to look on the bright side while we are young, those little wrinkles at the corner of the eyes will be ‘laughing wrinkles” instead of ‘crow’s feet.’
There is nothing in the passing of the years by itself to cause one to become melancholy. If they have been good years, then the more of them the better. If they have been bad years, be glad they are passed and expect the coming ones to be more to your liking.
Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House In The Ozarks – edited by Stephen W. Hines
Living in a community filled with elderly people allows me to see seniors in all walks of life. An eye opening experience, to be sure.
Many have severe physical or memory issues preventing an active life style. Others seem incredibly lonely or sad. Some are active in social and volunteer activities many days a week.
When my friend and I went out for dinner a few weeks back we saw a group of seniors that made us smile. There were 10 or 12 of them and they were seated before us. I had watched them walk in, 2 or 3 at a time.
My friend and I stayed for a few hours and this same group walked out right before us. When they exited the restaurant they stopped as a group right in front of the door-still laughing, chatting, hugging and shaking hands.
Deb and I laughed at how cute they were and until we realized we weren’t really that much younger. Our laughter trickled down to a snicker. The little huddle moved down the parking lot a bit and, as they all had seemed to park near each other, they were still talking and stopped AGAIN.
It is inconceivable that in a group that size sickness and sorrow wasn’t represented and yet, collectively, they were a merry group. They could have chosen to stay home, have a pity party for the fact that they were growing older by the minute and yet that was not what I saw.
I love the perspective Mrs. Wilder offers whether the years have been good or bad. Often it is the lens through which we view something that determines our attitude.
There are times I bemoan the graying of my hair and then I think of friends and family members that have lost their hair as a result of chemo. Gray hair isn’t so bad.
Do you have any thoughts about aging that you would like to share? If so, there is a space for you in the comment section below.