“The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes.” 

Today is cloudy and humid, but a breeze gives a little relief. Rain is predicted for the late afternoon.

When I was a kid, I always wondered how it felt to grow old. I’d see old ladies shopping in the square. They wore flowered dresses like my grandmothers did. They wore clunky shoes with thick heels, usually black shoes with ties. In the rain they covered their heads with those see through rain hats tied under the chin, wore matching see through rain coats and shoe covers, each closed with a button. Their purses were square with a single strap. I never felt any connection between the old ladies and me.

In years I am old, but old is relative, not always age but sometimes disposition. I’ll be 76 on my next birthday. My face is lined. I used to lift 50 pounds of cat litter from the car to the house. Now I drag 15 pound bags. I still think I can do what I can’t do. Jars are a challenge. I forget stuff. It comes back but only after I needed it. I find that totally frustrating.

Growing old is physical. I have a cadre of doctors tending to my ills. I see them often because bodies have only a certain length of life. I get that.

Amazingly there is a miracle in all of this growing old business. It doesn’t dull the spirit unless you let it. Life is still fun and interesting and joyful, the best part of it all. I am awed by beautiful sunsets. I watch the snow fall under the back light. I love the colors of fall. I watch the worst old science fiction movies and enjoy every one of them. I like to laugh a lot. My friends and I still play the games we played as kids. The only difference is our language is much saltier.

I find life layered. The older we are, the more the layers. When I was young, my life was a single layer, but now, I think of my life as a giant chocolate cake with layer after layer filled with ganache. How wonderful!

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4 Comments on ““The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes.” ”

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    You’re 100% correct. When I was a kid old people seemed very, very old and quite infirm. My grand parents grew up in the 19th century and I was amazed that my grandmothers made it into their 80s. Both of my grandfathers died in their late 70s. My grandfathers looked older than they were and they always wore ties, jackets, and hats. My maternal grandfather owned his own tailoring shop, located around the corner from their house, and he worked six days a week until he died. When I was a kid and he was in his late 70s, he could thread a sewing machine needle without reading glasses or bifocals. He would come home for lunch daily and I loved having lunch with him when I was a little kid.

    I’m still working daily to keep my brain from going numb and to get a break from my spouse. 🙂 I always think that old is ten years older than I am now. I’m 76 and old is at least 86. 🙂 We have one instructor here who is 88 years old and works four 10 hour days per week. He is my hero.

    Life requires that one is always looking forward and having no regrets. I could have done other things to earn more money, but I have scruples and can sleep at night. One thing my late father used to tell me is that they don’t put pockets in burial cloths. Also, he said that the last check you write should be to the mortuary, and it should bounce. Of course, today there is no float and your check will clear before you are in the ground. 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      One of my grandmothers lived into her 90’s which wasn’t unique as her mother and some of her siblings did as well. One grandfather too live a long life, but my father died young, in his mid 60’s. My father’s mother, the long lived one, was born in 1898. My grandmothers were of the stay at home and be housewives generation. They would never have caught up with all the changes in our work from the 60’s on.

      I read a lot, play mind games on line and all sorts of games with friends. I do crossword puzzles every day. I keep my mind active.

      I have enjoyed my life, and I have never regretted the choices I’ve made. I always think I have been lucky.

  2. Birgit Says:

    It’s past midnight here so I’m one year older now 🙂 It’s okay, I don’t want to be young again. I think I’m lucky that I grew up in a mainly peaceful world with hope. Hope is gone by now and future looks quite bad so I think it’s a benefit to grow old. Life as a cynical older woman without too many restrictions isn’t too bad yet.

    • katry Says:

      Happy Birthday!! I hope you have the best of all days.

      You are right about hope. When I grew up, I always felt safe. My life had so many possibilities, so many choices.

      I remember the perfect quote, “Cynicism is the last refuge of the idealist.”

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