Everything on the body moves, usually “south.” Lids droop and puffiness develops under the eyes; cheeks become jowls; the neck starts a slide down into wrinkles; chests drop to our waists; hips disappear completely; feet swell. Skin dries out; blue veins show their residency; spots and moles appear out of nowhere; fingers develop unusual bulges at the joints; the body is on the move.
Hearing and eyesight start to fail; moving becomes more treacherous; hair becomes thinner and has less color; toenails become the enemy.
And then there is the mind. Reasoning is slower; recalling things is more difficult; emotions are on edge; memories of younger days prevail.
So why on earth would anyone want to continue to age? Why -because many things change for the better, too. A senior has usually found himself/herself. No more caring what other people think. We finally have reached a maturity in which we know our shortcomings and are comfortable with them. No more trying to be someone else or caring so much what strangers think about us.
There is a strength of self that develops. I find that I am not tolerant of anyone who is unkind to me, shows me no respect, or who looks down on me in any way. I quickly remove myself from that person or situation. I do not have patience for this negative action any longer.
We seniors have experienced a lifetime of learning and now know what life is truly about. We have memories of better times to draw on and we have a perseverance to go on to the next stage.
Becoming a senior is a rite of passage, just like getting your driver’s license at 16. We gain knowledge, contentment of self, and most of all, respect for who we are. Not everyone hits this at the same age, but it comes; yes, it does come. And with it comes a head held high and a love of new things, as well as great respect for the past life that made us. We forgive our own sins and learn to live with our mistakes. We do not blame others; we just persevere to the life we have earned.
So, yes, we have changed from the naïve young person who turned 21 many years ago. We are sages in life because we have seen it all. But most of all we have survived what life pitched at us. Hurrah for us!