Do you allow your age to define you? If you do, instead, reflect on the multitude of emotional intelligence, skills, and knowledge you have attained over the years.
Personally, I have always had the utmost respect for our older generation.
Back in my younger days, when I delivered The Napa Register, Route 101, my goal was to land the newspaper on as many neighborhood porches as possible. To my dismay, the paper would land in the rose bushes or the manicured hedges as I would temporarily abandon my purple Schwinn in search of that paper.
Once the brief search concluded, I marched to the front porch, often being caught in the act.
Being detained was actually a delight as I enjoyed listening to many seniors share their stories of the past. I craved their wisdom and relished in their humor. There were even times I finished delivering my newspapers late, finding it difficult to break away from their remarkable wisdom. It was during those days that I realized the value of experience, an asset the older generation possessed.
The shared stories of my elder neighbors often left me thinking. I listened to life lessons of determination when money was scarce and brilliant words of how to know when it is true love. The wise advice bestowed upon me, left me feeling forever grateful.
Mrs. Hall was one of the seniors who lived in a pink house that resembled the shade of cotton candy. Her manicured lawn was bright green, making her white-as-snow picket fence pop. Every Halloween, she made my brother and I pink popcorn balls instead of giving us candy. Being my parents knew her well, we were allowed to indulge in this colorful sticky treat.
I recall one particular Halloween when she slowly leaned down with her bright pink edible ball, and I noticed that her pale hand trembled as she smiled and placed the carefully wrapped treat in my bag.
“It’s not how old you are, but how you are old.”
I returned a smile as all the while, my adolescent mind wondered what she meant by those carefully selected words.
Fast forward to forty years later when I am much older – maybe not considered an elder yet but wise enough to have accumulated a few bad choices in my past that turned into golden opportunities of learning.
Mrs. Hall’s last words to me finally made sense. I realized that age is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity. I understood because I was living a better life that was based on my terms of happiness.
I was climbing over the hill, blessed to be picking up speed.
We cannot stop getting older, but we can use our tools of gained wisdom that may be locked away in our treasure chests.
If we are blessed to have a strong mind, we realize our experience, our lessons; our failures can reward us in a way that the younger generation must earn through trials and tribulations.
I am there. I am at peace I am in competition with no one.
Our lives are a beautiful set of stages, and no two stages or journeys are identical. Happiness is seen through a different lens for us all.
I am not afraid of aging. I am afraid of being sick and aged with the burden of someone required to take care of me. While recent health issues have set me back, they will not stop me unless I stop trying.
If we are wise enough to embrace our failures as we age, we learn these mistakes are merely stepping stones to a better place.
Keep learning. Keep moving forward. Never limit yourself.