I’ve waited 70 years to write this.
That’s right: today I’m officially 70 years old!
I think most of us get nostalgic on our birthday, especially when it heralds another decade. One of my classmates from high school sent out a group message a few months ago stating that this was our big year. Several responses ensued, but my favorite one said, “I didn’t know 70 would be this much fun!” That’s the attitude I like.
I might have caught this attitude from my mom and dad, but I’ve always thought young. My parents always associated with younger people. Just as they did, we have dear and treasured friends who are in our same season of life, and we love and appreciate them. But more often we keep company with younger ones. That’s partly because our contemporaries are doing the same thing. Our sons and their wives are our favorite companions, and their friends become our friends. We’re just thankful we can relate to them and vice versa.
Several years ago I came across an article on aging in a newspaper. At the time, it didn’t occur to me to document the newspaper source, but I did save the article. I remember making a mental note to myself that when I “became of age,” it summarized the attitudes I wanted to have. I’m going to share what was written in the article, the title of which is “Learned Lady Tells How to Grow Old Gracefully.” Here goes.
- When you are young, find out what qualities in old people are admired by the young. Remember them.
- Never praise the good old days. Live in the present.
- Learn early in life how to be well-balanced emotionally, how to control anger. Oldsters who aren’t upset by unpleasant events, who can deal with crisis wisely, are sought out by young people as sources of advice and strength.
- Keep alive intellectually. This means not only reading and other cultural activities but maintaining a lively interest in all things going on around you.
- Maintain strict adherence to principles of personal hygiene. Neat personal appearance and good table manners make oldsters attractive to the younger generation.
- Lay a groundwork early in life. You can’t be a pleasant old man or woman unless you cultivate these qualities long before you grow old. They don’t come naturally with age.
The last point probably encapsulates the entire message. Grumpy old people were probably grumpy young people at one time. (Wink!)
Well, this post must end at this point. I have to shop for a new outfit (not for me…for Hubby!) to wear for our dinner date tomorrow night with the family—all our sons and wives— and our two-night stay at the Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Atlanta. And I must get my nails done, right?
Altogether, it’s going to be a wonderful, precious, memorable time with my all-time faves!
So, the question still begs to be answered. Is seventy the new fifty? By the end of this year, I might be qualified to answer that!