March 25, 2010

THAILAND: The Incomparable Gift of Old Age

. PATTAYA, Thailand / Pattaya Daily News / Health / March 25, 2010 The Incomparable Gift of Old Age For the first time in your life, you are probably the person you have always wanted to be. This does not include the state of your body. You no longer despair over your saggy butt, the wrinkles and the baggy eyes and maybe you are sometimes shocked by the person who lives in your mirror, but you never agonize over these things for long. You would never trade your loving family, your wonderful life or your amazing friends for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As you have aged, you’ve become kinder to yourself, you have become your own friend. You don’t feel guilty for eating that extra cookie, for not making your bed or buying that silly cement gecko that you did not need but thought would look so chic on your patio. You are now entitled to overeat, to be messy or extravagant. You have lost too many dear friends who have departed this world too soon, before they have understood or experienced the great freedom that comes with aging. Whose business is it if you choose to read or play on the computer till 4 in the morning then sleep till noon? You can dance with yourself to those wonderful tunes of the 60’s and if you wish to weep over a lost love, you can. You can walk on the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body and dive into the waves with abandon if you so choose, despite the pitying glances from the bikini set….they too will get old! You know you are sometimes forgetful, but again, some of life is best forgotten. Eventually you remember the important things. Over the years, your heart has been broken. But how can your heart not break when you have lost a loved one, or your child suffers, or even when a beloved pet dies? Our understanding and compassion is what gives us the strength to carry on. A heart that has never been broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect. You are blessed to have lived long enough for your hair to have turned gray, to have your youthful laughs etched forever on you face. So many people have never laughed and so many have died before their hair had chance to turn silver. As the years pass you by and you eventually get older, it is easier to be more positive. You don’t care what other people think, you don’t question yourself any more and you have even earned the right to be wrong. Being old has set you free. You like the person you have become. You will not live forever, but whilst here you don’t need to waste your time lamenting on what could or would have been, or worry about what will be and mostly, you can eat a dessert every day if you so wish. Today, you are wished a day of ordinary miracles. ‘I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my doctor’s permission to join a fitness club and start exercising. I decided to take an aerobics class for pensioners [seniors]. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour, but by the time I got my leotard on, the class was over.’ Says it all, right? [rc] Story : PDN staff Photos : Internet Copyright © 2009 www.pattayadailynews.com