A ten-year-old recently touched my arm to be sure she had my attention. She then advised that she observed that I am “aging gracefully.” Bewildered, I wondered what her innocent eyes saw or felt that gave her that amusing but gratifying impression. She seemed so sincere, like she knew exactly what aging gracefully would look like.
You know what I think she saw? Joy! We had chatted for a while and shared joyful thoughts. I think she saw that at any age, having joy in your heart will move you along with grace.
Today’s story is about a more-than-mature woman who found her joy and wanted to pass it on.
To Age Gracefully
Rose was 87 years old and in her first year at college. When a classmate asked her why she was attending school, she responded with a twinkle in her eye that she wanted to meet boys, get married, and have babies. Then, she admitted that she always wanted a college degree but was always supporting someone else’s education or career. Now, it was her time.
Rose made so many friends and was so popular that at the end of the year, they asked her to give a speech at the football banquet. Here is the wisdom she shared:
“We do not stop playing because we are old. We grow old because we stopped playing.
There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. And as you choose a career, remember that we make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.
There is a huge difference between growing old and growing up. Growing old is mandatory. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. Growing up is optional. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity and change.
And for heaven’s sake, have no regrets. The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. And the only people who fear death are those with regrets.”
P.S. Rose did all the right things. She kept warm relationships and I’ll bet she avoided smoking and alcohol. With strong social support, she experienced less mental deterioration as she aged. But above all, she experienced joy – every single day.