Age is a Work of Art

I enjoy the summer with its plentiful sunshine, warm breezes, and gardens overflowing with green plants and colorful flowers. I love to sit on my backyard deck and listen to the birds as they sing their cheerful songs from the branches of the trees overhead and watch the squirrels as they chatter among themselves and scamper through the yard. It’s often a welcome relief from the cold winter months of Minnesota. It’s also a time for family gatherings like graduations, weddings, picnics, and backyard barbecues.cake with candles 1

There’s one other event that the summer brings to our family, and that’s birthday celebrations. During this time, our family celebrates three birthdays in quick succession, each one only a week apart. And my birthday happens to be one of them.

Usually I enjoy celebrating birthdays. It has never really bothered me what age I was. I always believed that age was just a number, a state of mind, and that you were only as old as you feel.

But this summer I’ll turn 59. For some reason, the thought of turning 59 bothers me. I suppose it’s because it means that next year I’ll be 60. My apologies to all the sexagenarians out there, but 60 sounds old to me! I still can’t get used to the idea that by all standards, I’m already considered a senior citizen. I don’t feel like a senior citizen. As far as I’m concerned, my brain still thinks like the 25 to 30-year-old woman who I once was. And when I look at my reflection in the mirror, I can see that I truly don’t have that many wrinkles and I can only find three or four gray hairs. As a matter of fact, when people find out that I’m 58, they always tell me that they would never have guessed that I was that old.

But maybe I should look at this from a different point of view. Perhaps I should leave my emotions out of the picture and instead of thinking about all the negative aspects to aging, maybe I should consider all the benefits to growing older.

One of my favorite quotes is by Stanislaw Lec and it goes like this: “Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art.”

I think that says it all. It’s true that when you’re young, you have the whole future before you. You have high hopes for tomorrow and so many dreams to chase. There’s so much to look forward to and you never give a second thought to growing old. But as we grow older, as we mature, I believe that we have so much more within ourselves than we had in our youth.

For instance, we have the knowledge and the experience to live our lives even smarter and better than when we were younger. We know what to do because there’s a good chance that we’ve been in similar circumstances before. We make wiser decisions and hopefully, smarter choices. Not only that, but we can help others to benefit from our experiences – those we love such as our children and even our grandchildren if we’re lucky.

Our emotions are more finely tuned and usually we can deal with those emotions better (not all the time, but most of the time). We can enjoy other people’s company more because of the experience we’ve gained from our past relationships.

And I think we can love others more fully and more deeply than ever before. And that’s the best part of all.

Do you remember that old jingle: “You’re not getting older, you’re getting better?” I believe it’s true.

So maybe turning 59 won’t be so bad after all. And before I blow out those birthday candles, I’ll think I’ll make the wish that next year my 60th birthday will be even better.

 

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14 comments

  • Happy Birthday!! I’m right behind you as I turned 56 last Feb. Actually I look forward to my 60s. I will call them my Sexy Sixties as I will either be retired or about to retire, leaving behind my 9-5 and being able to write poems, take photos and create art full-time. An exciting time of life! ❤

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  • “You’re not getting old, you’re getting better.” Like that quote, never heard of it before.

    I can see how you feel so much despair; western society especially values youth and doesn’t give older generations the respect they deserve. In contrast, in asian culture, older generations are revered and young people are taught to bow and greet the eldest in a group first before addressing anyone younger. But even that is beginning to fade, as beauty and youth are prized even more.

    Anyway, hope you have a most blessed and joyful birthday. 🙂

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  • Natalie DeYoung

    I think back to when I was younger, and realize I still feel that young–just with more self-confidence and wisdom, which I wouldn’t trade for all the youth in the world.

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  • I love the quote. Here is another one ( I cant recall where I got it from) Age is just a number, you are as young or old as your hearts says so.
    Happy birthday

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  • Jennifer G. Knoblock

    Lovely and affirming post, from the title right on through. Happy Birthday!

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  • I made a good a friend in a lady I work with who is turning 61 in August. She made me firmly believe that age is just a number and your true age is all in how you live your life. If you are young at heart, it will show on the outside as well! Happy birthday!

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    • Yes, your friend knows exactly what she is talking about and she sounds like she is certainly young at heart! Thanks so much for visiting today. I hope you have an amazing week! 🙂

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  • Happy Birthday to you! I know what you mean, I have already started saying I’m almost 60 just to get used to it. It does sound like a big number and I think when we were growing up 60 was “older” than we are today. 50 for me was pretty traumatic- I just could not believe it!! Enjoy every day- you think young, you are young!

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    • You know, you are absolutely right! When I was growing up, my Grandma at 62 looked VERY old to me! And I think she was very old. She had lived quite a hard life and I think times were harder back then, so maybe that’s what’s going through my head. Times are easier now, so I must start thinking differently. But the age that was so traumatic for me was when I turned 30. I was absolutely devastated for some reason, but I did get over it. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by – you are such a faithful follower of mine, and I’m so very grateful. I love hearing from you – you always brighten my day! Have a wonderful week, my friend! 🙂

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  • Hi Cindy! Loved your “Age is a Work of Art”! What a great “read”! I’m sure you’ve touched many a heart, mind and soul about the subject of aging! When I turned 60… (I’m now 61)… I was relieved! I could never remember how old I was when I was in my 50’s. 60 sounded so much sweeter to me and everyday since that birthday, feels like a gift! I love it when I have to show my ID to get a senior discount. I still forget to ask for it! hahaha! I wish you many more happy birthdays! The world’s a better place with you in it!!

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    • Hi Marian! You’re so sweet! And you certainly do NOT look your age, that is for sure! You are one of the loveliest people that I know, inside and out, and I bless the day that I met you. Thank you for visiting me today – you have made it all the better for me. I hope you have an amazing week and I’ll see you on Wednesday at rehearsal! 🙂

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  • I turned 50 this May and I felt it was a big landmark.
    My friends pampered me and hubby took me out at the sea promenade, the Marine Drive of Mumbai.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kalpana! You’re right – 50 is a big landmark, and we should celebrate every birthday we have because it’s important. I’m so glad that you celebrated it in style. Have a fabulous week! 🙂

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