AS I’VE AGED

As I’ve Aged
One Woman’s Opinion
By – Sheri de Grom

As I’ve aged, I’ve become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I’ve become my own friend. I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon, before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until four a.m. or sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60s, 70s and 80s and if, at the same time, I wish to weep over a lost love, I will.

I will walk the beach in a swimsuit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite pitying glances from the jet set. They, too will grow old. I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again. some of life is just as well forgotten . . . and I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or when someone’s beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what gives us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turn gray, and to have my youthful laughs etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed and so many have died before their hair could turn silver. As you age, it’s easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don’t question myself quite as much, I’ve earned the right to be wrong.

I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I’m still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worry about what will be. And I shall eat desert every single day, if I choose to.

Author Unknown -

My best friend over the past 40+ years sent me the above prose and I’ve read it many times over. I’ve encountered the afternoon of my life many times over the past several months and although there’s still much I wish to accomplish, there’s also a certain satisfaction in knowing what has been accomplished is for the common good.

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About sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

Retired Fed/JAG, 5 yrs. on Capitol Hill. Former book buyer for B&N. Health Care Reform proponent to include Tri Care and Medicare. Actively pursuing legislative change wherein dual retirees are exempt from enrolling in Medicare @ their own discretion without affecting other benefits. Active legislative analyst. Now writing womens' fiction and professional book reviews. Concerned citizen of military drawdown.
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83 Responses to AS I’VE AGED

  1. bur911 says:

    I love age. older people are really nice and sophisticated. some qualities cannot be acquired but with age which makes it even nicer.

  2. Always always thinking of others! Such a blessing you are! Your Blog is phenomenal and that putting it mildly! I’m taking away from this Blog a few things. First, be wise. Second, enjoy my life! Third, live with confidence. And fourth, don’t let my age agitate me (it’s just a number)! Peace to you my sweet friend!

  3. chrisstov says:

    A lovely post which I really enjoyed reading, twice!

  4. Except for aches and pains, I am finding freedom increasing now that I’m in my 50s. Your post says it perfectly. Thank you, Sheri, for helping us to celebrate aging.

    Blessings ~ Wendy

  5. smbishop says:

    Thanks for sharing message. I love it. Sue

    http://womenlivinglifeafter50.com

  6. nancyrae4 says:

    Hi Patti, Darn, you made me count my blessings! Here goes.

    Sometimes my body is a traitor, but my mind is still thirty-five! I’m a fortunate woman. I have wisdom, humor, and wit. I know what to do (most of the time) and how to do it. My husband listens to my first draft chapters. My step-kids call me for advice. My friends and I howl with laughter at the slightest provocation. Memories of great fun, terrible tragedy, and forbidden love populate my past. Work, writing, and a brand new pick up truck fill my present. The future – who knows and who cares? Today is what matters.

    Thanks for a wonderful post. Nancy

  7. Kim13 says:

    Thank you! I have felt and experienced all of this! I wish I had written it, but will be content with posting it everywhere possible! Awesome.

  8. Janice Heck says:

    Reblogged this on JaniceHeck and commented:
    Growing old? Read this piece, and you will feel better. Reblogged from Sheri de Grom who shares this piece by an unknown author.

  9. Dela says:

    This post makes growing old look so elegant. I sure won’t be regretting it if I can look sixty years back over my shoulder.

    • Dela – Isn’t it interesting that the media and its various forms of advertising tell us to fight the ageing process and to reshape every wrinkle into what was once firm skin. It’s rare that we hear about the wisdom and talent that comes with age. Those of us in the afternoon of our lives have more time to explore the truly interesting concepts to whatever depth we wish. I remember thinking as a young woman, if I could look just like Audrey Hepburn, I’d have the world on a string (as my grandmother used to say). Ms. Hepburn always seemed so worldly so yes – so elegant. I do hope she was happy all the days of her life. Thank you for stopping by to read with me.

  10. Arlene says:

    This is a great post Sheri! I hope to be fortunate enough to age so gracefully! Thanks for sharing :)

  11. Ileana says:

    Buna ziua!…De doua zile am schimbat numele la blog…deoarece au fost neintelegeri si am fost nevoita sa schimb numele la blog. Eu sunt aceiasi Ileana si va astept in casuta mea virtuala cand doriti si cand puteti!…O zi frumoasa alaturi de familie!…Noua mea adresa…

    http://doareuileana.wordpress.com/

    Hello! … Two days ago I changed the name of the blog … because they were misunderstanding and I had to change the name of the blog. I am the same Ileana and wait in my virtual box when you want and when you can! … A beautiful day with your family! … My new address …

    http://doareuileana.wordpress.com/

  12. Sheri … I am so sorry to be this late. I am just these last two days catching up and finding all my blogs and emails :)

    I say ditto to it all and whoever said this … I can only paraphrase … I want to skid into the Pearly Gates, worn, busted and used up. I’ll settle for being old and gray because I don’t think I would have liked being a pretty corpse !! Love you and hope all is well with you and Tom.

  13. Sheri I sent you an email ~ I’ve been praying for you. xo

  14. well, I am proud that I had the chance to virtually meet the beautiful person you are…
    All my very best, Luana

  15. I really like your writing, you are very wise to enjoy life with confidence without feeling worried, usually people will feel anxious and agitated when he was getting older. but you can find yourself.

    best wishes, calligraphy archipelago

  16. Gallivanta says:

    Delightful words. It is a privilege to grow old with grace and good humour and lots of laugh lines. Hope your treatment goes well.

  17. This is so beautiful and inspiring!

  18. gpcox says:

    You should be proud of the person you are – you’re one who is always thinking of others – can’t get any better than that!

    • Thanks, GP. I have my selfish side, my friends would probably be glad to tell you all about it. BTW, I had a chance to catch up on some amazing reading on your site last night. Is this where I get to admit I love swing music. My grandmother insisted, “You will learn ballroom dancing.” And, we did. She was furioius when she learned Arthur Murray didn’t teach us how to swing dance back in the early 60s and taught us herself (and she was totally blind). She was definitely a woman ahead of her times.

  19. ksbeth says:

    this is absolutely beautiful, thank you so much for sharing it.

  20. I agree, I choose being right where I am! Struggling and changes, highs and lows, its not that life is altered but, we’ve learned to sift through the chaff for the kernel ~ what really matters ! Wonderful post! Xoxo Faithfully Debbie

    • Debbie – You are so right. I was thinking of you last evening as I was moving some of my favorite plants into containers and dividing others to pass along to friends. It’s a painful process but one I must complete before my own treatment begins this coming Monday. Thank you for suggesting this brilliant idea.

      • Friend ~ you’re having tough changes dear; it’s always soul-wrenching… but, as for me, because I’ve been bedridden with my sister for so many years, it’s the growth and those rings we find in our life -trunk that will bring out the greatest strength & self-discovery we can imagine Sheri. Fear nothing sweet friend ~your sharing your beautiful plants is like little pieces of you spreading all over God’s vineyard ! My faithful prayers will be with you starting Monday ~ you’re always in my prayers daily ! I love you ~ VERY much! Debbie

        • Debbie – Thank you so very much. I know your words are sincere and they ring with comfort for my battered soul. You know my feelings are the same for you. I so wish I could drop off some of my extra iris bulbs, perennials and roses too. Your caregiver could pot them up for you — not that you don’t already have a lovely garden, because you do. I’m mulching everything as I pot and everything will be ready when winter arrives. Take care dear friend. Love, Sheri

  21. atempleton says:

    Lovely thoughts, beautiful advice. I will need to keep this and reread it from time to time.

  22. Terry says:

    This is beautiful, and said so well. We should all take lessons from your words

  23. Great post, Sheri. It does take guts to grow old and change perspective whilst doing so. There is nothing worse than perseverating on what one can’t do anymore because of age. Thanks again.
    J

    • Jack – I always think of you when I go to sort something. Do I save this or do I pass it along. Should I donate it or keep it for another day. We really do have much too contemplate as we grow older and the stages of life move forward. Often I’m not ready to throw in the towel on something I used too do with such ease. This age thing is often trial and error. Thanks for stopping by.

  24. Mae Clair says:

    Awesome post! Thanks for sharing this. I’d never come across it before, but I hope I age as gracefully as this author did. What a great outlook to have!

  25. Patti – Share away – The author is unknown but I loved the piece and wanted to post it. It says so much about living life to its fullest and not looking back at the coulds, would, and shoulds.

  26. I wondered why this sounded familiar. I’ve read it someplace before but reading it once is not enough. Thanks to both your friend and you for sharing.
    I don’t understand the “a” word with the “g” in it. Is it something like maturing? I believe I’m maturing and growing (sideways) although I’m not grown UP yet. ;-)

    • Hello Tess – I hope you are fine today. I’ve reread the blog but haven’t found the ‘a word with a g in it.’ I could blame my fingers for not coorperating but I won’t. I’m a terrible speller as I’m sure you’ve seen in many of my responses. I try to get everything correct in my blogs – sometimes easier said than done. If you’ll give me a better clue on the word and where it’s located, I’d like to take a look and fix it. It never hurts my feelings when someone points out an issue to me.
      I also love the way you have of saying you are not grown up yet. I have days when I feel as light as a baloon floating among the clouds and then days like yesterday when we had medical appointments back to back and didn’t learn anything new. However, I know we are getting closer, I just know it. More appointments today so will catch you later. I hope to plant the iris I dug up over the weekend. I can’t believe they multiplied so fast as I just planted them last year. This is my last week to do anything in the gardening as my hand and arm treatments begin Monday – gurr!

  27. Patricia Sands says:

    Thanks to you, Sheri, for sharing this with your readers. Thanks also to your friend for sending it to you and to the “unknown author” for penning these words. All of it rang very true to me, although I confess I have still not bitten the bullet and stopped colouring my hair. We who are aging are blessed to have the opportunity to grow old and make the most of every day we are given.

    • Interesting you mentioned about coloring your hair, Patricia. Mine turned silver in my early 50′s and I kept it that way for many years. Actually I’m a little ticked at myself for ever having colored it. It was a really nice silver (or so alot of people said). I’ve recently been contemplating returning to my natural color. We have tough decisions to make don’t we? I know you are enjoying your final days in France. I’ll soon be posting a blog of Morti (my cat that I write about) and how we went to Paris for him to have bladder surgery while we lived in Germany.

  28. agmoye says:

    This is great Sheri, After I retired, I found that like the article, I don’t care what people think and those lines are reminders of the laughs I shared with those I love in life.

    • Welcome to one of my recently new blogging friends. I love it when new friends pop right in and we start to become acquainted. To me, that’s what makes the blogging comunity so great. You know, it’s so true about the laugh lines. I was at a cosmetics store yesterday and a sales person was demonstrating how ‘this stuff coming out of a tube’ would plump the wrinkles and it was guaranteed to stay in place for 12 hours. Heaven forbid – I’d be out with friends and suddently I’d find my face falling off in little pieces into my soup or whatever. My lines are well-deserved, thank you very much! Again, welcome to my site. See you at yours real soon.

  29. agmoye says:

    That prose is so true. As I live life now, I worry about less things in life. Tomorrow may never come, live today and enjoy life it is something that once gone can not be replaced. A.G.

    • Right on. Today is here and sometimes it’s hard to live in the present (especially when my husband is so very ill) but then I come into my office and am greeted my by blogging friends or I take the dogs for a walk and meet friends along the way – it really is a wonderful world is so many ways. [I could however do without the government shutdown since I'm a retired Fed and I like to see my retirement arrive on time.] Gurr. . .

  30. Mohamed says:

    Wonderful post. I never thought of it that way. Always had negative thoughts about it. Thank you for writing this!

    • Oh, Mohamed – You are young. I used to think when I would hear my parents of someone passing on and they were in their 40s or 50s that oh well, their life was nearly over. Wow, I don’t think that way at all any longer. In my opinion, life is exactly what we make of it. Yes, we get those terrible bumps in the road but all in all, we just keep going. Thanks for dropping by.

  31. Loved this post, Sheri. I used to think septuagenarian was such a strange word. Now that I am one, I find there’s a lot about it that’s not bad. Wouldn’t want to be in my 20s or 30s again.

  32. This is so lovely, Sheri. I love the line: “I am so blessed …..to have my youthful laughs etched into deep grooves on my face.” That is so cool.
    I’m going to share this, if you don’t mind, with other friends and family.
    Patti

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