Friday, March 9, 2012

Glad to Grow Old

This is a post I ran across on my hard drive that I wrote in February of 2009. This was about a year and a half prior to my AIDS diagnosis. I enjoyed finding and reading it and decided to share it here. 
It's taken me a while to get back to this place in my head but it's been worth the trip.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life or my loving family for less grey hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so stylish on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.

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 4 AM and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60 &70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love ... I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the beautiful people. They, too, will grow old if they're lucky.

I know I am sometimes forgetful.
But then again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things anyway.

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 even when somebody's beloved pet must be put-to-sleep? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect and in love.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to see my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into the little lines on my face.
So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their
skin could wrinkle or their hair could turn grey.

As one gets older, it seems like it gets easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I think I've earned the right to be wrong. It’s okay if I’m not perfect.

So, in a nutshell, I guess I’ll like growing old. It will set me free. I think I’ll finally like and accept myself as I am.

I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it).

I hope you'll enjoy your weekend... 

Love Betsy

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