There's always a lot to be thankful for if you take time to look for it.
For example, I am sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don't hurt.
-- Author Unknown
-- Author Unknown
Over the past year or so, I've started to notice some signs of aging; a gray hair or two, wrinkles around my eyes (which seemingly appeared overnight!) and lines around my mouth that don't cooperate. By that, I mean for picture-taking--If I smile unabashedly, they all proudly broadcast themselves. If I try to smile more gently, I don't look truly happy. Of course, there's also the age spots, which have been the hardest of all for me to accept. (Shoot! My mom didn't even get any til a couple of years ago! I'm only 47! Why couldn't mine wait til I was 80?!)
Some people embrace the "I earned every one of those wrinkles," philosophy, and others go kicking and screaming, denying the inevitable by applying plastic surgery or Botox techniques. The former attitude seemed more my style, but it still seemed like b.s. to me--I knew I could never adopt it sincerely. Whatever works for you is great. I had just have been kind of stuck in a resentment of the whole issue; resigned, yes, but somewhat bitter about it.
But then, one day, Eternal Lizdom wrote something that finally made this aging thing click for me; I discovered my road, not only to acceptance, but to loving the fact that I am aging.
A few weeks ago, Liz wrote:
"Whenever I post about one of my struggles with parenting, I always hope that Mrs4444 will swing by and offer advice. Whenever I share joys and successes in being a mother to my kids, I always hope that Mrs4444 is proud of me. She’s someone that I cherish for her opinion, insight, and experience."
And it clicked for me, big-time. Liz's words made my heart soar, and it reminded me that, like most people (I hope), I just want to make a difference in this life. As a teacher, I get that opportunity all the time, but the idea of making a difference to adults younger than me appeals to me very much, as well. Growing older; having wrinkles and such, means that I am that much closer to being wise, having enough life experience to be revered as a matriarch, being loved by grandkids, retiring and taking it easy. Wrinkles mean that I'm that much closer to reaching some wonderful life goals:
***I want to be that grandma who makes you feel like the center of the universe when you're small, and who believes that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to; that grandma who lights up because you entered the room and who knows just what you need when you are hurting. I look forward to sharing my TUMS with my grandkids when their tummies get rumbly in church, having all kinds of time for tea parties and baby snuggling. That grandma blooms when she's retired and not so tired from work that she's worn out. I look forward to that kind of blossoming.
***Some day, I'll be the wise woman with even more life experience than I already have. I want to be the mom/grandma with whom you know you can talk about anything at all, because she won't judge you and is way past being afraid to talk about embarrassing subjects. It takes years of experience to know enough to be quiet at the right times and offer support, too. It takes time to become that grandma, and I know I have plenty of it, but I'm excited.
***And some day, I'll be even more like my mom, who goes out to breakfast on a regular basis, has time to visit her many grandkids' school events, and heads regularly to the YMCA water aerobics class for seniors, not really for the exercise, but for the socializing (and birthday treats)!
It's not that I'm in a hurry to get to "wise old woman" status, mind you. I am however, excited about the prospect. I know that getting wrinkles does not mean the end of youth, but rather the beginning of a different kind of wonderful, and I'm looking forward to that. I'm not looking backward, with regret any longer; I'm looking forward, with joy.
Of course, I'm not there yet! I've got plenty of wrinkles (and years, hopefully!) to go before I'm soaking my teeth in a cup, wearing red and purple, and dropping farts that I pretend I don't hear.
So, thanks, Liz, for the epiphany; you're a gem.
P.S. The photos are of Mr.4444's Grandma Florence, who was a top-notch grandma and great grandma that we think of often and miss very much.