Old  age, I decided, is a gift.
I am  now,
probably for the first time in my life,
the  person I have always wanted  to be.

Oh, not my body!
I  sometimes despair over  my body ...
the  wrinkles,
the  baggy eyes,
and  the sagging  butt.

And  often I am taken aback by that old person
that  lives in my mirror,
but I  don't agonize over those things for  long.
I would  never trade my amazing friends,
my  wonderful life,
my  loving family
for  less gray hair or a flatter belly.

As I've aged,
I've  become more kind 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 avant-garde on my patio.

I am  entitled to overeat,
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  a.m.,
and  sleep until noon?

I will dance with myself
to  those wonderful tunes of the 50'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 bikini set.
They, too, will get 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  even when a beloved pet
gets  hit by a car?

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.

I am so blessed

to  have lived long enough
to  have my hair turn gray,
and to  have my youthful laughs
be forever etched
into  deep grooves on my face.

So  many have never laughed,
and so many have died
before  their hair could turn silver.

I can say "no", and mean it.
I can say "yes", and mean it.

As you get older,
it is  easier to be positive.
You care less about
what  other people think.

I  don't question myself anymore.
I've even earned the
right  to be wrong.

So,
to  answer your question,
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 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....