What is age? I wrote this when I was 59 years old. I was sad to turn 60 and wondered where my life had gone. When I sat down to write this, I realized that life is not about age but memories and love.
The feelings that life is passing you by can happen at any age. When You turn 30 or 40 or 50, there is a milestone we reach with every generation. Each year may cause you to contemplate why you are here and what is to come if you allow it.
Sally is a fictitious name of the fictitious character in this story. Each year she ages and turns another decade older she looks back to reflect on what has passed. And every ten years that pass brings new concerns.
Sally was young and embarking on her life as an independent person. As she turns 20 life is full of wonder. At 25 Sally has met the man of her dreams married and has had two babies. These precious babies and the love she shares with her husband is a pleasure to behold.
One day Sally turned around, and she is about to be 30. She had two kids, and her body wasn’t the same as five years ago. She had hoped to stay young looking with a figure that would impress anyone. But that was not the case. She had put on 10 pounds in the past ten years and increased one clothes size. She longed to have her old body back. She reminded herself she was still in love and her babies continued to grow in her heart.
Sally turned around one day, and she was about to be 40. Why had the time flown away? Her oldest son would become 15 soon, and he was always away with friends. She was getting old! Her children were always with their friends. Sometimes she was lonely. She wonders, does her husband still love her like he used to? Does he still find her attractive? She still feels young at heart and walks 5 miles a day.
Sally turned around one day, and she was about to be 50. Her kids were grown and away from home. She had rekindled her marriage, and they enjoyed every moment together. But every time she looked in the mirror, she saw the new wrinkles around her eyes and mouth. In 30 years she had put on 30 pounds. She remembers the time at 30 when she was 20 pounds lighter. If she could only go back to that weight now? She still had the love of her life at her side.
Sally turned around one day, and she was about to be 60. She had grandkids now. Sally and her husband loved to travel the 2-hour drive to see them. The biggest thing now is the growing wrinkles and sagging skin when she looks in the mirror. The skin on her arms and her neck are flabby. She did lose 20 pounds and felt better but now wishes she had the stamina she had when she was 40. Work wears her out each day.
Sally turned around one day, and she was about to be 70. She wonders how did she live to be 70. Her weight only matters now for her health. Her figure flew away years ago. Her stamina is at a bare minimum. She still feels young at heart, but when she looks in the mirror, the wrinkles are many. Where did the years go? She now has great-grandkids, and the love of her life is still with her. Walking across the room wears her out.
Where Has Time Gone?
Now Sally reflects on her life. She realizes she worried about her physical appearance more than she should have. As the years passed her by Sally came to know the essential part of life is building memories and keeping healthy. The love she can give to her family is what they will remember when she turns around, and her life has come to an end.
Sally knows that their time is limited. She knows that every moment is precious and if she is allowed to turn 80 it will be a celebration. Sally no longer morns the lost years. She is mature and can cherish the memories.
At the end of each decade in her life, she looked back to see that her younger life was good. She didn’t need to worry about how she looked or how many wrinkles she had. It was more important to look into her heart. She did have a good heart but wasted so much time contemplating what she no longer had.
What will you do with each passing decade? Will you mourn the passing or embrace the future. Each year is only an age while every moment with family and friends is of the heart. Memories make us laugh, cry and evoke emotions. It is important to cherish these feelings as a part of ourselves.
See each decade as a positive change that will build life memories for you to leave behind. When you pass a decade, I would like for you to think of the good you have done for others. Remember the impact you had on the people around you. Don’t worry about wrinkles or pounds. These are frivolous concerns that will rob you of the beauty of life.
Other people don’t see your wrinkles and weight as negative. They will remember how you treated them, your smile and your laughter. Is there anything better to leave behind?
When you turn 90 if you are of sound mind, don’t you want those memories to reflect on and light a spark of love in your day?