'This weekend I pass my actual 73rd Birthday, although I have been referring to myself as that age because of the old 'does the first year born count' etc. Now it will be formal. 73? in another 7 years 80?
Today I was sent this wonderful email from an old mate in Australia. He doesn't say where he found it, but it doesn't matter. I congratulate the person who wrote it as being the perfect summation of getting older.
I add it here. I know it is quite long, but it is full of golden nuggets (or maybe silver ones?) so worth the effort, even for young people tryng to understand us oldies:
'....AND THEN IT IS WINTER
You know.....Time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years. It seems like just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my Mate.
Yet in a way it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all. I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams.
But here it is....the Winter of my life, and it catches me by surprise...How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go?
I remember well seeing older people though the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that Winter was so far off that I couldn't fathom it or fully imagine what it would be like.
But here it is...my friends are retired and getting grey...they move slower and I see an older person now. Some are in better shape than me and some in worse shape than me...but I see the great change. Not like the ones I remember who were young and vibrant...but like me folks we used to see but never thought we would be... showing their age, and WE are now those older folks.
Each day now, I find taking a shower is a real target for the day, and taking a nap is not a treat anymore...it's mandatory! Because if I don't go of my own free will I just fall asleep where I sit.
And so , as I now enter this new season of my life unprepared for the aches and pains and the loss of strength and to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did. But at least I KNOW that Winter has come, and I am not sure how long it will last.... but I hope that when it is over a whole new adventure will begin.
Yes, I have regrets, things I wish I hadn't done, and things I should have done. Then again there are many things I am happy I have done - it's all in a lifetime.
So if YOU are not in your Winter yet, let me remind you it will be here faster than you think. So whatever you would like to accomplish in your life do it quickly. Do what you can today, as you can never be sure if it is your Winter or not. You have no promise tht you will see all the seasons of your life... so live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember, and hope they will remember you kindly.
Some things to remember;
Going out is Good, but coming Home is Better!
You forget names, but that's OK because other people forget they ever knew you!
You realise you are never going to be really good at anything - especially Golf!
You sleep better in front of the TV with the sound blaring than you do in bed. It's called 'pre-sleep'.
You miss the days when everything just worked with an 'ON' and 'OFF' switch.
You use a lot more four-letter words- 'What?' When? Your life is punctuated by ???????
What used to be freckles are now liver spots.
You have three sizes of clothes in your wardrobe. Two of which don't fit any more.
.....BUT Old is good in some ways. Old Songs, Old Films, but best of all OLD FRIENDS!!
So stay well Old Friend, and remember its not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what sort of life you have lived.'