Age matters and it seems to matter more the older you get. My mother, as I have mentioned before is 90 years old. I am always telling people that my 90-year-old mother is visiting or about some other event that is happening in her life. When she was 55 years or 65 years I never said to others “my 65-year-old mother is visiting”! There is something about age when it reaches a certain point that is significant. Certainly, 90 years old is a significant milestone and even better when the person, like my mother, can care for herself. She does get support from family and more recently others to shop (when family are committed with work) as she has an impaired vision. But generally, she is caring for herself and living a fruitful life at 90 years old.
All this ageing talk got me thinking about age and what it means for other things as well. For example, if I had an “old” car this may not be so grand, unless it is a classic car! I may need to spend more money on it and replace parts more frequently. Similarly, as we get older, we may have to replace some of our body parts, such as knees and hips. We could trade in our car and replace it with a new one however we can’t replace our body. We must live with it until it wears out or runs out of steam.
There are some instances where age is great and others where age is not so great. Items in the home wear out and need to be replaced, such as clothing, linen and shoes. The toaster breaks down and usually no one will think about repairing the toaster these days we just go out and buy a new one. The older some items get the less useful they are to us. Is that the way some people think about older people? It can be challenging dealing with the ailments of ageing for ourselves and others, yet we also need to think about how useful older people are. What can they add to our lives? Can we learn from their experiences and the wisdom gained through living a long life?
When talking to my Uncle at 84 years, prior to his death on 1 December, he had something to offer and his life was still useful even though he was laying in his hospital bed. What did he do, he entertained his visitors and more so one of the doctors as he spoke about the many adventures he had in his life, from playing polo, to ballroom dancing, endurance horse riding, travelling the world and the list goes on. The doctor enjoyed his stories from a terrific storyteller. There are many exceptional doctors and this guy must be one of them. He gave my Uncle the confirmation that his life was meaningful and that it did have purpose, even right up until the end of his life.
Yes, age matters and it matters more the older you get and maintain the desire to live a healthy and fulfilling life.
Age matters in areas of classic cars, antiques and collectables, jewellery – just think about the jewellery of Her Majesty The Queen! Then there are historical sites and buildings that are of great value. Even the family home increases in value. Then there is wine the more it ages (when cellared properly) it becomes more valuable. Again, there is cheese, that matures for years and years and gets better in taste while costing us more. Maturity in wine and cheese is something to value.
Age matters and as I am getting older and my mother is even older I remind myself that ageing is a beautiful thing to be valued. Don’t worry about the wrinkles! This tells everyone we are getting older. They add a richness and are expressive of age. Also, if we are very fortunate we will have loved ones sharing our lives who love and find worth in our wrinkles, who will accept us “warts and all” and who are willing to listen and learn from the age of wisdom.