There's something amazing about aging. Unfortunately, in our youth-obsessed culture it's a gift easy to miss. I was watching a clip of a daytime talk show where a well-known actress mentioned that she turned 35 years old and then quickly gave an awful grimace. Those around her tried to immediately comfort her by saying, "but you look great." I thought, what the what? First of all, you're 35, get real, it's not that serious. Secondly, what exactly is wrong with getting older?
When I was 35 I had a pulmonary embolism (blood clots in my lungs) that could have ended my life suddenly. I woke up like any other day not realizing that the slight pain in my shoulder and the vague feeling that I was coming down with something was actually a life-threatening event brewing in my body. I disclose this purposely because if we all realize life is precious - as we say we do - then we should embrace getting older just as much, if not more so, than being young.
Although there are obvious benefits to being young, to me there are plenty more of being older. With age you tend to develop a deeper appreciation for things that matter most. Your focus shifts from what can you do for me to what can I do for others. You desire to build a legacy that will impact someone's life beyond your existence on this planet. In all honesty, when I was younger my main concern was self-advancement and self-fulfillment. All I could see was me.
I learned some great lessons from an aging beauty who has left this world but whose impact lingers in the lives of those she touched - my grandmother. She was truly beautiful, a gem, a treasure - one of a kind. She was selfless, genuine, dedicated to her family, and a spiritual mentor. Her life reflected her beliefs and I am grateful to have known her.
As we all go through the inevitable process of aging, let's challenge ourselves to look at it a bit different than we may have before.