I want to get old, don’t you? Maybe getting old doesn’t sound so appealing to you unless you stop to consider the alternative. Maybe I should say, I want to live a long time, don’t you? There, that sounds much better. You might say, getting old is no fun, and I would tend to agree, but dying is no fun either, and we must do one or the other, so let’s just agree to get old, but let’s get old gracefully. Let’s age well by appreciating life at every season.
When we were a newborn, we were content just lying in our mother’s arms, but as we grew, we couldn’t wait to turn over and once we achieved that goal, we wanted to crawl. We quickly tired of the view from the floor and began to pull ourselves up where we could see better. We enjoyed that for a while, feeling very proud of our accomplishment, but hey wait, what’s that over there? Before you know it, we are toddlers, now mobile and moving from room to room; always in a hurry. Adults put up gates to corral us in for our own safety, but we try climbing them because nothing seems to stop us, and we are always up for a challenge. Take the stairs, for instance. It is just beckoning us and daring us to investigate. Climbing the stairs is an amazing achievement and really not so difficult, even with the gate there. It is coming down that gets a bit dicey, but we've got this!
Off to preschool we go. Eager to make friends, speak our mind, play games, and sing songs – there are no inhibitions. Preschool is fun and full of new experiences, but we can’t wait to go to real school on a real bus, until we grow into our teens and hate riding the bus because it’s so “lame.” What’s next? We want to drive, date, and graduate. We can’t wait for to do whatever is next on the list. Always anticipating that next step, rarely enjoying the step we are on. Life goes so fast for parents and so slow for kids.
If aging was in seasons, this would be Spring. The promise of something exciting is just up ahead. The promise of more, better, and brighter days. New life isbudding, fresh, ready to go; growing, changing, becoming. There is a lot to love about this season of life, but only if we learn to appreciate the step we are on.
Down the road a ways Summer arrives, and life is in full swing. There are endless possibilities; it's fast moving, fun-loving, energizing life in the fast lane. Colorful, bright, fully alive, and enjoying the reality of all the things we dreamed about as a child. We are full steam ahead, pedal to the metal, and nothing but the road ahead and a full tank of gas to take us anywhere we want to go. There is a lot to love about this season of life, but only if we learn to appreciate the step we are on.
Autumn arrives and things begin to fall (literally and figuratively). Careers fall into place, families are formed, and we become responsible mature adults. Our roots have gone deep and we are settling into the way things were meant to be. Living the life we built for ourselves, loving our family times – though less up close and personal, we watch with pride now as our children follow their dreams into the summer of their lives. The hot and heavy hustle and bustle of Summer has past, but we are not living in the bitter cold of winter; we are just somewhere in-between. Fall lands between Summer and Winter. There is a lot to love about this season in our lives if we will learn to appreciate the step we are on.
I think I’m somewhere at the end of Fall and looking Winter in the eyes. I love this season. We enjoy staying in more than going out. I love the smell of burning wood in our fireplace, enjoying its warmth, and time with my husband of 46 years. We fondly remember the excitements of Spring, the full-throttle experiences of Summer, the fulfilling achievements of Autumn, and the enthusiasm we share as we enter the Winter of our lives. (I hope it’s a long winter).
Many people want to move during winter because they don’t like it, but no matter where you are, it is still winter. Embrace the simpler, slower, calmer time of life that is ahead. We’ve got nothing to prove and no more ladders to climb.
I want to get old, don’t you? Of course, you do! And I want to help you get old. That’s why I became a health coach. My goal is to help people die of old age! Too many die too young. I want to live well and live a long time. I want to live so long that my friends in heaven will think I didn’t make it. I want to look old-man winter in the eyes and welcome the season, because I believe that there is a whole lot to love about this season in our lives if we have learned to appreciate each step we are on.
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– STEPHANIE WOLFE, NBC-HWC