Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art.
~ Stanislaw Jerzy Lec ~
We’ve all heard the old saw that aging isn’t for sissies. That saying connotes that there’s a lot to be dealt with in dodging the landmines your DNA, your environment and history, lay on you. As the quote above says, there’s some art to be applied to age.
Grow old gracefully. This means to accept – at least to a degree – the limitations that age shoves at you. There are the medical “procedures” that mount up and the damage they do in correcting ailments. There’s the slowing and growing lack of physical resilience. It’s time to stop trying to act as if you’re still 25. It can seem awkward and even childish.
But all this doesn’t mean you have to give up your vitality. You’ve lived 50, 60, 70 years – you have a large body of experience you can share with younger folks. And part of this is passing on the ways you negotiate all those landmines. Not that the way you process your years can be applied literally to others – it can’t. But it can forewarn the youngers that negotiating the peccadilloes of their aging process is possible; indeed, is necessary to keep some vitality in your life. Life can be more than becoming a couch potato and grousing at life’s eternal changes.
We need vital people of advanced age. Art isn’t simply what’s applied to the page or canvas, to a pound of clay or the strings of a musical instrument. The way you wend your way through the mounting line of years can be art itself. Call it the art of living.