Candy Blogs: I’ve been contemplating getting older. Since I’ve never gotten older before, I’ve always wondered what “normal” aging might look like. Some things you can observe in others and are obvious but other things are more personal. They don’t come up in normal conversation. I looked it up and, from several different sources, here’s what I found.
Aging is when you stop growing new cells as fast as when you were young, and your current tissue starts to deteriorate. This process usually occurs after sexual maturation and continues up to the time of maximum life span for members of a species. Death is the final event. (Don’t you just love this one?)
The symptoms of aging are obvious (to whom?!): gray and thinning hair, gray and thinning hair, balding, hearing loss, insomnia, difficulty in reading small print, menopause, dryness of skin and vagina, decreased muscles tone, increased body fat, lower capacity to store urine and reduced efficiency of emptying content, teeth and gum recession, joint degenerating, less energy. These can be minimized with diet, exercise and supplements.
Kind of downer, huh? But at least I know I’m normal. Just some thoughts on these symptoms:
Gray and thinning hair: I am noticing lots more gray hair now around my face. They used to only show up when my hair was wet but now they’re showing up all the time. I noticed on the video of my last speaking engagement that the front little flippies of my hair style look totally gray! What’s with that?! And now I have to check the back of my head every morning to make sure my thin spot is covered!
Hearing loss: Yes, I have it. I notice it. Scott notices it. Pretty soon we’ll be like our parents and grandparents. “Hey?! Talk into my good ear!”
Difficulty in reading small print: It started right on time at age 40. Our son was graduating from high school then. I put it off four more years (denial) and by the time our daughter was graduating, I had to get trifocals and wear my glasses all the time.
Dryness of skin and vagina: I use more than one cream. Yes, I do. Some days I think all my skin will just flake off and blow away in the wind. And … yes.
Decreased muscle tone: This one may be true but since I’ve been doing water aerobics for the past three years, my muscle tone is actually better. My muscles actually work now; they never did before.
Increased body fat: This one may also be true but I’ve always been overweight. I truly don’t remember a time when I wasn’t overweight. But me and my doctor are working on that.
Lower capacity to store urine and reduced efficiency of emptying content: Now when I have to go, it is an immediate emergency. There is no “holding it” anymore. If you wait too long and then stand up, you have an emergency on your hands. If you wait too long and have to cough really hard, you have an emergency on your hands. I don’t want to hear about the Kegal muscle and exercise. I am normal. It says so on the Internet.
Teeth and gum recession: I have this!! The dentist confirmed it to me. Now when I eat meat like chicken, beef or chops, I have to toothpick my teeth. Well, in public I use a toothpick. Celery does it, too. And I have to be careful when I chew gum about where in my mouth I am chewing. The gum has a tendency to get stuck now in certain places in my mouth because my teeth are further apart. What?! I have chewed gum since 7th grade; I’m not about to stop now.
Joint degenerating: Arthritis in my hands and neck and knees. Disappearing knee cartilage. It’s getting harder and harder to sleep away from home. These things really put a crimp in my worship, too. I can only clap for the first song and then my carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis kick in. And I can’t stand still very long because of my knees so I don’t stand during the singing anymore. I can’t kneel at the altar so when I go forward to pray I sit on the first row of chairs by the altar instead. I miss being an “active” worshipper …
Less energy: Yep. After a full day’s work there is only enough energy left in me to make dinner. That’s it for the night. Good thing I don’t work a full day every day anymore. When our kids go out, their night is just beginning when our night is ending. LOL!
Wow, if I contemplated getting older too deeply I might go into a tailspin.
These things are all true. I am getting older. But I really don’t think about it very much. It doesn’t make me want to be young again. I much prefer the spiritual confidence, the comfort in my own skin, the desire to ponder the deeper things of life, the enjoyment of life lessons learned, the time to invest in others to being young again.
“I am young in years, and you are old; that is why I was fearful, not daring to tell you what I know. 7 I thought, ‘Age should speak; advanced years should teach wisdom.’ Job 32:7
Yep, one day I woke up and I was advanced in years. So I am speaking and teaching wisdom. Don’t fear aging! Embrace it. Outward beauty fades over time. If you are depending on that for approval and significance, you will suffer deeply when it’s gone. Every season of life should be full and engaging. Make it so.