Growing Old

I slept in very late today….past 9:30 a.m!!!!  Normally I am up at least 2 hours earlier, but I was up VERY late last night and I beginning to think I have more in common with our resident Owl, (who was named Kevin by our granddaughters) than I do with most people in my age bracket.  I love reading and puttering on the computer in the late night hours and my Mother was the same way.  She was the human night owl of all night owls.  Even when she was in her 80’s, her grandchildren knew they could easily call her as late as 11 p.m. with full confidence that she would answer the phone with a perky “Hello??” because she was probably up reading.  They knew to not call her in the early morning hours, though, for all night owls need their sleep!   Now, this is not my regular habit because my husband was a farm boy and still abides by the farm hours, “early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”!  Two out of three isn’t bad because he surely is healthy and actually quite wise.  His wife is also healthy and wise because she has chosen to stick to his routine more than her own since it makes for a much happier marriage in the long run.

When I got up, Al was gone, so I brewed a cup of coffee.  By the time I had sipped a couple of sips, he was back with a bag of freshly made breakfast tacos. Yum!  We love Texas for many reasons, and the Breakfast Tacos are right up there in our favorites column.

He told me he had purchased tickets to see “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”. I was happy to hear this because we saw the first movie, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and we both loved it.  It is about older people from England who were seeking an affordable place to live in their retirement years on a limited income and the place ends up being in India.  The cast is blockbuster with the likes of Maggie Smith, Judy Dench, and a whole host of other famous and very recognizable faces.

What I loved about both of these movies is how the cast honors the aging process by not being afraid to look old.  Not one of the actors has had any visible signs of plastic surgery. Wrinkles and sagging faces abound, but there is a unique beauty in the way our skin tells our life story.  These days, so many women and men look like over inflated balloons.  No wrinkles, that is for sure, but the result is a face that looks like something off of a mannequin.

These women and men were not less attractive with age written on their faces.  In fact, I would say they were even more attractive than ever.  God  never intended for us to become static in our appearance.  We were designed to be living, breathing maps of  our life’s journey.

Because of these actors  decisions to stay authentic, I found myself taking in their well worn appearance and in the process, enjoyed seeing their eyes crinkle when they smiled and seeing the worry lines above their brows when they were feeling pensive or concerned about something.

It is my opinion that it takes a lot of courage to give proof of how many years you have lived in the lines formed on your face in a youth driven society.  Authenticity should be worn with pride and could be a message to our offspring and the youth in our society that it is “O.K.” to be exactly who you are in the moment…even up to the last few moments of your life.  Can you imagine a sculptor trying to create an interesting sculpture in clay from looking at a perfectly smooth face?  How much more interesting are the lines and drooping skin to carve and mold into a plaster model of a human head.  Without intending to be a message about the aging physical form, the movie was still a testimony to the idea that old age isn’t necessarily a winding down, or a giving up of those things that have defined us.  It gave a message that every chapter of our life is an opportunity to reinvent ourselves.

I was happy to watch this movie with my husband, Al.  He and I are in this journey together after 42 years of marriage and I truly hope we get many more years.  At dinner, we discussed the comfort of sharing the aging process as we both watch our youth exchanging places with middle age, and middle age exchanging places with old age.  Every new change is something to rejoice in because while some haven’t been blessed to make it this far in life, we are still here!

If you feel a little out of sorts with your advancing age, then go see both movies about the first and second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and take in the beauty of advanced age.  It is a lovely site to see!


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