Thursday, August 9, 2012

GROWING OLDER

"Old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read." ~Francis Bacon

I have always been drawn to old houses and antiques. Even when I was a child living in a contemporary sixties home, my heart would wander to the stately old estates that graced the streets of our quaint little town. Though I'd never lived in one, those homes from the past spoke to me. I tried to picture them back in the era when they were built, surrounded by orange groves and indigenous terrain. I'd imagine their inhabitants, dressed so differently than me, and wondered what their lives were like in comparison to mine. How I wished I could turn back the clock to revisit the years I was sure I was meant to live in.

When I became an adult, I dreamed about creating a life that resembled a simpler time in history. I even embraced the notion of living without the appliances I rely on today. But life often takes us down different roads than where our dreams venture to go. I don't have the lifestyle of a woman living one hundred years ago. That's okay. Our home is from that era, and for me, that is enough. And I am surrounded by houses that were built around the turn of the century, even earlier. My daily walks through our neighborhood are like a stroll into the past. I have my favorites, and I often visualize them when they were first built. One house in particular has tugged on my heartstrings for years. To my delight, an estate sale this past weekend allowed me to tour each room, still in its original condition, and for the most part, beautifully maintained. For those few minutes, I got to go back to the 1880s and experience a taste of history.

Today I found myself forming critical thoughts about my aging body. I chided myself for not looking the way I did ten years ago. Why wasn't I being more conscientious about my skin...my muscle tone...my weight? Then it hit me. I love old things! Why am I trying to hold onto my youth? The "old" holds so much intrigue, wisdom, depth, and beauty. It's time to start celebrating the gift of growing older, and embrace the treasures that come only with age.

"When grace is joined with wrinkles, it is adorable. There is an unspeakable dawn in a happy old age."
~Victor Hugo

"There is always a lot to be thankful for, if you take the time to look. For example, I'm sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don't hurt." 
~Author Unknown

"Like a lot of fellows around here, I have a furniture problem. My chest has fallen into my drawers."
~Billy Casper

"Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been."
~Mark Twain

"Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many."
~Author Unknown          

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