Growing old is a luxury denied many. I think of that often. And as that thought sort of festers, it enlightens an awareness in me. I see silver streaks making their presence known in my hair, lines marching and etching their way across my face. And I see a different light in my reflection. I see a different me. Maybe even a better me.
And as I let the thought of learning to accept aging gracefully settle in my head, a crooked, half smile sort of creeps across my face…
Why fight what is a beautiful thing denied many? Because if the good Lord sees fit to keep me around for a while, I plan on doing this life right. Right by Him, right by others and right by me.
I will take time for long walks with loved ones, play fetch with the dogs, and take in every last sunset. I will sit next to the love of my life and sip wine and hold hands and smile. I will love.
I will make mistakes. And learn and grow and try again. And I will say I’m sorry. I will change. I will make new friends, and I will say goodbye to others. I will let go.
I will listen to music; loud rock, classic country, and soft blues. And I will sing every word in my truck with the window rolled down while the wind tousles my hair.
I will wear wide-brimmed hats, turquoise and silver and old boots. Everywhere. And when people look at me funny, I will just smile without a care knowing they’ve yet to find their own peace. I won’t change who I am or what I’ve become for anyone.
I will work hard with my hands, ‘til they’re old and wrinkled and veiny reflecting a lifetime of stories. I will sweat and break my back and be grateful that my bones hurt at the end of a long day’s work. I will know that I’m still alive.
I will love my family fiercely. I will love my neighbor and lend a helping hand to strangers. I will pray for a better day and a better way.
And I will ride horses for as long as this body will allow. I will wander aimlessly through a pasture full of grazing horses on a starry, summer evening touching soft noses and calling their names.
And at the end, when time draws to a close, I hope that I’ve made a difference somewhere; that maybe by living fully, someone drew an ounce of inspiration and strength to try again.
I will be proud of the woman I am when I am old.