[This is an article I wrote published in Boom Magazine this month. See more about this publication at www.primetimeliving.org]
This morning I put my little dog, Charlie, down so he could go outside and water the bushes. Before he moved, he stretched, and then sneezed loudly. When he sneezed, his body jumped up and moved left about four inches. I started laughing, saying, “Wow! A big one!” This reminded me of my own sneezing that seems to get bolder and more powerful as I age. What’s up with that? It makes me laugh more. If someone were watching me write, laughing periodically, with a huge smile, they might be curious what I was writing, but, alas, I find myself laughing more as I get older.
But, is it age? Or is it something else? I think it’s something else.
My father would have recently turned 86 years of age if he were alive. Instead, he passed at age 34, and I was just 13. My younger sister would be 64, but she left at 21. I never thought I would live past 30, but here I am at 66. Age isn’t a given, but in my opinion, a grand opportunity. Each day is precious when we decide it is, as each day is another day closer to the end as we decide that instead.
Some people think I’m old. But I don’t. I think 80 is old. It’s always out there way ahead of me. I guess when I’m 75, I’ll think 90 is old. They say that men grow old gracefully, so I guess I have something to look forward to.
Mark Twain said, “When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying now and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the thing that never happened. It is sad to go to pieces like this but we all have to do it.” I can relate that memory is a relative thing, and certainly subjective, even periodically unpredictable.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez looked on age in this way: “Age has no reality except in the physical world. The essence of a human being is resistant to the passage of time. Our inner lives are eternal, which is to say that our spirits remain as youthful and vigorous as when we were in full bloom.” I can so relate to this as inside, in my heart, in my mind, I feel young. If I feel any age at all it is paying attention to my physicality.
But here is my favorite age quote to bring this rambling all together from George Bernard Shaw: “You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.” It is so interesting to me how much more I laugh now than in my past life. I find so many things lighthearted, funny, and probably the average person (who is that anyway?) doesn’t find these things funny, but I no longer care what they think. I find them funny, and I love to laugh. I love to smile. I love my life.
Is it age, or is it something else? It is something else. It is enjoying our life at whatever age we find ourselves. It is not taking everything so dang seriously. It is allowing others to do as they wish without us insisting they satisfy our whims and thoughts. It is allowing. It is living in this moment with the heart of a child in whatever body we find ourselves in today.
Enjoy! Or Rather, Injoy!
Spread Some Joy Today–by being easier, and especially on yourself.