65 Summers, thoughts on aging

I just turned 65. It’s a milestone for sure. I’m not even sure how to feel about it. Kind of like turning 50. Or 30. A new stage of life. Hubby beat me to it, so nothing really surprised me. Here in the US it means Medicare. Lot’s of paperwork and everything is “urgent”. And, that’s all done. So, now, what?

I walk my dog outside in the same place several times a day. I know this walk. I know all the plants, trees. I know how it has a steeper incline than it looks. I always thought it was flat. Now, I know it goes up and I might loose my breath if I walk fast. When I was younger, that wouldn’t have happened. I know all the seasons. I’ve walked it in the rain, snow and extreme heat. Each time a new season arrives, I truly enjoy all the changes. Each spring is not the same. Each winter is different. When did I start to notice that? One day on my walk, I wondered, how many more springs do I have? I just looked up the average life expectancy…79. Wow. That would leave me with only 14 more years. Or 14 more summers. 14 more springs. It doesn’t sound like a lot. I’m convinced that I have my Grandmother’s genes, she lived to 98. So, that would leave me with 33 more summers. Sigh. Yes. That sounds better.

Of course, nobody knows when they will die. And, nobody is getting out of here alive…lol. We are headed for death the moment we are born. It’s just that I didn’t think about it that much, until now. I still have things I want to do. It’s not the feeling of having a lifetime ahead of me, I don’t feel that way at all. I just have things I still want to do. I want to watch my grandkids grow up. And get married. And, have kids. I want to continue creating my garden, following my hobbies, having fun with hubby.

And, yes, I do feel the clock ticking. Tick Tock. And, what I take from that is the sense that I don’t want to waste any time. It’s a hot comodity, time. I want to stop and smell the roses. You know, take the time to savor the beauty around me and enjoy my family.

Family. As I look back, it’s the most important thing in my life. My husband. Our kids. Their kids. I always wanted to be a mom, and I started early. No regrets on that. Because, being a mom is the best role I have ever had. Although…being a grandma is pretty fabulous. Knowing that, I wish I could tell young people this: why would you put off the absolute best thing in your life? For what? Making money? Growing a career? Traveling? Partying? None of those things would ever come close to those fun moments of raising kids and loving my family. So. Don’t wait. Find your person and start the adventure of your life.

As for the dying part. Who wants to think about that? I have a plan….I asked all my kids to be the “one” to take care of me in my old age. Lol. Even though I want it to be my daughter. <grins> I can’t imagine not having my family around when I need help. I know first hand how tough it can be in those last few years. My mother in law lived next door to me for over 30 years. And, I watched her change so much those last few years. It was such a blessing for her to have us and it was a blessing for us to be able to take care of her. She was always there for us, and we wanted to be there for her.

I’m lucky in so many ways. I love where I live. Hubby and I are healthy. We live close to 2 of our 3 kids. And, we get to spend time with our grandkids regularly. Those are the BEST times for us. Here’s a quote I saw recently, “We are just here to be memories for our kids. Once you’re a parent, you’re the ghost of your children’s future”. I love the idea that my kids and grandkids will have happy memories of us. That is what it’s all about.

I don’t know what the future holds for us. Nobody does. Today is the gift. And, I want to remind myself each day to live in the moment. To be grateful. To thank God for all the blessings that we have.

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