I want to grow old gracefully. I want my face to have lines and wrinkles that tell a story of a life well lived. I want my eyes to show that I have asked questions and sought out answers. That I felt joy and pain. That I made mistakes along the way but didn’t let those mistakes keep me from continuing the journey. There will be a sparkle of wisdom that glimmers in my eyes to signal that I have lived life with a curious spirit.
I want to feel comfortable in my wrinkly skin; feeling beautiful because of the stories the lines and wrinkles tell. I will dress in colorful frocks and wear interesting jewelry that I have collected during my travels. I will change my haircut and color depending on my mood. I will have developed a deep sense of my personal style and will not let others dictate what I wear.
I want to have colorful stories to tell of adventures I took and things I experienced. Adventures full of family, friends, lovers, and strangers. I want others to be able to read on my face that I have lived a life that was full of joy and hope, love and loss.
A life well lived.
I want my laugh lines to be deep and to continue to grow deeper because my days are speckled with laughter that leads to tears of pure joy. The best kind of laughter.
I know there will be days of pain, sorrow and loneliness, but I want to be able to gather the wisdom and strength of my years and navigate these days with grace. To come out the other side with the lesson I was meant to learn.
I want my eyes to sparkle with the same curious spirit that was the driving force in my younger days.
My possessions will be few when I am old because I will have learned along the way that too many possessions have possessed me before. I will have sold, donated or discarded many of my possessions, paid off all debt, and spent my money on experiences and travel that fill my heart and life with intangible gifts.
I will have life-long friends whom I speak of with a love as deep as I have for my family; because I will have learned that these people are just as much part of my family as those related to me by blood. I will meet friends and family regularly for long dinners or afternoons chatting over a cup of tea or a glass of wine.
I will have become a great listener. I’ll have learned that being a great listener is much more valuable than being someone who always has something to say. I will have learned to listen with compassion and not always try to fix the problem that might have been shared. I will absorb the stories shared with me and will celebrate the celebrations and be a soft place to land when life seems unfair. I will not preach or try to fix. I will be there to love and comfort and listen.
I will remember stories of days long gone that live fresh in my memory. These memories will live right next to the new ones that I will be creating each day. My age will not mean the end of adventures or make me shy away from learning new things. It will be quite the opposite. I will have realized the true gift of being able to get up for another day on the Earth. I may not be as quick on my feet and I might have more aches and pains, but I will know that I am lucky to be alive and will live with that in mind each and every day.
I will be someone, who regardless of the number of candles on my birthday cake, will approach each day with the curiosity of a child. Allowing the excitement of learning something new or turning a stranger into a friend to pump through my veins and remind me of the gift of another day.
I will continue to be a person who finds solace in being alone sometimes. I will still know that having time alone does not equate to loneliness.
I will be a voracious reader and will write letters to those I love on a regular basis. I will not clutter my mind with things on TV, but will fill my soul with books, music, and the love of family and friends.
I will be old and wrinkled with a head full of stories and experiences, and a heart full of joy.
When I am old and I look back on the life I lived I will not give much time to “what ifs”. I won’t reminisce about things I hoped would happen that didn’t, or spend time on “the hand that I was dealt” during the difficult times in my life. I will just be thankful I was invited to the table to play.
I will know with a full heart that I had a lion’s share of great things happen for me and I will be grateful.
I am a work in progress to become the old woman I wish to be. Here are some things I need to remember now so that my wish for my old future self will happen.
- Faces are meant to move and bodies are meant to age and wrinkle. No matter what the media says otherwise.
- Possessions can posses you. Only have what you truly need, the rest just bogs you down. So does debt. Do what you have to do to get rid of your debt. Sell the things you don’t need and give away the rest. Spend money on things like a good mattress, good food and travel. Get rid of things that don’t serve a true purpose in your life.
- Listen. Don’t always talk. Don’t always try to solve what is shared with you.
- Don’t gossip. It’s not attractive or productive. It’s also a sign of insecurity, so if you catch yourself gossiping stop to see why you feel the need to do so.
- Be a good friend. Be honest, even when it is difficult. Be there for friends when they need you and when they don’t.
- Allow others to be a good friend to you. Reach out when you need to. Real friends will be there for you no matter what.
- Meditate. It’s hard, but it really does change your perspective.
- Don’t stay in a job that makes you miserable. It’s just not worth it.
- Travel. Travel alone sometimes as well as with others. Go off the beaten path. Explore.
- Help other without judgment.
- Be comfortable with silence.
- Make time for the little things, they usually mean the most.
- Love deeply and honestly.
- Be grateful and express your gratitude.
- And most important….don’t wait. start now.
I am looking forward to becoming my old self, wrinkles and all.