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The Joy of Aging
Photo: Studiomill
“In our youth-obsessed society, looking young is more important than ever,” states Ina Palva Cordle in a recent article for The Miami Herald. The piece was accompanied by statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery revealing that “in 2012, Americans spent $2 billion on injectable procedures and $1.8 billion on skin rejuvenation procedures.”

I don’t have those spare billions to spend on trying to look younger. You likely don’t have them either. But there is something that’s free that makes even wrinkles look beautiful to an observer. It’s a happy heart that feels secure in God’s love.

I tell those who moan and groan about turning age 30, 40, or 50 that they have nothing to fear—they are coming to their best years yet. I don’t ever want to go back to the stresses of my earlier years. So many fears and expectations for oneself and others. So many disappointments and failures to measure up to how we wanted others to see us. So many responsibilities! So many hormones!

Not that there haven’t been many joys in my life. I cherish them all. But I am glad not to be on the treadmill of “the daily grind”, trying to excel at work and home and in the supermarket. I’ve hit the “Golden Years”—not of financial riches or living in luxury, but of having some time to do with as I choose: time to read, to learn, to talk with friends, to grow in Christ—and yes, time to work a part-time job.

More Time

Our children are grown and on their own. We stay close but only in an advisory and helping role, knowing that they are always willing to fill that role for us. Our beloved grandbaby has become a beloved teen. We’re still very involved in her life but she doesn’t need us as she once did. I now have more time to focus on my spouse and others…and even on myself.

I’ve become active in a community arts program and made new friends in the arena outside my church and family group. I’m learning; growing my mind in the skills I enjoy. I’m grateful for the steady jobs over the years which helped to educate our children and pay the mortgage. But as the saying goes, “No one on their deathbed ever said: ‘I wish I had spent more time at the office’.”

When I was 20, the average life expectancy was about 65-70. (That’s why they set the retirement age at 65.) The thought of having to work until my time to die depressed me. Not that I didn’t love my family or was unwilling to work for them, but I wanted more out of life. I retired early to care for a grandchild. Less money, but infinitely more pleasure! 

What amazes me is realizing that God is still growing me and using me in his service. That’s a joy that grows deeper every day.

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By Lois Pecce. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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