None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiam.
–Henry David Thoreau
By Patricia Allwood Hindman
What’s it like “going gray?” Aging? Today is a pain day for me. Physical pain. My feet are flaming; my muscles are cramping; and my bones ache. Don’t feel sorry for me. Tomorrow I will be better, and today I have the gift of the present. I still have a purpose in life. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here.
I am a believer in a hereafter. An amazing hereafter. So why do we “gray” people who begin to wither and believe so staunchly in a great hereafter not just chuck it? Why do we sometimes press harder? After all, we are not ever going to get younger here on earth, and pain, both physical and emotional, will most likely increase. So what keeps us going?
When we “going gray” woke this morning, we were breathing. We got out of bed. We were given, perhaps, one more day. So there are things we can do. There are even things we sense that we are supposed to do.
We can love. I have a 13-year-old grandchild. Remember when you were 13? Life was often cruel; love was often conditional. I can love her unconditionally.
We can create. I’m creating right now in writing this. Hopefully, I’m encouraging some of you to rise above the pain and look for the gain. “Going gray” gives us more time for silence and reflection and more time for acting on our intention.
We can do some things we love. I can still take a walk. It might be painful today, but if I put one foot in front of the other, I can do it. I can write. I can read “Llama Llama Mad at Mama” to a four-year-old. I can smile at people. I can feed a puppy and encourage a friend.
Most of all, we “going gray” people go on because we have been given the great gift of life here in this amazing world. Not everyone has been given the gift of days, weeks, months and years. Since we are still breathing, there is a burning desire to make the most of time. It intensifies each day we live.
Life is a gift. Every day we get to unwrap a new beginning. What unfolds each day is breathtaking nature. Together, we are able, despite our adversities, to speak life and warmth and wisdom into this astonishing world. It’s a matter of getting out of bed and putting one foot in front of the other. It’s a matter of walking in gratitude for what we have been given. Today.