Aging Gracefully

Monday through Friday I work at a place with a lot of senior citizens. Spending my time with them day after day, well, it makes me think about life. About the end of it. And the in-between of it.

When I was approaching my fortieth birthday, I wrestled a little with that particular milestone. I have never really struggled with other ages and other milestones. And I know that forty is not old. It's not, really. But I think I thought I should have things a little bit more together by age forty. Other people in their forties have it all together, or so it seems. The old people, they were amused by my struggle. They reminded me that they'd already lived two forties, many of them. They'd had it together and lost it. They'd lost it and then gotten it back together. Turning older when I am surrounded by old people helps me keep perspective and feel younger.

After spending my days with them for a while, I've decided that aging gracefully has less to do with skin creams and more to do with smiling. It's not about staying in fashion, but staying grounded. It's about holding things loosely and understanding that this life, however many years it holds for us, is only fleeting.

Aging gracefully is growing in grace. Growing in our understanding of God's grace to us. And growing in our extension of grace to others. And to ourselves.

This picture was taken on her 100th birthday. 

This sweet lady has moved on to the nursing home.

It's fun to sit in my office and hear them laughing and playing cards in the other room.

I surprised her by asking my facebook friends to send her valentines. She was so grateful.


Unknown said...

Great pics. Great words.
-Kari Copp....

Jan Winnes said...

Wise words for someone who is only 40!


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