While transporting Mario to his first day of high school at Shawnee Senior High School, I glanced across the seat. Instead of the small boy copying every turn of the steering wheeling in his car seat wanting to be like daddy sat my alter ego only younger and a great deal more handsome. “Gosh, I never thought I would have a son in high school so soon!” I said. “I didn’t plan on getting this old so soon!”
Mario turned and grinned at me with a face remarkably like mine, “Well, pop,” he laughed, “you best plan on getting much older! Okay!” as he got out of the car to meet classmates he had known since first grade and in some instances all of his life.
As I drove on to work, I began thinking about what he had said: “You best plan on getting much older…” At the time, I had never given any thought getting older. I had been too involved with the job, trying to stay out of debt, pay taxes, raise a family, maintain a marriage and stay mentally and physical fit. There didn’t seem to be enough time in the day to think about aging and getting older.
Now that I am older (middle aged) the sore feet, sore muscles, stiffness and graying hair have let me know that I’m on the threshold of getting old. I can’t deny it. I can’t stop it. I can’t whine about it. Once a person arrives at or nears old age, the ultimate question will inevitably be, “what can I do now that will make my older years better for me and others around me?”
So I thought about it then concluded:
1. Don’t worry! Be happy!—No one but no one like to be around a sourpuss. Besides everything we know about life suggests that a happy person lives better and lives longer.
2. Be open to new things—An involved mind is life sustaining. Have you ever noticed that older people who live long are involved in activities that encourage movement and socialization? Be open to learning more Make learning a way of life. Take up new activities if you are able.
3. Invest in people, not your things—As time goes on, family and friends will die. Knowing this fact and preparing yourself for these life changing events help deal with the grieving process. Therefore, be friendly, keep in touch with family and friends, make new friends and be a friend.
4. Be a sponge—Sponges take in liquid. In so doing, it becomes larger. Taking the information your five senses avails you to enlivens the heart, spirit, life. Listen to the dreams of children and the memories of the older person then contemplate on the two.
The aging process for all of us begins at birth and will conclude at our
death—like it or not. Those of us purchased through the work of Jesus Christ have nothing to worry about. There is a place for us far better where there are no tears, pain or suffering. I am planning not only to live but to live long and well however long God will grant me to the fullest extent joyfully in His peace.