I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog: Make aging a blessing with attitude of gratitude

I am 68, and, yes, I have had my birthday already this year. In fact, my birthday is in January so I pretty much bring in the new year with a new age. A couple of years ago, I fell. The medic in the ambulance taking me to the hospital asked me questions about name, address, etc. He asked my age. When I rattled off my age, he hesitated. “Umm. You are actually…” He shrugged, guessing I got my age wrong because of the stress of my fall. He was wrong. At that moment, I realized that though I’d had my birthday three months earlier, the different age hadn’t yet registered. I was a year older than I told the medic.

I don’t pay much attention to my age usually and even filling in endless forms only brings the fact to my conscious mind momentarily like remembering my name, telephone number and address. It is stored in my mind, but filling out forms of any kind spits out information without dwelling on what the information means.

I know I am not a spring chicken and that’s all right. I am more fragile now, so when I do fall, consequences can be a bigger disaster than when I was younger. But since I have been dealing with physical health and limitations most of my life, I view my health now as a blessing. I am doing well.

I see my grandchildren and realize the passing of time. It especially hits home with my oldest grandson. Not because of his age, though he did graduate from high school, this year, but because he looks a lot like our son did at that age. It is then I have to wonder, “Where did the time go?”

As a child the adult world called. Adults didn’t have to be told to go to bed. They could go and do what they wanted to do. Growing up seemed a dream come true. Yet adulthood seemed so far away. My teen years were not filled with babysitting and sports. I battled for my life and health.

As adulthood approached, I concentrated on education and then massive surgery to get me walking again. That led to the next step, romance, marriage, career, kids…. Kids more than anything else reveal the passage of time. Everyday you become more aware how fast they are growing up and away from you.

Age is one of those realizations as well, We blink and our kids are grown. Another blink and we’re cuddling and spoiling grandkids. Another blink and while our mind still has us in our 30s, we find ourselves in our 60s and beyond. I used to look at those my age and think “old.” I don’t anymore. Teens seem like mere babies now and young adults as very young. As for me, how did I get here so quickly?

When I stop and think about it all, I know my age, know there is a finite cycle to my life. Yet, I look back and am thankful for so much. I want to age gracefully, looking and lifting up rather than complaining and making everyone around me miserable. Aches, pain, frustrations aside, I choose each day to see the sun rather than the clouds and choose to start my day with an attitude of hope and gratitude.

I personalize this verse from Psalm 118:24 (NKJV),, “This is the day the Lord has made; We (I) will rejoice and be glad in it.”

After all, I am still here and get to enjoy life, kids, grandkids and so much more. An attitude of gratitude can make even aging a blessing.

By Carolyn R Scheidies

Published in Kearney Hub 6/4/2018



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