BFOR Blog Blitz – Day #29
Several days ago my 16-year-old grand niece posted this meme on Facebook, and I responded with the obligatory laughing emoticon. I remember when I was her age, and our generational slogan was “Don’t trust anyone over thirty.” I never really felt that distrust, but I did feel like anyone who was thirty was pretty much past their prime. Now that I’m well over twice that age, my perspective has changed. I no longer feel like there’s nothing good about getting older. In fact, I have found it to be quite enjoyable, and here are some reasons why.
I’ve never been what you’d call a fashionista, but there was a time when I tried to keep up with current trends in clothes, make-up, hairstyles, and especially shoes. I loved shoes and would have had a pair to go with every outfit if I had the budget for it. After my brother told me I walked like an elephant when I strode past him in my first pair of three-inch heels, I practiced long and hard until I could glide in a pair of stilettos with nary a turned ankle. I did manage to turn a few heads, though.
After several decades, back surgery, and months of physical therapy, I had to modify my heel height. I mourned the loss until I stumbled into a conversation with some of the younger women in my office. They were all sporting fashionable boots with four-inch spikes and were comparing blisters and foot pain. I mumbled words of sympathy as I stood, comfortably smug in my sensible mid-heel pumps, and thought, “I’m so glad I’ve reached the age where I don’t have to do that anymore.”
If you enjoy spending money, one of the really fun parts of becoming a senior citizen is the discounts. My first encounter with this truth was shortly after my fiftieth birthday. The rolling over of another decade had been hard on me. I had just moved to a new town for a new job, so I was feeling old and alone. Then, I went to the bank to open a new account and discovered that, because of my advanced age, I qualified for free checking. That was when I decided that getting older wasn’t so bad after all. Since then, I’ve discovered that many businesses offer senior discounts including restaurants, movies, hotels, hair stylists, and even grocery stores. If all I have to do to get lower prices is live long enough to have gray hair and wrinkles, I’m all for that.
I probably should have put this one first, but I wrote this in no particular order. Proverbs
17:6 says “Grandchildren are the crown of the aged,” and that was before Facebook gave us a worldwide place to brag about them. It is the privilege – and duty – of grandparents to love, dote on, indulge, and totally spoil the youngest generation without the burden of day-to-day reality. There is no way to describe the feeling when your son hands you his firstborn and says, “Meet your grandson.”
One of my favorite aspects of being older is the slower pace. I’ve always been more of a tortoise than a hare, and after many years of running to keep up, it feels as if life is finally slowing down to match my pace. Much of that is by choice as my husband and I have left city life in favor of a small town in East Texas where the two most exciting events of the year are Founder’s Day and the County Fair. I worked part-time at my church until the first of this year, but even then my hours were flexible enough that I gave up setting an alarm clock. Now that I’m retired, I rarely schedule anything before 9:00 or 10:00 am, and slow and easy is the order of the day at the Brendle household.
The absolutely best part about this slower pace is that there is plenty of time for reading. I’ve always been a reader, slipping off into the living room with a book while the rest of the family was gathered around the TV or getting lost in a library book instead of cramming for a test during study hall. Now no one questions the time I spend reading or writing. In fact, the mental exercise is encouraged as a way of keeping the older brain active and healthy.
One thing I’ve realized as I’ve gotten older is that there are more books than I’ll be able to read in my lifetime, so I have to choose wisely. I was thrilled when I came across BFOR on Facebook. Books for Older Readers (BFOR) is a group that was established in October 2017 to promote books with older protagonists and/or themes such as ‘second chances’ which tend to appeal to readers in mid-life or beyond.
BFOR has a website where you can find lists of books and authors that will appeal to all ages but have a special attraction to those of us in middle age and beyond because of the age of the characters and/or the subject matter. The book lists feature short descriptions, book covers, and buy links. BFOR also has a Facebook Group where you can interact with other authors and readers who share your interests and concerns.
So, this is my answer to my grand niece’s question. What would your answer be? What do you think is the best part of growing older?