Grandchildren at times can be both joy and the backside of heaven!
I hate to admit it, but I have finally reached middle age, or to be more honest, I am just on the edge of the cliff from being ‘old’ at least in my grandchildren’s eyes. And who sees clearer than a bunch of pre-schoolers with virgin honesty that has not yet been corrupted by watching us adults? No one I have yet to meet in my travels, anyway.
For most of my adult life I have been writing about life around me as I see it. First as a CBS affiliate anchorperson and then as an author. And for several years now I have been writing about everyday living and how to make the most of it.
I am at my happiest when I am with my family or when I am creating. As much as I enjoy being in the public arena, entertaining, lecturing and helping other people, I was born a very introspective person. For some reason I have not always been able to comfortably share my own deepest thoughts and feelings, even with my closest friends and family.
Perhaps that is why writing so comfortable for me. What I feel, what I think becomes a fountain when put on paper. As a young girl with an older brother who was always off on his own with his friends, I learned to use my creativity to entertain myself. Being able to put my thoughts and feelings down has always been joyful to me.
During the 12 hour ride from New Jersey to Lexington, Kentucky this weekend I learned a new meaning for ‘sweet’ from my 18 year-old grandson. To me “sweet’ has always meant the stuff that packed the pounds onto my hips, the taste of root beer or the look on my little girls’ faces when they wanted something from me. But today it seems that ‘sweet’ has replaced ‘cool’ in hip teenage vernacular.
So when I think of aging gracefully, if there is such a thing, I say ‘sweet’. I told him about the comedian Jackie Gleason’s famous line as his character Ralph in The Honeymooners, “How sweet it is!” To me that always meant things were darn good. So maybe this current tweaking of the meaning of ‘sweet’ is not too far from Ralph’s gleeful proclamations years ago when life was rockin’ with Alice.
All of this thought pattern continued when in Lexington I picked up at the local Barnes & Noble a copy of Dr. Andrew Weil’s book, “Healthy Aging.” According to Dr. Weil we all begin aging from the time of birth. (Whoa! Isn’t that a depressing thought!)
He quotes the words of an Eastern philosopher, “The sun at noon is the sun declining; the person born is the person dying.”
Aging is really not reversible. But on the positive side, his message is clear. At any age it is important to learn how to live in appropriate ways in order to maximize health and happiness. That really should be an essential goal for all of us.