The Real Truth About Aging . . .
“Age is not a particularly interesting subject. Anyone can get old. All you have to do is live long enough.” -Groucho Marx
The real truth about aging is wrinkles on the forehead where once the terrain was smooth; unsightly age spots on a hitherto unblemished complexion; a spidery web of veins on formerly flawless skin.
The real truth about aging is that if one is so inclined, it is important, nay, mandatory, to have your dermatologist on speed dial. Next to the handy dandy number that indicates your plastic surgeon's twenty-four-hour phone line.
The real truth about aging is the self-knowledge that you can get married; get divorced; have kids; survive their terrible two's and their terrible teens; watch a parent die, and still find yourself perched on the edge of a whole new and different adventure.
The real truth about aging is that it’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live the life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the strength to reinvent it, to go after your dreams, to launch your second act,
The real truth about aging is the confidence that no matter what curve ball life throws you, you can smash it out of the park. Because you've looked at death in the face; you've teetered on the brink and, yet you've lived to tell the story. And nothing but the whole story.
The real truth about aging is that you still don't know what lurks behind the closed door. It's a roulette game you have no control over. The one that spins the ball wildly, unsteadily, uncontrollably. When it's heedless dancing comes to a rest, the black dice has rolled under what charming label? Hard to decipher; impossible to comprehend. Arthritis; cancer; decay; disease; or, death.
The real truth about aging is that my knees are older than I am, and I hate it. I look in the mirror, and I want the outside to reflect the inside. The real truth about aging is that there is no real truth. Time is closing in on me, forever chipping away the ground beneath my feet.
The real truth about aging is being part of a sandwich generation, of parenting your parents, of role reversal, of learning about retirement homes, assisted living and nursing homes, of living hundreds of miles away from them and learning to let go.
The real truth about aging is that with 78 million baby boomers, the ones who coined the mantra, “you can’t trust anyone over thirty” aging is so darn un-American,
The real truth about aging is that in Korean, Chinese and Indian cultures, the elders are the head of the family. “Respect for elders,” they say over and over again in the scriptures, Vedas and in ancient folklore. Yet, already there are signs. The old and lonely in New India, 100 million seniors, where will they go?*
The real truth is that before I go, I need to torch the naked photos taken on a wild summer night in a quaint hill town called Simla. The real truth is it was the first time I kissed a boy, the first time I drank so much I threw up all over him, the only time I've been twenty-one.
The real truth about aging is that I don’t want to die without any scars. It matters not how a man or woman dies, but how he or she lives. Was it Hunter Thompson who said, “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, “Wow! What a ride!”