Today my second oldest granddaughter turns 18. I love hanging out with her (and with each of my grandchildren). Several of them are teens already. And I'm so aware that each stage of their lives has been precious and such a joy. I loved when they were small, and I could snuggle them and read to them. Then when they were toddlers, it was fun to see how their personalities developed. Soon they were old enough to go with me, one-on-one, for day-long "grandma days" and overnight visits. What fun we have had with those times. Now that several are teens, we can discuss all manner of topics and talk adult-to-adult. I treasure each stage.
It isn't only children who go through life stages. We do, too. At my age now, I think about all the stages of my life thus far—and I reflect on what's ahead. I want to stay alive and vibrant, savoring my days and not focusing on the negative parts of aging. I have heard people say they wish they could go back to their 20s or 30s before body limitations and some forgetfulness set in. But we'd give up other things at the same time—all the wisdom we've gained through life experiences, both good and bad, for example.
One of my favorite books these days is The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully by Joan Chittister. With chapter titles that represent qualities such as agelessness, loneliness, forgiveness, limitations, success and wisdom, Chittister calls us to see the blessings of aging even while being honest and real about its burdens. This book is such a positive one; and when I need inspiration about the aging process, it's one to which I turn regularly.
How do you feel about your aging process?