The little boy greeted me as I waited for him outside the school door on a sunny afternoon last week.
“You’re old!” he said and skipped off through the crowded playground.
It wasn’t the response I had been expecting to my chirpy, “Hey! How was your day?” and I initially took offense.
Then I looked around the playground and realized I probably was the oldest person on it.
“I guess I’m just curious why you greeted me like that today,” I said far more pleasantly than I felt.
“Because you are old. You’re 59. That’s old,” he said.
“Well, I’m not 59 yet,” I muttered in a surly tone.
Then I got to thinking. Why should I think it’s offensive to be old? Why should anyone think that?
Given the absolute finiteness of life, shouldn’t we consider old age a privilege?
So, I gave myself a little pep talk and it went something like this:
The only thing you should regret in your very long life is the fact that you ever had any regrets at all. They’re a waste of time and, the less time you have in front of you, the more passionate you should be about making the most of what’s left. Carpe all your diems, I say.
How lucky you are to have lines on your face – they trace laughter and sunshine.
And those creaky knees tell the story of the glorious miles they’ve carried you to so many interesting places!
Age is a gift. You just have to appreciate it.
My friend Marge celebrated her birthday this week. At 96-years old she continues to inspire us all with her cheerful exuberance. She hopped on the zipline at Jones Park, for Pete’s sake.
Now, that’s joie de vivre!
That’s the kind of old we should all be.
Yesterday, that same little boy, frustrated with a slow home internet connection, said, “Why is this house so old?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “But I think old is pretty cool.”
He looked at me and smiled.
“I do too,” he said.
See there? The rebrand is working.