As you know, I turned eighty a couple months ago. I really feel this is a great accomplishment for me, but my genetic background shows that my DNA contains genes which qualify me to be a long liver. I’m not talking about the organ here, but most of the women in my history lived well into their 80s. I’ve even outlived a few of them, even though most of those early family members were pioneers who had to make fires out of animal dung. That alone would’ve \put me away a long time ago. We women of the 21st century have so many advantages compared to our ancestors. We live in a world that requires little physical labor – we’re pampered in many ways – our homes are often self-maintainable -we have jobs that bring in mucho bucks – we can go into politics – we can do just about anything a man can do, but I personally don’t care about that. The problems arise when we retire.
The world tells us these will be the best years of our lives. They fail to mention that you’ll be spending many hours at the doctor’s office or trying to move from place to place without the help of a cane or walker. By the time we retire, we are so tired, we’ve kind of lost our way. Aging is a state of mind. I believe that there is a reason for those of us who live as long as we do. Maybe it’s so we can be there for our spouse. It might be so that our children can see what they have to look forward to. The primary reason, I think, is so that we can grow in wisdom and share that with someone else before the mess things up by themselves.
I have chosen to live the rest of my days, doing something I love. I don’t want to get too attached, however, because it might just end in a flash. I’m sure many folks wonder why an old woman like me is still acting on stage. They might think it’s an ego trip for me. Maybe it is, but my philosophy is this – God gave me this life for a reason. If I can make someone happy through what I do, maybe that’s what I should do. In the process, I am making my own life a lot more enjoyable. Aging requires a great sense of humor. If you don’t continue to laugh at your failings or give in to feeling useless, you will never experience the joy of old age. Yes, there is joy in getting older. We have so much to share with the rest of the world. If only they would listen to us.