The privilege of growing old

This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)

In these days of Instagram and other social media, ageing seems to be something, that is subject to a set of ‘rules’. We have to grow old beautifully, mature or even fierce. I see men and women dressed as eightheen year olds, trying to uphold the image of being ‘#foreveryoung’. Grandmas in miniskirts and sexy underwear, proving they can keep up with the youngsters. People with motionless pillow faces, because we want to grow old, but we do not want to look old. For some reason, our society is very obsessed with pointing out negative aspects of aging.

In times like these, you truly realize what growing older means. Still time to enjoy life, time to learn, time to love and time to grow. A privilege, that is not related to looks or social media. And unfortunately, not for all of us.

I have been very close to dying several times, because of disease and accidents. I am incredibly grateful that I am still here. I also realize, that my time will come one day. We cannot control life, we cannot control death. We can only make the best of the time that is left for us. There’s nothing you can do; the clock is going to tick away. But I also think that thinking about getting older is not that important. I am not mulling about time running out.

To me, that is what ageing gracefully is about: the acceptance of what is happening, about enjoying daily life as much as you can, on the road or in your own backyard. We have to embrace age, not battle against it.

I think of the many people dying now during this pandemic. I am grateful for my good health now, and that I am living in a country where there is medical help for everyone. Be safe, all of you.

This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)

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