Sunday, February 28, 2010

Older & Grateful

A lot of people crib about getting older. Many women especially, are very touchy on the subject and will either give you the "its rude to ask a woman her age" line, or else, outright lie about how old they are.

I don't understand why.

Too many people are snatched way before their time. Too many don't make it into their 50s, 40s or even lesser. Too many don't even make it past childhood.

Thinking of all those millions of unknowns who die young, I promised myself some years ago, that I'd never, ever lie about my age, never moan about getting older; instead each birthday, I would just truly thank the Lord that I had made it through one more year.

The thought for this post came to me yesterday, on the eve of my birthday, and I felt that I must take the time to put this up, despite the numerous distractions that have kept me from this blog for so long.

I woke this morning, not with the euphoric thrill of childhood birthdays, but with a more mellowed contentment that I had arrived at another birthday with so much to be thankful for. I began my daily routine, interspersed with calls from family members, wishes also pouring in online, and that sense of contentment grew.

Then we got the news that a neighbour at home in Bombay, my sister's best friend's brother, had died in an accident yesterday. A young man, barely in his 30s. Completely unexpected, and even more tragic because that family lost their mother just last month. That dear lady's death too was just as out-of-the-blue, a sudden heart attack.

I actually staggered when my mother informed me. I can't begin to imagine what that family must be going through: two deaths in two months, both before their time. And I came back to the thought that propelled this post: why many people hate the fact that they are ageing.

Growing old is such a blessing! Its nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to hide and you realise that all the more in the wake of tragedy. Each day, each year you live is a privilege, a miracle, that so many, too many, don't get.

I don't know who said this originally: "I'm not getting older, I'm getting better!"

"Better" or not is debatable; "older" is indisputable. Why even bother denying that???

Today, I turn 26. Some might scoff that its easy to be frank when the number's small, but no matter how high that rises - 36, 56 or Inshallah 96 - I will always gladly & gratefully celebrate growing old :)


  1. Happy Birthday Shalom.
    I love your viewpoint on aging. You're still young -- enjoy your twenties Girl :-)

  2. Oh Shalom.. such a wonderful post.. and i could not just agree more with you. Even I never shy away from how old I am, in fact I was reading this book Tuesdays with Morrie and there is a piece about accepting aging. I am anyday more intelligent than what I was a year back, so why not wear that on my sleeve. Today I more poignantly realise, because somehow life has brought me on the same crossroads I was 3 years back, its uncanny but its true, and today I am so much more mature and less impulsive than I was.
    For that matter when Renu and one other blogger have 53 years and 65 years put on their blog, I instinctively am drawn to the fountain of knowledge which stems just from experience in their posts. There is nothing "bad" about getting older, not even the wrinkles.

    Was very pleased to see your acceptance dear. And may you have many many many more years of blessed joy. My sympathies with the acquaintance of yours. I hope God gives them courage to pass through trying times.

  3. Happy Birthday! Hope you had a wonderful day and here's to a great year ahead :)

    As for older and grateful - I could not agree more! There is so much to be grateful for. Loved this post!

  4. Hey! Happy Birthday. Hope you have a great great year ahead. And people hate turning old I guess, because they don't want the world to know it, they want everyone to forever thing they are young. Its got more to do with what the world thinks of them, than they themselves.

  5. Hii Happpy birthday..First time here..
    Sorry about your neighbours.

  6. first of all..many many happy returns of the day!..may gob less yo with his bounty all the time!

    I also never hide my age and in the bargain get compliments everyday/ dont look like a mother of grown up kids:)

    Even otherwise I am always like that my son says why are you in so much hurry to be a senior citizen?..I always find every situation to have its own pleasure:)

  7. Well said Shalom ..a very happy birthday to you :)
    Abt that family, its really so sad :( I just hope it does nt happen with anyone :(

  8. Agnes - thank you!!! Absolutely enjoying every moment of my 20s :D

    Amrita - thank you!!! You know I got started reading that book somewhere & left it halfway, must pick it up when I get the chance. I too feel more mature, more confident in my ability to deal with things with every passing year & that itself is enough reason to celebrate :)

    Smitha - thank you!!! Absolutely, so much to be grateful for, I probably wouldn't even be able to list all the blessings in all these years!!!

    Passionate Goof - thank you!!! You're right, people who worry about ageing tend to be those who constantly worry about what the world thinks about them....sad, really.

  9. Trish - Welcome here! Thank you for the wishes & the condolences.

    Renu - thank you so much!!! I have seen your profile pic, have to agree that you don't look like the mom of grown-up kids :D

    Swaram - thank you for the wishes!!! About my neighbours, I can only hope the remaining members can put together the pieces of their family life & move on as best as they can.

  10. Belated wishes Shalom!!!!! Hope u had a wonderful day!!!!

    Loved what u had to say abt growing older gracefully...but then I've always liked ur attitude towards LIFE:-)

  11. Reflections - Thank you so much, for the wishes & the compliment!!! Means a lot coming from someone whose attitude I admire :D

  12. Belated birthday wishes:) Its important to enjoy each age & take things in our stride. That was a nice post!!:)

  13. Where ARE U?????
    U cant be THAT busy????


  14. You've been away almost 5 months now. Busy huh!!!!

    I'm sure I had posted another comment like this around 2 months.

  15. It's been 2 years....are u ever planning to update this space;-(

    Miss U in the blogworld, girl!!!!