Before Christmas, 2018, a group of girlfriends headed to New York City to see the bright lights, the holiday decorations, and hopefully catch a snowflake or two. Our spirits were high because our friend’s niece managed the production of a little play on Broadway called “Hamilton,” and we possessed priceless tickets. When we stood on stage and mingled with the cast of the famed musical, we were beyond excited.

We drooled as we gazed into the city’s elaborate store windows, waved our way through throngs of people, and relished each moment. It was the “girls” trip right out of a movie. We never stopped whirling in the Big Apple until a group of young 20-somethings poured a bucket of sand in our boots.

We were about to step off a curb and cross the street toward a park when one young man hurriedly ran around us, cutting us off. “Hey,” one of his buddies yelled, “Watch out for the old ladies!”

Michele looked toward me, “Did he mean us?” It pained me to tell her the truth, but since there were no other females of any age near us, I nodded to the affirmative. Michele turned pale, and the rest of us suddenly felt the need of a Boy Scout to help us cross the street.

In all the hustle and bustle of loving the city’s vibrancy, we forgot we were not those teenage girls starring in the movie and remembered we were all within a few years of reaching whatever age it is when youth is left way back yonder.

I love living in my own mind. I never consider myself old until I try to apply makeup and need a magnifying mirror to do so. Those lighted mirrors are evil! They also amplify those other travesties growing across your face that resembles a map with railroad crossings and warning signs.

It is funny how we view aging as if it is something worthwhile to notice. So, perhaps we should not put so much effort into seeing it. My dad always said, “The worst part of growing older is watching others who leave before they reach an older age.” He was right about that because it sure is tough saying goodbye. For the ones who remain here longer, we should be celebrating each breath we take.

Shoot, I began writing at age 68: a new career, a new adventure, new friends, new dreams, and new deadlines. I am the new Grandma Moses, except I write instead of paint. And, of course, I am not famous. But, shoot, I might be! You just never know what is around the corner if you never give up trying and keep your spectacles on so you won’t hit a wall!

The world takes aging way too seriously, especially women. We try to stop it, alter its looks, worry over it, and try to become who we once were in that old school photograph. The truth is, we are basically the same person as we were in school. The only thing that has changed is the photograph and, perhaps, our added wisdom.

“There is a fountain of youth. It is in your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life, and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you truly have defeated age.” Sophia Loren

Words from a beautiful woman to those trying to turn back the clock when it is not time that ages us; it is our spirit.

Our spirits have all suffered this past year, no matter what age we are. It is not our government or a vaccine that will pull us out of our battered souls, but it is up to each person to utilize every moment.

Staring at that mirror, or wishing for yesterday, or aimlessly worrying over tomorrow will age you faster than lying in the sun slathered in baby oil. There is so much more to life than fretting over something you cannot control no matter how much money you spend trying. Instead, take charge of making the world a kinder, less selfish place, creating warmth, bridging gaps, causing someone to smile, and suddenly age will be put in its place ... forgotten.

Take care of the body you have so that you can enjoy living in it. Your life is not over until they call your name from way up yonder. Did the good Lord tell you to sit down or stop? No. So, keep vibrantly moving and pour sand into the boots of those who try stepping in front of you.

Live boldly, benevolently, and with God every hour of each day until you fly away.

Lynn Gendusa of Roswell is the author of “It’s All Write with Me!” Essays from my heart. She can be reached at www.lynngendusa.com.

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