Autumn—my favorite time of year. Crisp evenings, hot stew, pumpkins, and falling golden leaves. Lots of yellow, brown, amber, and gold leaves shed by wind and trees.
Leaves age gracefully.
Joe L. Wheeler said, “There is something incredibly nostalgic and significant about the annual cascade of autumn leaves.” And along with autumn’s cascade of leaves comes a colonoscopy.
This last week I had my fourth colonoscopy thanks in part to my history of colon cancer. I know, you aren’t supposed to talk about such things in polite company, but I’m not necessary polite. And it’s an important topic. Part of wise self-care as you age.
My mom aged gracefully. Her self-care involved medical visits, an active social life, and a weekly appointment with her hair stylist. Only back then it was an appointment with her “hair dresser.”
Dad . . . he wasn’t so good at self-care, but we all loved him anyway and pretended not to notice him eating his secret stash of ice cream bars. He was also a bit snarly, which we pretended not to notice either. Bad daughters.
Someone once said, “You can’t hide your true colors as you approach the autumn of your life.”
That’s freaky scary to me. And it should be to you too.
I know I have some snarly in me, and I’d rather people not notice it. I want them to think of me as a wise, gracious, and spiritual older woman. Ha!
I doubt that will happen, for whatever or whoever you are inside gets revealed for all the world to see as you grow older and lose the will to hide your snarly self. It takes too much energy to fake it. And you don’t have much energy. Snarly leaks out.
I want to age like my mom. Not my dad.
My mom wasn’t a snarly person. She was the sweetest lady even when her physical body was giving out and her mind was drifting.
So here’s the most important self-care questions:
Will we age gracefully—cultivating our autumn season of life with love and grace? Will we continue to submit our snarly attitudes to Jesus and see him change us as we draw close to him? Or will we let snarly leak out?
It is time to ask ourselves what legacy we are leaving behind. Because one thing is sure: whether or not we give much thought to it, everyone else we know will.
Don’t waste the season of life you find yourself in. There is purpose in this season. To quote a famous king (Solomon):”To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV).
Take care of yourself. Draw closer to Jesus. Cultivate your inner life so your legacy will be complete and sweet. Not snarly.
And, if you haven’t already, get a colonoscopy. It’s important. Mom said so.
Care to give your two cents? I’d love to hear it—as long as you’re not snarly. Susan
For other posts on aging well see Don’t Waste Your Life! (Yes, I’m Talking to You) and Navigating the Rough Currents of Caring for Aging Parents.
“Jesus likes it when we share.” -Adelaide, age 3: Pass this along to everybody and their brother. OK, maybe not everybody’s brother, but you know . . . all of your friends would be nice.