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Age Gracefully By Dealing With Your Snarly Self post at Holy in the Daily

Age Gracefully By Dealing With Your Snarly Self {Thursday Therapy}

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.

Age Gracefully

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?

In her book, The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully, Joan Chittister says:

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.

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This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Fran Graham

    Snarly huh? Mmmmm…..*thinking with furrowed brow* – yep, I was snarly this week. Yesterday I snarled. Not proud of it, but it came after several days of trying to be very patient about something, plus a few days of battling with a sore throat. I learned that my patience in this situation was denial, (although I prefer to call it Picking My Battles). I should have addressed an issue earlier. So my patience backfired and out came the snarl 🙁 Not proud of it, but at the time I did think I was doing well in the patience arena! It just goes to show that even at our age we still get it wrong, and will continue to do so from time to time. I wonder if I snared “gracefully” though…? Now that’s a thought 🙂

    1. Susan Gaddis

      Snarled gracefully, Fran? Now that’s a good one! Thanks for the story reminding me that if patience backfires a snarl leaks out–so I’ll pick my battles wisely and try to live gracefully with the results. 🙂

  2. cindy king

    i loved the picture of the couple dancing i think because i remember watching my parents dance like that ,but also remembering the snarling between them but after 59 yrs they still loved each other no matter how much snarling there was. in my life my biggest prayer or should i say cry out for help when i snarl is HELP THE WOMEN LORD meaning me and im totally out of control and cranky but i always say im sorry just having a bad day and hope im forgiven by the person i snarled at. really loved the article made me think about what we will be remembered by hope its the hugs in the kitchen . cindy k

    1. Susan Gaddis

      I hope it’s hugs in the kitchen for me too, Cindy, because I’m sure I don’t give enough of them. Thanks for the practical reminder. Apologies and hugs are a good equalizer:-)

  3. Gayle M

    One good way not to be snarly is to hang around gracious people. It’s a bit hard when your spouse is the snarly one, but if your mom could do it, we can too. Thanks for a thought-provoking article.

    1. Susan Gaddis

      Oh Gayle, that’s so true–choose gracious companions. And my mom was wise. One day I found Dad snarling at her, and she just sat there and smiled. He got up and left the room, and I asked her how she could just smile like that. She replied, “Just a minute Honey, I can’t hear you. I have to turn my hearing aids on. I always turn them off when your dad gets cranky.”

  4. Sue Smid

    .. I just want my latter days to be greater than my former days….There is still work to be done and challenges to be met…and opportunities to serve….in all kinds of ways….the very best we can do is to fulfill our job description down here…to be blessings in the earth…however that looks when you set aside you….to be a servant and to help others along the journey. God is pleased when we do that…and that is the whole point…to love no matter what.

  5. Moira Smith

    I remember saying to my mum when I was a teenager…..’I really want to age gracefully’…..having NO idea what that would mean, never mind actually DO!!!!!

    This is something I have determined to work on till Jesus takes me home….and for me, it’s all about having a youthful spirit as well as being willing to share WHO I am and WHAT I’ve learned over the years, including lessons learned through mistakes and bad choices!!!

    For me, it’s all about being ‘real’….and that’s pretty easy for me ‘cos I wear my heart on my sleeve !!!

    But because I’m amazingly grateful for the life I’ve already lived…..makes me even MORE grateful for the life I have left……..’and I don’t want to miss a thing’ !!!

    And by the way, we still call it the hairdresser over here!!!!

    HUGs dear friends <3

    1. Susan Gaddis

      Hugs back to you, Moria. “Being real” . . . so true. You’ve shared what we all need to live, but often don’t. And I’m glad to know that “hairdresser” is still in use over on your side of the pond. 🙂

      1. Moira Smith

        It’s the old, old story Sue…..”please be patient with me, God hasn’t finished with me yet!!!!” Where would we be without His GRACE…….

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