Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Old Gray Mare ... Not What She Used To Be

Several years ago my Saturday routine went something like this: sleep in until around 8:00, grab a cup of coffee and a quick bite to eat, tackle housecleaning with gusto. In those days my house was clean and polished and the weekly laundry completed by noon. I even had energy left to enjoy the rest of the weekend!

This morning my routine looked like this: slept in until around 7:00, leisurely enjoyed two cups of coffee in front of the television, ate breakfast, had a third cup of coffee, partially cleaned the house. As in emptied the dishwasher, cleaned the kitchen, 'swiffered' downstairs floors, cleaned one bathroom, and dusted downstairs. All in the time it used to take me to clean the entire house. By the way, I didn't have a great supply of energy oozing out afterwards either!

I asked my husband "What happened to that girl you married who could clean the house top to bottom in three hours?" He answered truthfully, "She was thirty plus years younger!" A fact that I am increasingly reluctant to admit. The able to do less part, not the younger part! My age has never been anything I've been depressed over.

However, it is frustrating to accomplish less in more time. It seems I am always leaving things undone because there are not enough hours in the day and energy left to do all I need and want to do. That, for me, is a negative issue to deal with as I grow older.

On the flip side, although the years have drained some of my energy, reduced my stamina, and slowed me down it has also given me more wisdom, patience, compassion for others, and understanding. I am slower to judge and quicker to stop and talk to someone who needs a listening ear. I am more likely to leave chores undone in favor of spending time with family and friends. I am much more interested in taking time to cook with my grandchildren than I am in having a spotless house. That leisurely start to my day this morning? It was more important (and fun) to spend the time with my husband than to stress over scrubbing my house.

And so I come to the latter part of a wonderful Saturday. The house is clean enough and I am not too tired to enjoy the rest of my evening. Our best friends are coming for a supper of leftover chili with chips & salsa on the side. (She's bringing dessert...Yeah!!) I have energy and time for the most important part of life...spending time with the ones I love.

Next time you feel like your get up and go got up and went...think about all the wonderful things that have replaced it. I really don't miss it at all.

And that old gray mare? Thank God, she is NOT what she used to be. She's just continuing to get better.

Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding? Job 12:12 (NIV)

The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old.


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