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Submitted by Howard "Butch" Shaffer


As  I've aged, I've become kinder to myself, and less critical of  myself. I've become my own friend.  Peo-_dancer_old_dude


I  have seen too many dear friends leave this world, too soon;  before they understood the great freedom that comes with  aging. 



Whose  business is it, if I choose to read, or play, on the computer,  until 4 AM, or sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to  those wonderful tunes of the 50, 60 & 70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love, I will.  



I  will walk the beach, in a swim suit that is stretched over a  bulging body, and will dive into the waves, with abandon, if I  choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They,  too, will get old. 


I  know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life  is just as well forgotten. And, I eventually remember the  important things. 


OldWoman3Sure,  over the years, my heart has been broken. How can your heart  not break, when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers,  or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But, broken hearts are what give us strength, and understanding,  and compassion. A heart never broken, 

is pristine, and  sterile, and will never know the joy of being imperfect.  


I  am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair  turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched  into deep grooves on my face. 


So  many have never laughed, and so many have died before their  hair could turn silver. 


As  you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less  about what other people think. I don't question myself  anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.  


So,  to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free.  I like the person I have become. I am not going to live  forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time  lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will  be. And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel 

like  it).