I Earned The Right To Be Me
By Marcia Casar Friedman, North Dallas and Collin County LIVING WELL Magazines
|Never, ever would I trade my friends or loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly or smooth, unwrinkled hands. As I’ve aged, I’ve become less critical and much kinder to myself. I’ve become my own best friend. No longer do I reprimand myself for eating a slice of cheesecake, or for not making my bed in the morning, or for buying that silly porcelain kissing frog I didn’t need, but it looks so cute on my dresser. Being the best I can be is my own daily goal.I have mourned for many friends and family who left this world too soon, before understanding the reality of the freedom that comes with aging. It’s my business if I choose to read or write in my journal until three in the morning and sleep until noon. I can sing out loud in my off key voice and dance to those memorable tunes of the 50’s & 60′s. And sometimes I cry over a lost love when I hear “our song.”From time to time I am forgetful. In reality, some things are just as well forgotten. And, eventually I do remember the important things.
Broken hearts give us strength, understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is untouched and sterile, and will never know the joy of being able to be imperfect. Over the years I’ve known heart breaks many times. Like others, I’ve felt the pain of losing a loved one, seeing a child suffering and crying along with a friend when her beloved pet died.
I feel blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turn gray, to see and feel the flyaway flabby upper arms, and to have years of living etched into creases, pits and grooves on my face. Maturity helps me to honor emotions and to feel my feelings, without being overly critical of myself.
Many have never laughed long and hard enough to wet their pants and too many have died before their hair could turn gray. It is a relief to care less and less about what other people think about me. Striving to be perfect does not make for a successful person. Perfect does not exist. I am unique in many ways and proud of it. I have made mistakes and will continue to slip up on occasion.
I don’t question and second guess myself as much anymore. Stress gives me the opportunity to feel my feelings, express pain when it occurs, face overwhelming events and people, and it provides a path to a new start. Aging has enabled me to earn the right to be wrong.
I like being a silver sage (aka senior). It has set me free. I like the person I am becoming. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste any more time lamenting about what could have been or worrying about what will be in the far distant future. Every night before going to sleep I express gratitude for at least one thing from the day. In the morning, I set goals for the day, then say “I accept me as I am today. I am a work in progress.
Marcia Casar Friedman was a teacher for the Pittsburgh Public Schools, the Los Angeles School District, and a Master Training Teacher for Cal State Northridge.
Writing, sociology, and psychology have always been her passions. Marcia conducted adult training programs in English as a Second Language, created and led “feelings workshops,” behavior modification classes and was a trainer in various industries.
After a new awareness of how her life was always filled with various writing opportunities, Marcia’s interests naturally flowed into a new encore career as a published author. In the past, she wrote articles for a local newspaper and an educational newsletter, plus teaching manuals and lesson plans. Add a compilation of poetry, short stories, a children’s book, countless business letters, and designing numerous business handbooks.
Life changes provided the opportunities for Marcia to follow her passion to use her experiences to create motivational writings. Her current books “Aging Is a Full Time Job” and “Aging Is A Journey of Changes” encourage the readers to find paths to make peace with their past so they don’t mess up the present.
Marcia’s calling to write, came full circle when the natural teacher inside of her came forward, even stronger, to convince her to teach writing classes. Writing is healing! Writing is fun!