For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fed the line that aging sucks.   There have even been moments when I believed it, but only when I am not enjoying the rich depth and breadth of a lifetime of memories.

Now I believe aging offers us a grand perspective, but only if we are aware enough to enjoy it.

I have been an avid walker for decades. I love to get out in my neighborhood in the morning and see what’s growing, changing and happening.  I enjoy meeting new people to see how they’re doing.

I can remember when those I met on my long walks were genuinely friendly, especially young people. That was long before “stranger danger” scared the kids out of saying, “Hello, how are you?”  Did you know that if you never again speak to a stranger, you will never make a new friend?

I am also finally old enough to have personally experienced a number of important technological changes.  Television was just getting big when I was small, but there were still only three channels with limited hours, and all in black and white.

I remember life before computers and, of course, cellphones.  Remember FTP and Gophers on the pre-Internet?   When it was new you had to practically be a programmer to use it!   Yes, I know all the mundane tasks computers have helped us with.  After all, I was a librarian for 25 years!  Writing picture perfect card catalog cards was certainly not my cup of tea, but storing vast quantities of information for future access was.  Computers have been perfect for that, but it sure is a lot tougher to go incommunicado these days!

I also remember what being a friend used to mean.  No, it wasn’t about how many “friends” you have on Facebook.   We may feel more “connected” these days, but are we really?   Are your friends those virtual people you interact with online everyday, or those who care enough to come by and spend time with you when you need some genuine human contact and concern?

I find it fascinating how many movies and shows there are about life in the 1950′s, 60′s, 70′s and 80′s today.   I was watching an old episode of “Life on Mars” the other day.   It is a TV show set in 1973, and I thought, if I hadn’t been born in the mid-50s I wouldn’t know so much about so many things that we Baby Boomers take for granted.

So the next time you’re feeling bad about how old you are, think again!   There is a whole world of history, information, and knowledge just floating around in your head.   You have wisdom only decades of experience can bring.   BE SURE AND USE IT TO YOUR BEST ADVANTAGE!

Now that you are finally an elder in your own tribe, use your wisdom to mentor those younger than yourself, especially those who need reassurances that aging is a GOOD thing!