Did you hear about Alice Herz-Sommer, the oldest Holocaust survivor? She recently passed on at age 110! I happened to catch a piece about her on NPR while driving home. She sounded absolutely amazing. And she sounded like someone who could teach us all a thing or two on joy and aging. A quote taken from her interview with The Guardian in 2006:,
Life is beautiful, extremely beautiful. And when you are old you appreciate it more. When you are older you think, you remember, you care and you appreciate. You are thankful for everything. For everything.
I always heard the phrase age gracefully. I suppose grace is something nice to have as we get older. But it also implies a bit of mystery, quiet and reserve and a lot of class. It doesn’t sound all that fun. I’d rather the statement be age joyfully. The older I get the more joy I crave. Your confidence grows, your abilities and experiences, your skills. Why not your joy? I will take a lesson from Alice and choose to be an optimist. I won’t give up on finding beauty and joy in life. Thank you, Alice for your life and for your wise words.
Also, there was a documentary made about Alice: The Lady in Number 6. I think I know what I’ll be doing this weekend.
What adjective would you want to describe you in your older years?