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On Sunny Lane: Make Them Count

Sweetheart and I were at a public gathering recently, where it was announced that one of the women there was having a birthday. Naturally, we all turned around and wished her a happy birthday.

Sweetheart knew the woman. In fact, they were neighbors when they were growing up. So, after the event, he walked over to talk to her. The first thing he asked her was how old she was. And, without hesitation, she told him. Then they began to compare notes about when they were small and when they graduated from high school.

There was probably a time when Sweetheart's female friend would not have been so quick to divulge her age. In fact, she may have felt insulted at being asked. People, especially women, tend to want to appear young, no matter how old they are--until they reach a certain age. For some women, reaching a milestone birthday is a traumatic experience. In fact, it was traumatic for my sister-in-law when she turned 30! She had a lot of milestone birthdays after that and she seemed to get accustomed to them. Time changes attitudes about things.

The fact is that, after a certain age (it varies from one person to another), we tend to be proud of living so long. We have seen changes in society, in our communities, in our families, and our nation. We have friends with whom we can reminisce. We know more about life, love, relationships, and how to do things.

When I took some refresher college courses several decades ago, the professors were talking about things that happened during my lifetime that qualified as history to the freshmen students. As a result, I aced all of the tests.

I have heard it said that people in Oriental countries revere older people because they believe they are wise. Wisdom doesn't always come with age, however. When I was first married, I knew a woman who was in her 80s. She was still making dumb mistakes. Actually, I don't think there is an age limit on that.

But, what I think is the best part about aging is creating memories--doing fun, exciting, interesting things. It's about doing things that will make other people's lives happier and more beneficial. That creates happy memories.

Years ago, a friend gave me a kitchen towel for a present. On it were these words: "It's not about counting the years. It's about making the years count."

Don't stop counting.


Dorothy is the author of two books—“Miles and Miracles” and “Getting It All Together “. You can purchase a book or send a comment by emailing her at

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