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What Autumn Teaches Me About Aging

As I was heading down Sharon Amity last week, I found myself driving through a ticker-tape parade of yellow, red, orange and purple, as the gorgeous trees lining that particular street shed its leaves. These are magical moments, when I get the chance to witness the miracle of nature and the beauty of our fair city of Charlotte, The Shady Lady.

As the colors blurred by me (honestly, I wasn’t driving THAT fast), I also found myself thinking about how different aspects of autumn can also inform our journey of getting older:

1.) Autumn can show us how to age with grace – Mother Nature doesn’t fight it, and perhaps we shouldn’t either. The fall will come around, each and every year, and it’s as inevitable as our own aging process. So as we age, we could display our beautiful changes, in all their natural glory.

2.) Autumn reminds us to embrace warmth – as the temps dip down, the cozy stone fireplaces at The Ivey heat up. The fall weather is a great reminder to seek out and accept warmth in its many forms: a soft blanket, the guiding hand of a friend, the loving hug of a family member. My caring staff at The Ivey always have their arms wide open, ready to deliver a good squeeze!

3.) Autumn encourages us to roll with the changes – during this time of year, lots of things are changing all around us…from the weather to the window decorations to nostalgic music and higher Duke Energy bills (!). These are cues that it’s time to pull out our favorite sweaters, make lists of holiday gifts, and look forward to visiting family and friends. We could view aging through the same lens: change is good, and our changing bodies are actually inviting us to celebrate life!

4.) Autumn teaches us to enjoy the passage of time – sure, it’s getting colder out, but that also means that the holidays are around the corner, the lattes are teeming with rich fall flavors, and the roasted root veggies are showing up on menus all around town. If time didn’t keep moving forward, we’d never get to enjoy these lovely, nourishing, joy-inducing things. And so it is with our aging process: if we didn’t get older, we’d never get to experience the once-in-a-lifetime joys of being a senior.

With that, I think I’ll go out for another picturesque drive around town while the branches still have a few colorful leaves hanging on. Then, back to The Ivey for a bowl of homemade soup and a round of hugs.

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