How not to be a grumpy old lady

I had a couple of post ideas floating around, but this has been an different kind of day with much to do and I never did sit down and develop either of them. Then this afternoon I was listening to a radio program about growing older and knew I wanted to share some of what was said.

The premise was that you don’t become a sweet little old lady when you get to whatever age you deem “old” — when you get older you’ll be an extended version of whatever you are now. So if we want to be sweet rather than grumpy old ladies, we need to be working on that now. Several ladies then shared things they’d learned about growing older and ways they’d learned to cope with the differences in their bodies and ministries.

The main thing I wanted to share was something they read that I had heard before, but it brought both a smile and conviction to my heart today as well. I found several variations of it online; this is one:

‘Lord, you know better than anybody that I’m getting older and will someday be old. Keep me from being talkative; from the fatal habit of thinking I’ve got to say something on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from the need to straighten out everybody’s affairs. Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. I ask for grace to listen to the tales of others’ pains and to endure them with patience. But seal my lips when it comes to my own aches and pains, for they’re increasing, and my love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. I ask for improved memory, but even more for a growing humility and a lessening cock-sureness when my memory seems to clash with the memory of others. Teach me that occasionally I may be mistaken. Keep me reasonably sweet. I don’t want to be a ‘saint’ because some of them are so hard to live with – and a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil. Make me thoughtful, but not moody; helpful, but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it; but you know, Lord, I still want to have a few friends at the end. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places and talents in unexpected people, then give me the grace to tell them so. Amen.’

Maybe this was so poignant to me because I can see traces of some of those tendencies in myself even now!

I did a little searching and didn’t find the session itself available online, but a CD of it is here called “Grumpy Old Ladies or Glad Golden Givers – Which Will You Be?” If you have access to a BBN station, the second half of the program will be aired on their “Building Blocks For the Family” segment at 2:30-3:00 p.m. EDT tomorrow, March 18. You can listen to the station online but I don’t know if they have all the programs online that they do on the radio. But if you can arrange to listen to it, I can recommend at least what I have heard so far as very helpful.

7 thoughts on “How not to be a grumpy old lady

  1. This does sound thought provoking. I really like the excerpt you quoted.

    Occasionally as I get older, I have flashbacks (some not very far back at all…) to very stupid or pompous or critical or clueless things I’ve said or opinions I’ve held. (Never write a sentence like that…) So as I get older I pray for more GRACE. To me there is no more attractive character trait.

  2. I’m so glad you posted about this . . . not only so that I can hear about not becoming a grumpy old lady, but also so that I could find the iPod app for BBN, something I’ve wondered about lately but just hadn’t taken the time to sit down and look for. I now have BBN installed on my iPod so I can listen to several programs I’m interested in throughout the day. Thanks!

  3. What a great piece, Barbara and I do need it as am going to be the big 6-0 this year! I can hardly believe it! Thank you for posting this. I’m going to save it and may actually share it with some ladies at our next get-together.
    I do pray that I will grow old gracefully and truly be a “glad golden giver”. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Blogging Year in Review « Stray Thoughts

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