by Stephania Munson-Bishop
Happy April! Even better, happy springtime! Who doesn't feel more alive, seeing the tulips and jonquils emerge from the earth, and a mama bird building her babies' nest?
Why 'salad days'? Well, I happen to be a big Shakespeare buff. The Bard was the first psychologist, in our view. What writer has known more about human nature and motivation? In 'The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra' it's Cleopatra who says to Charmian, in partial explanation of her youthful affair with Julius Caesar (because now, of course, she is madly in love with Antony), "My salad days, when I was green in judgment, cold in blood..."
Inevitably, growing older means, for most of us, also growing wiser. We look in the mirror. A man shaves and thinks, "Who is that old guy?" and then realizes it's his own face. And frequently it is even more painful when a woman watches the traces of age mark her face and body, despite the wrinkle-reducers and lotions, even the radical solution of cosmetic surgery. The collagen, the botox, the face-lift, the tummy tuck, the liposuction...yikes!!
But what younger people don't yet realize is, at 50 or 60 or even older, a person feels the same inside. Sometimes our salad days -- if you define them as the best, most active, most productive times of one's life -- have arrived later. We age but we're the same person. Hopefully, we know ourselves better than we ever did, and have learned to be generous to ourselves despite shortcomings, and to be our own best friend.
We are no longer 'green in judgment,' nor are we 'cold in blood.' In fact, the senior set has a lot of love and warmth to share. So if you have an elderly Mom or Dad, aunt or uncle, neighbor or friend -- don't forget to say 'I love you,' while you still can.
Stephania is a human service professional with nearly 40 years in the field. She publishes a content-rich ezine, "Tidbits from the Pantry," about self-help, growth, and relationships, and offers a free evaluation of life's problems to any subscriber.
Visit her site at http://www.humansrv.net