Growing Older: Reader Essay by Harv Bartz

From Minnesota Alumni Magazine Winter 2017

Aging joys:

Saying “yes I will” and “no I won’t” more freely than ever

Laughing, giggling, acting goofy with a grandchild

Swelling with pride at the accomplishments of children and grandchildren

Getting free admission to a granddaughter’s soccer game!

Rewarding discounts with our AARP card

Joining hands around the table with my kids, grands, and great grands

Remembering and finding what I forgot

Meeting an old friend who is pleased to see me

Writing or saying something I feel good about

Capturing a precious moment with my camera

Sharing that photo via a card or slide show

Digging, planting, pruning, harvesting, eating

Finding new and easier ways to do old things

Enjoying a hot shower after a workout

Following that fleeting impulse to see where it goes

Daring to open a door that always seemed locked

Crying with sadness or joy, freely and fully

Pursuing a cause that is important to me

Discovering that something I said or did made a difference to someone

Telling someone how much what they said or did means to me

Finishing old business with an “I’m sorry” or “I forgive you”

Forcing myself to slow down and breathe

Inhaling healing, self-forgiveness, vision, values, joy, love

Exhaling illness, regrets, hurt, anger, sadness, hate

Waking in the morning to the call of a cardinal in the distance

Watching an egret gliding effortlessly to a landing on our pond

Hearing music that evokes tears of joy or, yes, sadness

Celebrating almost five decades with the love of my life

Surprising my love with a tender hug

Cuddling in our cozy bed on cold nights

Reveling in the trust that she knows me fully and still loves me!

Practicing my motto: “with gratitude, love, and hope always”

- Harv Bartz (M.S.W. ’74), White Bear Lake

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