Getting Old Stinks, Here's How I Tolerate the Smell!


It was a rough week. First a patient commented- “Boy Dr. Barrett, you went straight from blond to white and didn't even stop at gray!” The next day a woman in her thirties, commenting on my use of Skype and Facetime with patients, said, “You are very innovative for one of the more senior members of your profession!” finally, a 5 year-old girl was brought in for a check up by her grandparents. When I introduced myself, they responded, “She told us you were bald!” as if that was my defining characteristic! Priority one for that visit- follicular education. Even when it grows mostly on the side of your head, it is still hair!

So I feel old. Of course I recall the season of my life when I would have also applied this assessment to people in their 50's. It still stinks to have it pointed out. So what can I do about it? I have decided to remind myself of those things I have that younger people do not. While hair is not on the list, some pretty remarkable things are-

  • I have a marriage that has lasted over 30 years, and is still wonderful, a wife who still makes my heart skip a beat and takes my breath away
  • I have a son who at 24 argues for his faith. I need not worry about whether his faith will be his.
  • I have a daughter who at 18 reminds me of what purity is all about.
  • I have the blessing of providing medical care to people who have trusted me with their health for over 20 years.
  • I have a faith that has sustained me for over 40 years, countless personal experiences with the faithfulness of God.
  • Everyday, I am one step closer to seeing my Savior face to face.

The physical limitations of aging stink, but there is so much more. I can handle the smell!