The power of No

We are living longer and there are more old people than there were before. However, our perception of a youthful culture is a vision distorted by advertising and media. Sometimes, one can look at these images and imagine that one can do anything. In fact you are even told that one can and should try to do everything even though one is older. I was looking at my photos of youth and compared them to what I look like now. Although I love myself- young and old and have no regrets about how I have lived my life, I definitely know that I have less energy than I had 20 years ago. My time has become very valuable and this is now the time for the most powerful word that I can use. Yesterday, I had stupidly made an arrangement for entertaining someone. I felt dreadfully tired. I know that 20 years ago, I would have gone to the opening of an envelope but now saying ‘No’ is the best thing I can do. So reluctantly I rang up and cancelled the arrangement after apologising. I realise that what I could do years ago is not the reality now and now the best word I can use for respecting myself and my body is a ‘No’.

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