Aging

age

I woke up this morning. That’s a VERY good thing.

I woke up with a few aches and pains.

That’s also a VERY good thing.

Why?

Because although I’m in the last third of my life — or on the “back nine” as golfers say — I continue to act as though I’m 20+ years younger. So yes, there are a few aches and pains to remind me of my biological age, but that’s fine.

I know my age, but honestly, most times it’s just a number. A number that seemed very far off when I was 15 or even 30.

But here it is, and here I am.

I remember some things about being like that little girl up top: I remember grade school, which I think I mostly liked. This was back in the ’50s, and I remember learning to read and write. I remember the playgrounds. I remember nice, friendly teachers including Mrs. Marsh, my first grade teacher.

Life was really simple then — wasn’t it? We played outside under the lights in the early dusk. We ran and screamed throughout our neighborhoods with the other kids who seemed to be just like us. We rolled down the hills; we played “Tag! You’re It!”

Technology touched us, but lightly. The biggest deal in my family was having the first COLOR TV in the late ’50s. No one else we knew had one, so our tiny den was crowded some evenings with the very few color shows being shown. I clearly remember watching Miss America in the mid ’60s — in color. What a treat!

Then we grew up into adults, our lives changing every day. We graduated from high school, some went on to college, we got jobs, and some even got married and had kids. We moved to the suburbs, joined the PTA or other organizations, and most of us women watched our husband go off to work while we stayed home.

How times have changed!

When I thought then about aging — and it wasn’t often — I imagined being smaller in many ways. I thought my brain might not work. I was pretty sure my body wouldn’t do what I wanted it to. I thought I’d be physically smaller or shorter (that’s actually true, now).

All my beliefs came from what I saw with my own parents and my friends’ parents who seemed old at 60. When they were in their 70s they seemed REALLY old.

The men retired at 65 and pretty much slowed down to a crawl. In 1970 the U.S. life expentancy for men was 67.1 and for women it was 74.1. Way too many people retired and then just died.

In 2010 the figures are 76 and 81.

I didn’t see aging as a positive thing back then, but of course now I do. We all know others who died way too soon, who were not allowed this privilege of aging. We are still here! We can still reinvent ourselves, take on new “jobs” whether paid or volunteer, or travel more. We are still relevant, which is just wonderful.

My brain still works. My body still works, even if I’ve lost a half step. I am still eager to face each day, to see what it brings that will delight me.

It’s all good.

So as I wake up with a few aches and pains, as I wake up ON TOP OF THE DIRT, as I wake up seeing the sunrise and hearing the birds chirp, I remember this old maxim that pretty much works for me:

What are your thoughts on this touchy subject?