Life is so bizarre the way time marches on and next thing you know, you are not young anymore and things so foreign like not being able to eat onions, an occasional slight limp because of hip surgery, wanting to sit down and rest a little in the afternoon, avoiding crowds and noisy restaurants, the push up bra gathering dust, living in Texas and desiring sleep more than desiring dancing just somehow creep in.
Today is, of course, Valentines Day. It is also my 17th wedding anniversary. I cannot believe it’s been 17 years! While I have all the years of memories, in many ways my wedding day seems like a year ago. I am blessed with a wonderful man who adores me and whom I adore and for the most part an amazing marriage.
The perspective of the young and that of the not so young couldn’t be more different. I remember being young thinking I would never have a wrinkle and that somehow I was immortal. That youthful attitude may be by divine design because young people have to stay very motivated to keep things moving as older people slow down and begin to realize the truth about living and dying. I can’t remember who came up with the idea of Social Security, was it Franklin D. Roosevelt? Whichever president it was, he was thinking along those lines. Once a few people you love die or survive something dire like the terrifying diagnosis of cancer and its treatment, your bad hair days suddenly don’t seem so tragic and your values and priorities shift tremendously. Things that used to freak you out and that you were a control freak about like red wine on the rug, algae in the pool, a door ding on the car, a stain on your favorite sweater, a burnt Turkey at Thanksgiving or a broken fingernail are close to meaningless.
It is such a complete switch from what it felt to be young, that when people my age say, “I feel exactly the way I did at 29!” I have no idea what they are talking about. I say, “Really? God, I feel the opposite of the way I did at 29.” And for me, aging is not all bad. I like slowing down, at the risk of sounding cliche, to take notice of a breathtaking sunset, to behold wildlife, to truly listen to someone I love, to watch the brilliance of ants at work, to write just for fun, to take that little rest in the afternoon and to tell my complete truth without fear. I am also so comfortable in my own skin now that I don’t take notice of someone judging me because I am so clear that that judgment is not about me. I no longer judge others and that is so freeing. I naturally try to connect with people instead of compete with them.
Surely there is a method to this folly and I do believe in a higher power orchestrating this to some degree. I think there are some people who are very clear on why we are here and what we are supposed to be doing. I am not one of them. I do the best I can but I’m bewildered a lot of the time.
My mom has a friend and somehow they got talking about what might be on their tombstones. He knew exactly what would be on his. Wow. That Was Weird.