Oh, the aging process! I’m actually over the big hill, the one I never thought I’d reach.,the hill that was so expertly described in an episode of The Twilight Zone, where aliens came to earth to persuade humans to ascribe to a magnanimous pursuit “to serve man.” Similar to how the Islam Radicals lure Americans to Syria to take over their cause. Only in “The Twilight Zone ” to serve man meant the humans were food for the aliens!
So ok, not that hill.. Instead, I’m being lumped together with what is mysteriously called Senior Citizens. No, I don’t have white hair, or walk with an oxygen tank, or cane, or worry about my bowels, or drive a Lincoln at 15 mph in a 35 mile zone. I don’t eat dinner at sunset, or watch my salt intake, or wear orthopedic shoes. Nor am I on Medicare. But I am 63, over the hills of 40, 50 and ages 60, which to me is the same as being 14 when I wanted to be 16, and earn my driver’s license. Betwixt and between. I had a lousy birthday month, too. July, when all my friends left town for vacation when I wanted them at my birthday party. Too old for competing with college grads in the workplace, too old to wear skirts above the knee, too old for loose, long hair. Too young for Medicare, too young for grandchildren, too young to stay in bed all day, and too young to spend my days visiting doctors.
Recently I joined a women’s social club. I’ve a sociable outgoing personality and thrive on meeting new people, acquiring new friendships, exploring places beyond Baltimore. This club has been in existence for 100 years; in the 80’s, I was its office manager. I thought then that the club was a best hidden secret for female empty nesters. They offer lectures in current worldwide events, bridge lessons and bridge groups, book clubs, fundraisers, day and weekend long trips, flower arranging, and musical chorales. Best of all, their clubhouse is actually a mansion in Roland Park fitted with elevator, auditorium, and mortgage. Every Thursday, there is an entertaining program, and catered lunch. Sometimes on Tuesdays, a night program is held with a lecturer, bibliophile, or political candidate. So finally, I’m not too old, nor too young to be a part of something.
Not that I’d spent the past three years waiting for senior citizenship with nothing to do. When it became evident I was a liability in the workplace, I started my own business. It’s going strong. And, I joined a tennis barn. I played so often with so many rec leagues, I wore out a rotator cuff. And, my freelance writing has gotten published. None of those activities are deemed age specific. A certain resident of Charlestown Retirement Center still plays tennis at age 97! It’s a goal I aspire to.
In my 50’s, in fact, I participated in age inappropriate Boot Camp. I was so desperate to prove I wasn’t getting old, I’d run sprints up and down 42 steps and then do wall squats for a minute. In my 40’s, I became a road runner 7 times a week and boxed bags 3 times a week during 1.75 hours. Even with a broken foot. I was lazy in my 30’s, hanging with my son, eschewing tot lot equipment for toddlers.
I never complain about tennis, or walking dogs, or Poop Patrol, part of my business. Some of my tennis friends cycle on weekends, or participate in triathlons all year long. So I guess what I’ve concluded in this article, that you’re only as old as you feel, and with your mind in the right place, you can do anything you want in this day and age.
But I do admit, naps are nice. Thank heavens they’ve survived all age groups!
Photo courtesy of PINTEREST: