Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Just Another Candle

"Age is a case of mind over matter.  If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."
~ Satchel Paige 

I recently turned 76, and, somewhat surprisingly, the number took my breath away.  It's not that I didn't know it was coming.  I usually look forward to celebrating my birthday for an entire week. I'd been saying for some time that  I was going to be 76.  Yet, when the day came and I said the words, "I'm 76", it suddenly struck me that I'm on the downward slope to 80.  And however, you look at it, 80 is old.

Most of the time I don't feel old.  I don't think of myself as old, unless, until -
  • I know all the words to songs younger folks have never heard of.  Happens all too frequently on The Voice.
  • I catch a glimpse of myself in a store window and wonder who that woman is.
  • Or look unexpectedly in the mirror and see my mother staring back at me.
  • I have to struggle to get up if my butt is lower than my knees.
  • I walk into a room and can't remember why I went there.
  • I see a celebrity from my youth and am shocked at how old they look.
  • I can recognize all the gadgets and appliances on a quiz about golden oldies - skate keys, ice boxes, party lines, even mimeograph machines.
  • I hear myself saying I could be someone's grandmother.
  • I notice that none of the heels in my closet are over 1" high and I dress for comfort rather than style.
  • I refer to someone in their 50's as young.
  • I have to say I'm 1/2 inch shorter on my new driver's license. (At this rate, I'll need a car seat if I make it to 90 and am still driving!
  • The news arrives that the last of my Dad's siblings has died.
  • I watch a contemporary decline.
For the most part, however, I don't mind.  After the initial shock a few days ago, I did celebrate.  All week.  I celebrate that I take no meds.  I can do much of what I did 20 years ago, though I must confess it takes longer.  I love to learn and strive to learn something new every day, deriving more from what I read than I ever did.  I am overcoming my fear of this technology, even have a FB page.  I enjoy people of all ages and particularly enjoy conversations with young people.  Though I may cry more easily, I also laugh more easily.   Though I get angry and fearful, I don't reside there as long as I did when I was young. Though John is ill, we have great medical care.  And we continue to fight the good fight together.  Not bad for 76, if I do say so.

So,I agree with Satchel.  Age is a case of mind over matter.  If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.  The secret is to continue to not mind.  It is after all, just another candle.

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