There are lots of great, humorous bloggers out there who write about the foibles and changes in life over 50. I suspect they are funny to those of us who recognize them but I worry that the humor is lost on those looking around the corner who may be in their 40’s or even younger. What kind of a picture does it paint for self-awareness and personal fulfillment, if it focuses on intimate details such as chin hairs and a slight leak if you laugh too hard?
I can only address what I have come to welcome at this stage in life. I no longer run my life around a watch; no less than a dozen Swatch watches sit in a drawer with dead batteries. I don’t need to put on a “face” before I go out the door, make-up is totally optional. I guess I must be lucky that my countenance has never suffered any tragedy greater than the graffiti of time written in lines that mark my smile. I have realized worrying about the lines only makes them worse but smiling makes them fit.
Health is something I have taken responsibility for, not because it is failing, but because I have a different view of the value and fragility of it.
I find myself with four elderly pets; Dahlia is ancient and lives on anti-inflammatory and pain medications. Duetz, my 24-year-old mare is round and fat and healthy but her mind is slipping and she has a stumbling problem that is beginning to border on dangerous for riding. Belle is a thousand cat-years old and the only sign is that she is cranky if she doesn’t get a healthy dose of catnip several times a day. The Doctor, well, he has never been the picture of health, and though his decline is obvious, he is the happiest most self-assured animal in the crew.
I have no health insurance, so I find I take the extra time and effort to think about dangerous, unnecessary risks. In my riding, I am learning to really love a long walk through the woods, as opposed to tearing around at break-neck speeds on a cross-country course. Truth be told, I just can’t afford the price of admission either. But the important clue here is that I don’t miss it. I am happy with the slower pace.
Bird watching was second only to golf as a deadly activity in my book. Yet, this weekend I have worked diligently to identify a pair of birds who are frequent guests at my feeder. The longer it has taken me to try to label them, the more fascinated by their uniqueness and behavior I have become. I sit and listen for them, as they give plenty of warning when they are near and ready to eat. Their call, readily identifiable, made me realize there are symphonies of other birds calling in the woods whose voices I cannot identify. The art of sitting silently and just listening is acquired with age.
I can’t write a funny blog about aging. It’s been done very well elsewhere.
I hope those younger than I will see this as the “truth in advertising” blog about aging.