Age is a sticky subject for me. I don’t like to admit that I’m getting older but the reality of life is that getting older is better than the alternative.
I guess when you admit that you are getting older you also become more accepting of the reality of your own mortality. And that is something I’m not ready for.
Maybe one of the positive things about age and maturity is that your perspective changes. Now I don’t worry about what people think about me. Gone are the days of insecurity. You can like me if you want, but it’s not something that I crave any longer. I am not afraid to give people my honest opinion.
Knowing that life is precious and fleeting, I really want to experience everything I can. I do try to live my dreams. Going to Australia and seeing the Great Barrier Reef last month was something I wanted to do since I was a kid. I fell in love with the spectacular pictures of the Great Barrier Reef, and the idea of visiting a far away place. My brother Neal, who keeps EVERYTHING from our childhood (and archives it )recently sent me the National Geographic School Bulletin from 1968. This was the magazine that ignited my desire to to see Australia. On the cover was Australia’s Barrier Reef. As a nine year old, I saw those pictures and knew I had to go there. It was on my Bucket List. It may have taken me almost fifty years, but I got there. It no longer looks like it did in 1968, but it was wonderful nonetheless.
I was finding Nemo inside the magazine in ’68, thirty five years before Pixar even dreamed of the movie.
Right now I’m dealing with the realization that my body doesn’t always do what I want it to. I fractured my foot a couple of weeks ago, climbing the stairs. No, it didn’t happen when I bungee jumped off a building, or when I was snorkeling , or hiking or riding a speed boat. It happened when I was just climbing the stairs!
I’m in a walking boot now and it is very uncomfortable to walk in. When I went to the store yesterday I sat in a cart scooter, acknowledging my disability . I drove around Costco and knocked over a couple of displays, but no people. Those things are really slow, and loud when you back up. It took me twice as long to shop as it usually does. I felt vulnerable and old. Two things I wish to avoid.
I may accept the realization that my body isn’t as strong as it once was, but I am not giving up. I realize this is my new reality. It’s probably time to give away my roller blades. But I refuse to let it slow me down. Age is only a number.