During my senior years, I have noticed some remarkable changes in my attitude. I laugh and have more fun in my mid-seventies than I have ever had. Life evolves in surprising and funny ways, and when unwanted events spring up around me, I no longer take them as seriously as I once did.
I adored being a young mother. The babies mesmerized me. Developmental stages proved fascinating and teen years brought more fun times than sad ones. Life blessed me with children who had good hearts and brains and who survived their often-confused mother with their own wit and laughter. True, I felt sad when the nest emptied. Yes, I missed all those fun times. And yet, how freeing to live quietly and simply. How comforting to know the “children” now live competent and satisfying lives without any assistance or prompting from me.
Teaching gave me years of happiness and students occupied important places in my heart. Today, one of my greatest “old age” joys comes from communicating with and gaining information about successes of former students. They have no idea what pleasure I experience knowing they contribute to life in valuable ways that far surpass any accomplishment I ever achieved.
Although much less significant, I notice additional benefits to aging. For example, no one expects me to hold in my stomach. What a relief! Lack of thick eyelashes gives me an appearance of fatigue, which seems to arouse kindness in even the most heartless individuals. “Here, take my seat. Can I get you a drink?” Not a bad deal at all.
Sagging muscles? Crepey skin? A vain woman like myself can only do one thing; decide it doesn’t matter. What the heck! Who cares? After years of wearing shirts with sleeves, I accidentally left the house recently without the jacket for my sundress. The experience turned out to be somewhat liberating. No one gasped, said a word, or even stared as my upper arms flailed in the wind.
Unfortunately, loss of hearing seems to greatly annoy those around me who fear their own hearing will be destroyed by the volume of our television set. I also must confess that at times I ignore things I don’t want to hear and blame my antique inner ears for lack of responsiveness.
You say I walk too slowly? That has nothing to do with being in my seventies. I always walked slower than most folk. Of course I can speed up if I want to. This speed happens to be the one I like best.
One major problem looms in the back of my mind. With all the freedom and new adventures life now brings, I worry about running out of time. Can I last long enough to get it all done? You ask, “Get what done?” I have no answer to that question. Either it really doesn’t matter “what” I get done or I have totally forgotten something important I had planned to do in the first place.