Getting old

I have spent most of my day off catching up with phone calls, ordering shoes and uniforms, calling the tax credits office and so on.
Also, correspondence for the author I am currently translating his pike fishing book for, interesting.
Also, now trying to finish revising the end of my translation of his book, and it’s just taking forever as when you only have one useful day off during the week when you can work, things start to accumulate and no work gets done.
But I wanted to randomly share some thoughts.
I have become old. Suddenly. My hands have changed, my face is changing, my brain is changing. I look at young men and women and think of them as young kids, who could be my children.
I look at thirty year-olds and think of them as slightly more grown-up kids, but still ever so young.
Most of the time, I look at myself from the outside in a  mirror or something, and am pleasantly surprised that I don’t mind not being the person I have seen myself to be for so many, many years. I am an older woman. Sometimes, I look in the mirror and with shock notice that my eyes are all tired looking and wrinkly (for now, only temporary, but still! They’re coming!) and odd things are happening to the skin of my neck that are a prelude to things I do not like the idea of, and I might panic for a moment, and be filled with sadness. Then I think that I had a wild time, sometimes tough, but always filled with passion and determination (to waste time, mostly, it seems, but hell you can’t have everything can you?), and now have three wonderful kids to look at as they grow and a supercool husband and cats and a supercute big dog.
I once wanted to be the artist, but that was a long time ago. I gave up on the artist part, or rather, my art is being extra nice to people in short bursts, or until they know me better. That’s not too bad, I can live with that 🙂
It’s brilliant for my job of course!
I have the opportunity, with my new job, to see people from all walks of life, and I mean ALL. Asides from homeless people (as we always have to have an address for our patients), I have had from the oldest to the youngest, from the top professors and richest people to those on benefits who are stunned at how nice I am to them. And they are all lovely, as I always thought, even the occasional angry one (not the racist old bitch, though, she wasn’t nice).
I look at my colleagues and I see their strengths and weaknesses and I love them, and I am grateful, because I cannot think while I work, I can chat and laugh and help out and do some problem solving to keep me busy constantly, and on my lunch break I go and breathe in the Library, an hour of utter peace.

The other day an elderly lady came in to have her glasses adjusted and cleaned. She apologised for she had forgotten her teeth. (She had). She said “Had I known I would have become like this when I was young, I would not have grown old, I would have stayed as I was. There!” She was adamant, loud, repetitive, but so much fun. Bitter? Maybe. She also said she was happy now she could say whatever she pleased, she owed nothing to anybody. I told her well that’s something isn’t it? Something to enjoy.

She was bitter, but also funny. But also bitter, if you see what I mean.
I don’t mind being closer to her age than to my fifteen-year old self. I was young and wild and unstoppable, but went nowhere. Now I’m stuck, but cosy and, when my period-related hormones allow, happy too.

But yes, if any young people read this, I don’t want to fool you, and if you want to avoid the lady’s bitterness, know that you are young, but you WILL get old. Your eyes will fail you and your body too. Regardless of sports and diets and what have you, your body WILL fail, your mind will change, your strength and so on. Do things NOW. Do not wait, do not linger, do now. The only thought that saves me from envying the young people’s activities and strengths and possibilities is “Been there, done that, boring!”.

So BE there, DO that, as much and as often as you can.

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4 thoughts on “Getting old

  1. yes, we will all get old and die one day. However, I would not want to agree witht he last sentence: “..So BE there, DO that, as much and as often as you can…”

    No, don’t be there and do as much, BUT do what you love, do what makes your heart skip a beat, do it and enjoy every bit of it. No matter what it is and no matter what others aroud you think…

    It is all about living and enjoying…no regrets..

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  2. I’ve always been sure I’d make such a great old lady. As if I just have an old soul and by body is slowly playing catch up with it.
    The thing is, I wouldn’t go back to being 20 for all the gold in the world. I’ve never known what to do with youth, but wait for it to pass.

    I don’t look forward to the pain, of course, or illness. But it seems to me that the older I get, the more clarity I gain. Ask me again in 40 years 🙂

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    1. Agree, completely 🙂
      I like the image of a very ancient me going up to you and saying “well hello my dear, and how are you going these days?”:)

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