Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Aging, Not Gracefully

Aging, Not Gracefully

     My attitude about aging is not good.  For some reason, turning 59 has been difficult.  I’m not sure why --- maybe because it’s just before the DECADE one, so in my mind I have already gone there.  My hair is definitely greyer and I have not accomplished those big secret goals I set out four years ago upon retirement.  To be honest, I’m a bit disappointed in myself.  My lousy attitude has made me more alert to age-related comments and situations.

Not Quite 60

     Recently, four-year-old Violet showed me a family picture taken when she was a baby. As she gazed at the photo, she said wistfully, “I miss being a baby.”
     I commiserated with her, saying, “I miss being a baby too.”
     She looked at me, with big eyes and said, incredulous, “You were a baby!!??”

Find Baby Violet

     Understanding the concept of aging and dying is especially challenging for children.  Earlier this year, my 10-year-old “Little Brother” was telling me about a young adult in his community who had died unexpectedly.  “He was too young to die,” Noel said.  I agreed, realizing he must have had a serious talk about this with adult members in his family.  “Lots of people are too young to die,” he added.  I agreed again.  Then he looked at me and said, “But you’re not too young to die, Barb.” 
He is processing a difficult concept.  I know what he meant and took no offense.    


     Unfortunately, Noel and his siblings recently lost their puppy, Mr. Jellybean, to a traffic accident.  I was being sympathetic and he wisely assured me that all dogs die sometime.  “And all humans die, too, Barb.  But usually not on the same day.  Unless there’s a virus.”

Mr. Jellybean

     Driving to Extreme Wrestling the other night (another story on MANY levels), Noel and I passed a number of seniors out walking in the lovely spring evening, many of them with canes.  Minutes later, ascending the bleachers surrounding the wrestling ring, I suggested to Noel that perhaps I needed a cane. Once settled on the top tier, I did a quick survey and concluded that, indeed, I was one of the oldest people in the multi-age audience of more than 100.  That was further emphasized when the young boy beside me asked, “How old are you anyway?”  And he was impressed when I told him!

Extreme Evening

     Encouraged by the bold success of my Rhubarb Empire, I attended a “Hops Seminar” this winter with dreams of diversifying and cashing in on the burgeoning craft beer industry in New Brunswick.  I was about one hour into the workshop, my back aching from the very thought of erecting 25 foot trellises and harvesting hundreds of pounds of hops, when the awful truth that I am 59, not 39 reared its ugly head.  As my mother used to say, “The spirit’s willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)

Hops Farming in NB

     I know, I need to change my attitude.  I am happy to have 59 years in and  I hope for many, many more.  

So True

    And look at the examples around me:  

    Hillary Clinton, future president of the USA (???), will be 69 this year.
Hillary Clinton

     The man painting my upstairs is 76.
Tony, the Painter

     Queen Elizabeth just celebrated her 90th birthday.
Queen Elizabeth and the Grandkids

    Stop whining, Barb!  Any volunteers for the Hops Patch???

......Until Next Time......