Many of you know that I write stories about the experience of aging (with the garden as a metaphor.) What a great job! Sometimes it is sad. But it is never dull. I look at aging as a kind of pilgrimage into a foreign land with no visa.
Yesterday, I happened upon a list I made last summer; one of those short lists with columns for the pluses and the minuses. Since it is fall and many of us are feeling a bit reflective, I’m sharing my list. I should put an expiration date on it, because things are constantly changing, but some of it may remain true for a long time.
The “I’m not worried one bit about getting old” list
- When we have a party outside with barbecued ribs, Patrick’s peach pie and cole slaw with a live jazz combo playing. Around my birthday. When one leaf has turned red.
- When I dance to Aretha’s RESPECT and Martha & the Vandela’s doing Dancing in the Street and damn, I’m not too bad-:)
- When I lounge in a bubble bath after working all day in my grungy garden shorts with pockets deep enough for my #2Felco pruners.
- When I can still knock em’ dead standing up tall, in bright red lipstick with a warm grin and a good haircut.
- When I still remember how to say: Whaddya want from me already?…, in Italian, with just the right hand gestures.
- When I flatpick a mean Whiskey Before Breakfast and Red-Haired Boy on my Martin. That I even KNOW that there is a bluegrass song called Racoon Up The Stump Pump. (Bet you didn’t know that. If you did, I bow to you. You are my idol.)
- When I see my tree rose with flowers in her hair.
- When I see the eyes of a treasured friend.
- When I see my husband.
The “Getting Old Sucks” list
- When I cry at the evening news because it’s just too much, like The Eagles said: Everything, ALL the time. So I turn it off because the world is nuts.
- When I feel like I have all the time in the world because I am able to make an appointment for a massage therapist or an acupuncturist and they can patch me up and toss me out the door for another round. (But I know it won’t always be that way.)
- When I’ve eaten so much freaking kale that it is a wonder my ears aren’t green and crinkled like Lacinato even if I know I can’t always eat my way out of it some unplanned diagnosis.
- When those cruise brochures come in the mail, and I seriously give them some thought because travel is getting harder, but surely so is putting your bags on the curb at 7:00 a.m. and beginning a forced march with a guide who has a danged microphone on the bus.
- When I can’t have a cup of coffee after 12:00 noon because of acid reflux.
- When someone I love dies and I feel I can’t bear to lose another.
- When I realize my feet are now the size of an ocean liner.
- When arthritis stops me from playing Racoon Up the Stump Pump and I’ve got more doctor appointments on the calendar than concerts.
So, What is the NET?… I can still Love Everybody I Have Left Like Crazy. Makes sense to me. Makes me feel young. But mostly grateful.
What about you?
Inquiring Minds Want to know… what’s on YOUR list?-:)