March 15, 2017
Crocuses and daffodils and tulips are awakening in my garden, (currently covered with an inch of snow), the grass had dared to turn green in places, and as I, despite the recent blanket of white, await signs that my small lilac trees survived another winter, at times it really does seem as if spring is in the air. My thoughts turn briefly to that age-honored tradition of spring cleaning—and then skitter away from it again. I used to look forward to spring cleaning—when I had the stamina to clean for the entire day. Oh, the joy of having those windows opened wide and the sweet, spring air flooding into my house! Good times, indeed!
I’m down to about half a day’s worth of stamina now, the other half taken up with resting in between spurts of activity. But it’s not only lack of stamina that I, as a sixty-two-year-old woman, must cope with in the here and now. It’s also a decrease in my flexibility and level of mobility that hampers me. Gone are the days of climbing onto the sofa or a chair or even a small step ladder to reach some out of the way spot. While I will, on occasion, use my small kitchen step stool, I’m very cautious when doing so, ensuring I have solid surfaces to hang on to just in case.
The other challenge I have is that I seem to have less “stamina” in holding my focus. Week by week, it seems more difficult for me to keep my mind centered each day on the main thing. Sometimes, the biggest battle is remembering just what the main thing is. I understand it’s a facet of getting older that our memories become less reliable than once they were. Yes, I do understand that, but I sure as heck don’t have to like it. And trust me, I don’t.
I’m at that stage in life where I’ve taken to writing myself reminder notes, and even as I do so, I chuckle, recalling my late mother-in-law and her experience doing the same thing. She was coping with this exact problem, and wrote herself notes so she’d remember what she had to do the next day. One of those notes, on one particular occasion, was to remind herself to pay the phone bill. She showed me the piece of paper as she related this incident. It was a torn scrap, and the words “Phone Bill” were printed on it in her shaky scroll and yes, each word began with the upper-case letter.
As she showed it to me, she laughed, telling me how she’d picked it up, looked at it….and tried to remember who “Bill” was, and why she’d wanted to call him.
That’s going to be me, next year, the year after, at the latest. I just know it. Getting older really isn’t a game for sissies.
My beloved has pointed out, more than once, that a faulty memory can be a fine thing indeed. I can see his point. Since I do, truly, want to keep seeing that glass as half full, I can rub my hands together in anticipation of all the books I can read all over again, for the first time.
Now I just reread them to revisit old friends. Then, I will re-read to meet new friends. Sounds good to me.
But despite all the new challenges I face as I get older, I really wouldn’t want to be 30 again—unless I could keep all the knowledge, sounder judgement, and better attitude I’ve developed over my lifetime. And that’s the whole ball of wax, really, isn’t it? The purpose of life is to teach us lessons, for us to fully experience what comes our way, and, learning these lessons, to grow and mature and become the very best person we can be.
For now, I’m doing my best to cherish each day as it comes, to anticipate that my “good old days” are ahead of me instead of behind me, and to practice laughing at my self at every opportunity I’m given.
Fortunately, these days, that means I laugh a lot.