I never understood when I was in my 20's, 30's and 40's why people 60 and up were so boring. I would watch and say things like how can they do the same thing day after day and be happy? They preferred to watch tv, and eat their dinner there with their husbands, instead of going out to the club, or drinking coffee till the wee hours of the morning, then showing up to work to muscle through because of being out all night. Their life was one big replay in my young opinion.
Old people work, come home, fix dinner, eat it in front of the tv and go to bed, to get up and do it all again the next day. If they are retired, they work on their yards, gardening and go to bingo, and hang at the senior center, or rec center. They were boring to my young eyes.
That was how I felt until I reached my 50's. In my late 40's and early 50's a shift happened. My parents both my biological and my in-laws all went through a huge frail period where the roles I had put such stock in had changed. I was suddenly their parent, and they my responsibility. They were not as easy as children to get to do what you know was good for them. Like giving up cake for breakfast, or cookies at tea, because sugar is bad for you. They were your parents, and they were able to make their own choices, and like they had to for you, you had to step back and respect them, and not cajole, and yell and try to control. This was hard. I never understood old people and how they could be so boring. My mother had the same breakfast everyday till the day she died. I was determined when I get older I would still stay engaged in the world, and wouldn't be boring like them.
Well guess what. I work, come home, eat my dinner in front of the tv with my hubby, hold his hand as we watch yet another episode of Family Feud, and am in bed by midnight, to do it all again tommrow. It's all I have the energy to do. Who knew that at a certain time in life, you lost the unlimited resevour of energy that youth have. No longer am I able to work, come home, run 5 miles, throw in some laundry, have sex, hang out with friends, and stay out all night? I had to make peace with energy is precious, and is doled out for just the important things and people, and other things are let go.
I garden now, not because I have to, but because I enjoy it. I find little things like weeding intensely satisfying. I can look back at the bed I just weeded a feel satisfaction that I made a difference for a little while.
As I age, I see the little things are what makes the difference in the bigger picture. When I was younger, I always was going to change the world. I marched on the capital to help change homeschooling laws. I did things that I thought would change the world. And sometimes it did. Most times the goverment did whatever it wanted regardless as to what its constituents wanted. I see this more and more. So perhpas I became cynical. I decided to make changes in the lieves of everyone I meet. In my clinic, in my home, everywhere I go. So I reinvented myself. How I differed from my parents, is I never felt to old to learn something new. This embarrased them when I took piano lessons, and was the only adult at the recital. It is when we stop learning new things we wither and die. Our favorite game at our dinner table, was what new thing did you learn today. I Ask that of myself now everyday.
I am old, I am Crone, I am Matriarch, and I am boring to young people. But one day at a time, one weed at a time, one thought at a time I react with the cosmos, and you will see what I do matters. Just as I see what my parents did matters. It will show up in what I have taught the next generation, it will show up in the footprints I have left, it will show up as many ripples across the pond I was thrown into.
So the young look at my grey hair, and thick middle, and wrinkled face, and don't understand why I don't "do" something. They ask as I did, how I could be son content, and boring looking from the outside. I am telling you one day you will understand, and will fill my shoes. Boring is your view of me because of your position in life. I find life a wonder everyday, and joy in even watching an ant war for hours in my yard. Ever take the time to watch ants? I do, and bees, and all kinds of life going on around me. I have time now where I didn't before. Life is slower now, and I savor it. That is what growing old does. It's a marvelous thing to be part of. I am old, Fat, and proud. Besides it's better to be seen, then viewed.
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