It’s been some time since I opened my blog to add some thoughts. This past year has been hard as we went from a very active couple to an abrupt change in our life style. Never thought our calendar would be crowded with doctor appointments rather than social and community events. We live in a wonderful senior community where help is readily available and PT for MrW came to our home. I became much more than cook and housekeeper as all other chores fell to me. I allowed myself to become overwhelmed as days flew by with something always left undone. In time, we figured out it helps if you let go and stop fighting it. We have finally managed to fall into routines and go with the flow (even with the darn kitty litter box). Now I find myself with a head full of stories that need to be given a chance to come out – so back to my dream to write. With all the changes that have stealthily slipped into our lives I often find myself thinking:
Who teaches us how to to grow old?
This is something I’m sure my parents never thought about as I was taught the basics -sitting-crawling-walking.
They picked me up when I fell down, coaxed my chubby little legs to gain strength and praised every attempt to form words and clapped with glee if I got out something similar to words of wisdom. Someone was always there to guide me through the phases of infancy, toddler-hood, terrible twos and forward to school age. There, other adults began to solve the mysteries of numbers, garnered my appreciation for the color of the spectrum, patiently watched my angst over conquering the formation of writing in script.
We slip from one life phase to another without much thought. Probably the only phase a youngster anticipates is the teens where they finally know everything and adults have not a clue. Some writers refer to these as “life chapters” but to me chapters usually complete a thought. They have a beginning and an ending of a segment. Life phases come along sometimes slipping back and forth following individual growth in maturity. And so we float into unexpected paths. Some follow routes to higher education, others choose professions of interest, perhaps experimenting with grand ideas in the garage in hopes to make a fortune. Then there is marriage and children to be nourished and taught as I was taught and the cycle starts again. Everyone fills crevices in the everyday in there own way. There is a social life and friendships that come and go as our lives move on to the next step. Children move on and you hope you have given them the where with all to face their own phases. Retirement! Freedom to tend to some of your own dreams, for me writing. Senior citizenship is far more than discounts and you need to be careful as retirement can become a full-time job.
Then our world became smaller . I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised as Mr.W is 85 and I’m sitting on the cusp of 80 myself. Don’t get me wrong, we still have a social life and various groups right here among our peers. It’s just that we now face daily decisions on what do about this or that with this “aging thing”. We spent a good many years supporting our elders as they grew older but never asked them about their life changes. We could see the process but never felt the “phase”. The only advice I received from from grandmother was – Betty Anne, never grow old. Oh yes, she taught me if I ever have dentures, always put a face cloth in the sink when you clean them so they won’t crack if you drop them.
The only solution I can find to my original question of who teaches us how to grow old:
To age requires on the job training.