One of my favorite bloggers, who writes honestly and insightfully about aging, recently noted we glorify older people who are active, those who at 70 or 80 are romping around like 40 year olds.
As a society we want old folks to not act like ‘old folks’, but instead run, dive, explore, walk, bike, swim, live as though our bodies aren’t slowing down, our joints aren’t aching, and we don’t have to get up multiple times during the night for a bathroom visit. That’s the only thing we are quick to do.
What happened to the idea that getting up in years means we can relax, not rush? We can now read multiple books, visit friends, live a less demanding life.
Thankfully I’m in good health, remain mobile, and most days I’m fairly alert. I stay too busy, ignoring the murmurs from my limbs and psyche to just be in the moment.
A little voice deep inside me sends status updates, alerting me to ‘get up and do something’.
“You can’t just sit around all day playing games on your computer,” it whispers. “Your dog needs to be walked, people will think you’re lazy, your body will petrify.”
Truth is, the dog doesn’t want to do his business in public, preferring the privacy of his own yard. People don’t give a hoot about what I do all day, just as I spend less than a tenth of a second wondering if you are out of bed, watching soap operas, or wandering around your house wishing dust mites would do their job and dust more.
When, if not now, can we do what we want to do, which may be nothing? When is the right time to sit and remember? When is it okay to play in adult ways as we did when we were kids?
Activity is prized, leaving us void of meditative time. When our days are filled with ‘doing’, we miss reflecting and simply ‘being’.
Aging is a gift we are given to spend as we want.
Shut up whispering voice that sounds like my mother!
I’m old enough to do or not do whatever I want, and it’s about time!