Thoughts on getting older

Getting older is weird. On the inside I am the same person I have always been, but on the outside some strange things are happening. For example, I used to sit for an hour watching TV, then just get up from the chair. Didn’t have to think about it. Now there is a little moment where, right in the middle of standing up, I slow down a bit because my joints are stiff. When did that happen?  

Inside I am still somewhere in my late teens - insecure around other people and not sure what I want to do with my life, but pretty sure I'll be alright. After all, it’s just Life, how hard can it be?  People do it every day! But outside something else is going on . . . several things, in fact. I sleep on a satin pillowcase and use moisturizer but still have lines on my face. I don’t sleep through the whole night anymore, and if I eat doughnuts for breakfast, my blood sugar goes wacky.  My memory wandered off somewhere and forgot to come back. And when I fall off a bike it takes weeks to recover. Wait, maybe that one doesn’t count because when I was 12 and broke my arm by falling down stairs, that took weeks to recover from, too. But no, it’s not the same, because that didn't make me afraid of stairs. Now when I’m on the bike I think about how to fall so I don’t get hurt. I know that by taking care of myself I will feel better, but that is part of the oddness - having to work at just being me.  

And the really weird thing is knowing that other people see me as an old person. "Old Person" - it sounds like a job description that includes playing bridge and driving slow. But I have learned a lot on this journey and have met fascinating people who can not be judged by their outside. Sometimes I seen old people in a restaurant and as the young waitress tops off their coffee, I wonder if she, in her innocence, thinks of them as “typically old”.  But, young as she is, she wouldn't know that there is no such thing as “typically old”. They could have spent the morning parachuting. They may be in the process of writing a book, taking a class, or teaching one. They may have just cooked meals for hundreds of people on skid row.  They might have hiked across the desert or down a canyon. They could have been zip lining through the trees or soaking naked in hot springs. Or, like my friends in Riverside, they may have just come from a photo session for a racy calendar. It turns out that old people are just young people with an older body and more experience. And now that I know it, nobody listens to me, because I’m old!

One year ago: Starting a new year in Arizona
Four years ago: 1st New Year's Day as RVers

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