-as published in Living Out East and On the Bay http://www.livingouteast.com
Okay, let’s have a show of hands from those of you over 50! How many of us have noticed that gravity is not always our friend anymore? Body parts have gone south (just look down), and we have places we didn’t used to have.
No matter how much we exercise, the floor, our smallest grandchildren, and the wine list are farther away than they would have been earlier in our lives. And getting back up from the floor may require the use of arms as well as legs, a new wrinkle, so to speak, in how we use our bodies.
I’ve noticed this in my friends and particularly after my trainer has gotten me into a ridiculous position on the floor, had me move my feet and legs in ways I wouldn’t have believed possible, and then expected me to get up like a coiled bedspring. How could gravity betray us like this? We were so loyal. Keep those hands up!
And then there’s sound. Up with the hands again! How many of you over 50 have noticed a growing affinity for the middle of the sound range. If the volume is too low we can’t hear it. If it’s too loud we can’t stand it. If it sounds like the buzz that prevents conversation in most “good” restaurants, we might just as well have stayed home.
As part of a larger party my wife and I spent $137 for just the two of us at a very popular local restaurant. During dinner we cupped our hands to our ears and yelled, after which we went outside and sat on a bench with our dinner companions—for free—so we could actually get caught up with each other. What market do they think they’re penetrating? Hands up!
Last—but by no means least—there’s temperature. You can keep your hands down this time. Just nod your heads. Our friends who live in colder climates regularly complain about the temperature and “escape” to warmer climates at certain times of the year. Other friends who live in warmer climates regularly complain about the temperature and “escape” to cooler climates at certain times of the year.
We have friends who seem to live in their cars. One wife refuses to get back into the car to go to dinner after she has settled into a hotel at the end of riding for days with her road-happy husband. If I had the technical know-how, I’d corner the travel industry and convert the planet to at least six seasons a year to increase the profits and drive up the volume of people in our age group transporting themselves to places that have the right, if temporary, temperature. If I were temperature, I’d think we were fickle and never trust us again.
Let’s face it: after fifty is a time of change, selection, and rethought loyalties. We might just have to leave behind our reliance on some old friends, like gravity and sound and temperature, to open the space for others to come in and embrace our change. Those with their hands still up can put them down now. We already knew who you were from your nodding heads.
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Talk to you soon, George