Blame Steven Belanger's Red Room post of "Signs You're Gettin' Old," (March 21-2013) for setting me on the path of thinking about getting older. Note that I said older, not old. There is a difference. Or maybe, I'm still in denial.
Reading Steven's list, I found myself mentally ticking off yes, yes and more yeses as I worked my way down the page. It didn't help that other Red Roomers added their own bits to the list. I found myself ticking off "yes" to those too.
Having reached another birthday in early January, I like to think of myself as ageless. After all, Orientals have been known to have this gene that hides their true age. Grandma had it and so does my Mom. My two aunts, one 93 and the other 94 don't look their ages at all; neither do my cousins, so hopefully, that includes me as well.
The other day I looked around my fitness class--all of us were either retirees and/or grandmothers who were staying fit to keep up with the grandkids. None of us admitted to staying fit to ward off health problems like heart disease, diabetes or osteoporosis. The ladies in my class were all older than I and definitely more agile. There was nothing wrong with their memories as they named the exercise and remembered the name of the muscle it was suppose to benefit. Being the new kid in the class, I had the undivided attention of everyone else as they had already taken the same class three times. This was good because it made the ladies feel good to show me the correct positions to "stretch and pull." I felt I was keeping up quite comfortably even though I confused the ladies as I had the habit of moving in the opposite direction--if the exercise started with the left foot or left arm, I usually ended up doing it perfectly, but with the right foot and the right arm. After the first two sessions, the ladies totally ignored me and knew not to follow me. Mom assured me this was perfectly normal since she does the same thing in her yoga class.
I found out in my first class, my instructor was a "foodie." It didn't matter that we were all ready for lunch before our class even got started. Ian would cheerfully remark as we were all concentrating on our stretches, "Oh boy, I have to tell you that we had the best darn buffet last night at the "Flying Mongoose." If you travel near the airport, hang a left and keep going on that road. This buffet has everything including the best dessert table ever." As everyone's tummy rumbled discreetly, mine gave an enormous roar. I made a mental note to myself to avoid lunchtime fitness classes. Another time, we were doing our sit-ups and right in the midst of aiming for 15 of those suckers, Ian reminded us that "Cobb's Bakery" were now making the traditional hot-cross buns as well as the chocolate hot-cross buns. I made another mental note to myself to not only avoid lunch-time fitness classes but also "foodie" instructors.
Okay--back to getting older. I think if you're really old, you can get away with a lot of outrageous things. I remember Mrs. G, an elderly, hard-of-hearing neighbour with an extremely loud voice, who could say stuff that would have been considered tactless in a much younger person. Commenting on an outfit worn by the teenage grand-daughter of her best friend, Mrs. G trumpeted in her raspy voice, "Trisha shouldn't be allowed out of the house wearing such a trashy outfit!" The young lady cheerfully waved and yelled, "Thanks Mrs. G--that's what I wanted, to be noticed!"
I think the whole point of getting older is to gain some wisdom. I'm not sure what nuggets I've acquired over the years, but hopefully, it is all useful. I'm not a "list" person so I'll just make a mental tab of stuff I can pass along to the grandkids. The 2-year old has already figured out some things from her "worldly" experiences. The other day, she carefully lined up all her storybooks in the centre of the room. Carefully and patiently she opened the books and stood them in a straight line across the room; each book barely touching the opened book next to it. Then slowly backing away to the other end of the room, she suddenly ran on her stocking feet, across the wooden floor, skidded on her bottom and like a human bowling ball, knocked down the lineup of books. Laughing gleefully while doing her victory dance, she began to set up her storybooks again. Whatever she learned from this, she had a great time doing it.
As we get older, I want us to keep enjoying what we do and loving every minute of whatever it is that keeps our minds active and challenged. I'm convinced that as we all get older, we can only get better.