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Learning the Curve

A military brat, Robyn found home sweet home here in Wauwatosa. Moving here in 1989, "just till the kids get settled," she found the Milwaukee area hard to leave and a great place to put down roots. Join her as she tries to handle and make sense of whatever curves life decides to throw.

Aging - gracefully or not

We recently celebrated my mom's 80th birthday.  She's not a fan of surprises so the best we came up with  was to gather friends and far-flung relatives that she wouldn't expect to see and have them turn up on her doorstep over a period of 2 days.  It worked.  She still doesn't like surprises, but since she loves seeing family and friends she couldn't not like it!

One of her friends there was 97.  I told my mom that at age 80 she is just a whippersnapper next to Pauline.  (I tend to use words like whippersnapper when I get in a group with my elders).  I remember traveling to Oklahoma for my grandmother's 80th, now to Ohio for my mother's.  It occurred to me that the next big 80th celebration will be mine.  Not soon, people!  Look at my picture - that red hair dye is keeping me at 50 forever.  But time does march (well in some cases trample or bulldoze) on and we must accept it.  Even though it's not in the pretty box with the sparkly bow aging is a gift.  As Ralph Waldo Emerson said  "The years teach much which the days never know".  See - all us wise mature folks are nodding our heads right now.

I am entering a phase where I have to accept the fact that soon all my children will be gone from my day to day life and I can actually think about myself - well okay myself and my husband - ALL THE TIME!  Except that I worry about my aging parents' health, and the college funds/retirement money needs some serious attention.  And I can't relax until each child has a perfect mate/job/vocation, a dependable car and a nice place to live.  You can see why I need to grow into this aging thing.   Everyone is going to do what they were meant to do.  My parents will age and we will handle it and the end together.  My kids will still be living their own extraordinary lives long after I am gone despite all my worrying and planning.  Time is money?  Time is much more important than money, time is life.

Like Pauline I plan on getting to 97.   I haven't found a how-to on aging gracefully so right now my plan for aging is to focus on all me, all the time  - as soon as I clock out of work, walk the dog, mail the care package to the college student,  drop off hubby at the airport, stop at the grocery, finish the laundry and pretend to stay awake until my teenager gets home at night.  Then it is so about me.

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