True Confessions of a House Spouser
I have never been this old before. For my entire life, I have been young, healthy and busily going on with my hectic life. Throughout all of it, I have also been a practicing believer in my favorite superhero as a child – Peter Pan. With all my heart I refused to grow up, let alone – grow old.
There were no clues of impinging years creeping in along the way. While some parts may be a bit creaky, fortunately nothing has “slowed down” or stopped my activities. I never felt any older. There was no changing of Reebok and into orthopedic shoes ceremony announcing this transition. No warning. No signs. Sure some friends retired – but I pretended they were older than I was. Much older – physically, mentally, fictitiously.
Planned unemployment (AKA- Retirement) was for others. I want to produce; to learn; to experience! I feared the sucking void of boredom! What would I do with such an empty space in time? I simply must keep doing and working and making a difference in the world.
So imagine my surprise when my 60th birthday came along. I had no idea! Seriously?? How could I really be that “experienced” all of the sudden? What happened? If I just “believed” hard enough, this would never happen. And a very strong belief in my magical ability to stop aging is the very best defense to thwart any accusation of denial.
It was as if I was in yet another fairy tale, and awakening from a nice slumber to discover myself older than I ever foresaw. Perhaps it was all really a dream, because this realization was not a gradual acceptance – but rather an abrupt wake up – of the somewhat disturbing but surprisingly liberating kind!
In retrospect, I have to admit that little things have gained more importance to me over the recent years. When did I last call my aunt and check up on her? I should do that more often. The grand-kids (and any one else brave enough) need to go with me to ride the roller coaster in Hollywood Studios – again – soon. How can I create the most awesome Halloween costume or the ideal bird feeder?
To make room for these “awakened” activities that had failed to register within my previously non-existent extra time, some things simply had to go. Consuming less of my “brain space” of late include alarm clocks and uncomfortable but “stylish” (to someone somewhere) shoes. Ironing boards, dry cleaning, an abundance of corporate meetings, and traffic jams take up less of my agenda to better accommodate a newfound surplus of enjoyable things to do. Plays, community board meetings, writing, photography, family, friends, yoga, travel, and designing the best backyard playground ever have rushed into my time and space where any hint of boredom may dare intrude.
You know what? I am younger today than I will ever be again – and I still refuse to ever grow up – or old. Long live Peter Pan. He is much older than I will ever be – and doing just fine.
Embrace the adventure. To live would be an awfully big adventure.
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