My feisty mom, who just turned 93, and has been a vegetarian since the late 1970’s, said to me, the T-shirt I really want would say, “If I’d known I was going to live this long I wouldn’t have taken such good care of myself.” I’m guessing you’ve heard of the other T-shirt saying.
Mom is feisty, has her full faculties, though naturally slowing down, has aches, pains, a walker, but she lost a lot of her friends 10 or more years ago.So I guess that is what she means. Her good health has her living longer, yet with fewer of her good friends around.
And to age deliciously, having friends of various ages and interests is what keeps us all curious and engaged. I have introduced Mom to a lot of my friends, and they have a peer-like relationship in terms of conversations. Mom can’t run around with them or reciprocate in some of the same ways, yet having a glass of wine and repartee is something she does.
Of course, each phase of our life, every decade for each of us, feels different in some way I imagine. Either we are building a career and family, so that’s our focus. Or social issues and being of service to help make the changes we wish for ourselves and our communities, can be a focus. And then maybe our body claims our attention with its lack of wellness, and that takes center stage.
I must say, now at 60 I feel like I’m 30, or how I’d want to have felt at 30 in terms of self acceptance and wellness. I might have achy feet in the morning, but that just helps me feel grounded in my first steps to open the curtains, then it dissipates.
I feel for Mom and the frustrations of a body not doing what it used to be able. I am glad she shares with me what is happening as it helps me to know and understand. Yet for awhile, when I was helping her through surgery, doctor appointments and moving, I started to identify with her journey, her worries, her limitations and felt they were my own. Yet seeing the documentary “Advanced Style” which profiles several saucy fashionistas in NYC, some over 90 years old, who hadn’t given up, still had a zest for life, fashion, beauty, and style I felt enlivened. They weren’t done til they’re done. That inspired me as I felt like I had been in waiting-mode versus fully living and engaged. I got my kickstart, which maybe is what my T-shirt should say.
(Link to Advanced Style http://www.advanced.style)