I Am Old
I am old. I
have fought the good fight for eternal youth, but sooner or later the clock
catches up. My wrinkle creams no longer work except to moisturize my drying
skin. My cosmetic surgery has begun to slide. Iíve seen the pictures of
celebrities with too many plastic surgeries, fat lips and plastic eyebrows.
Besides, looking younger than you really are confuses people. They expect more
than you can do.
I am old. I never thought I could be content inside my warm house looking out
the window at the cold and bitter earth. It will claim me sooner enough. For
now, I am a cat lady, seeking solace with my pets. Who ever thought that animals
would become my support group?
I thought I would work until I was 100 years old like the elderly people I
read about online. They live to work and believe that work contributes to a long
life. Work never became my life to the exclusion of everything else. It is not
so much the work itself that grinds you down, but the stress of deadlines,
projects, and schedules. You know when it is time to let a younger person have
the chair you have desperately held on to for so many years.
I am old. I have Social Security and a pension and must learn to live
frugally. I have a closet full of dresses that I never wear. Sweatshirts and
sweaters are more comfortable and keep me warm. Somehow I always seem to feel a
bit chilled, maybe the slowing down of metabolism. My bones ache with arthritis,
the curse of old people. I wake up stiff in the mornings and must have coffee
and pills to wake me up.
I used to think I would love being able to sleep as long as I wanted so I
would not be drowsy in the afternoon. But all the years of rising early create a
natural biorhythm that still wakes you up at an early hour. I seldom sleep an
entire night anyhow. Bones ache, legs cramp, nature calls, I am up and down a
number of times.
I am a homebody. I plan projects to fill the days and wonder how it was that
I ever had time to be out in the world most of the time. How did it all get
done, the house cleaned, the food cooked, the errands run and the million other
little domestic chores? Was my house really that dirty? Was it that I just
I have other things to do: writing, hobbies, and television. An entire day
can be filled on Facebook before I even notice that it is gone. Not that it
matters, tomorrow will be another day and anything left over can be done then. I
never thought I would actually like watching Rachel Ray or Ellen.
I am old. I do not worry about makeup or silver roots showing. Makeup
collects in my crinkles anyhow. If I want to go to Wal-Mart, I go. No one looks
at an old person anyhow. We are ignored. Everyone there in the middle of the day
is a senior. They drive around in electric shopping buggies. I am lucky to be
able to walk and push a cart without leaning on it.
I accept my old age, more or less. What else can you do? Actually, a rocking
chair is quite soothing, despite the stereotype. I am happy that I can care for
my own needs, run a household, and have a functioning brain and a body that
still works most of the time.
So, I will excuse myself now and get on with other matters. I have cats to
feed, papers to sort, birdhouses to paint, and a Lifetime Channel move to watch.
I can no longer wait until I retire and have more time. I have as much time
right now as I ever will.