Are We There Yet? And By There I Mean Old...
There is nothing wrong with aging. In fact, I love the 42 year old me so much more than I did the 22 year old me. I feel like I finally know myself. I trust myself. I am happy with who I am, and I feel confident and good in my own skin. For many, aging means blossoming, and growing into who we were always meant to be. While unfortunately, some other's growth will forever remain stunted.
When I ask are we there yet, I am talking about being at that place in life where loss seems more imminent than ever before. Loss is a part of life. This I know. I have heard that phrase hundreds of times over the years. But no one ever warned me that many times it is a slow, painful process. No one ever told me that one day those I admired, and looked up to as a child would one day look at me and not recognize my face, or remember my name. Loss doesn't always mean death.
Aging can be beautiful and cruel at the same time. There is so much unknown about why some people develop dementia at the age of 65, while some 100 year olds are as sharp as they were 65 years ago. Is it genetic, environmental, diet, or luck of the draw? Hopefully one day those questions are answered.
I did not intend to write a depressing or downer blog tonight. I write what is on mind, or in my heart at any given time. I have a friend whose 60 something mother has early signs of dementia, and severe depression. My friend has tried to be nonchalant about it, and is very open about her family's struggle, but I know she is scared as hell. I’m scared for her. It is heartbreaking to see someone once so full of life and wicked smart no longer remember how to tie their own shoes.
I suppose part of this all comes down to fear of my own geriatric future. Will I age with grace and dignity, still able to do crossword puzzles at 90? Or will I be a burden on my children? I am fine with aging. I really am. I just do not want to be an old woman.
"It's paradoxical that the idea of living a long life appeals to everyone, but the idea of getting old doesn't appeal to anyone." - Andy Rooney