Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Musings on Being Old

I hate when people say, "You're not old."  Yes, I am.  65 is old.  I hope to be older, but 65 is still old.  I'm not pretending to be 25, so you don't have to pretend I am, either.
I have been asked why I don't hang out with people my own age.  The answer is because I'm not in preschool.  There may be a time when I get chucked into a home and they'll put me in the rising 85 year-olds (a small group, with a high drop-out rate), but for now I prefer to hang out with people with whom I have similar interests and who refrain from telling me I'm not old. 
I am still freaked out every time I look at my hands and they're the hands of an old person.  I'm used to the dark circles under my eyes and the impressive chin wattle, but I still wonder every time I look down, "Who stuck my mother's hands at the end of my arms??"
My quality of life diminished greatly after my divorce, and never recovered.  I no longer own a home, washer/dryer, and/or dishwasher.  I don't have or ever will have a significant other.  I have adjusted amazingly well to this; but I sometimes still miss having a washer/dryer. 
Many people get more religious as they get older, I've gotten less.  I never accepted the construct of heaven or hell, once I stopped believing in Santa Clause or Congress.  I like the idea of reincarnation, but I think it's entirely possible that once you're dead, you're dead.  I find that comforting.  At least I won't miss having a washer/dryer anymore.
I have accepted the fact that every day there will be at least one part of my body in pain.  It's kind of fun getting up in the morning (itself a plus!) and discovering which body part hurts today.  It took me awhile to get over the, "Oh my God, my elbow hurts, I have elbow cancer!" phase, but I thankfully have landed in the resignation phase, "Life's a bitch, and then you die."
It has also taken a long time for me to accept the fact that I will never be the person I want to be.  I will always have my demons.  At one point, I thought realizing why I have demons would make them go away, but it hasn't.  I just have to come up with coping mechanisms to learn to live with them, which I have.  In the words of the great Jack Nicholson, "This is as good as it gets."  This fact no longer reduces me to a sobbing, inconsolable pile of poo.  Most days.
Yes, I am rapidly spinning towards the end of my mortal coil, but I am beyond lucky/grateful to have  my amazing kids, their partners, and my grandbabies, theatre, and my loving theatre friends, and my cats.  Not bad for an old lady.