Please, please, please forgive the following Vanity Card if you find it vulgar or insensitive. I thought it was so funny when I read it that a) I wanted to share it and b) it rings true in a profound way. Before I share the Card though let me tell you where my head has been lately.
I feel old, I mean really old. Old like I don't want to physically get going old, old like I no longer understand hip jokes, old like I don't want loud music in restaurants old. Part of is because I'm almost 60 and lets face it - that is a lot of years to be doing any one thing (the one thing here is being alive).
When I was a kid, a 60 year old was a heavy set grand-ma type who probably only had 10 years to go (you know Aunt Bee). Now, life expectancy has risen and the expectations on how much people can do has also risen.. Betty White is doing comedy shows at 96, 100 year olds are running marathons - it is truly amazing.
Here is my conflict: I've been feeling old and yet the expectations are keep going and do more - its hard to know what is completely right for me. So many nights I just want to stay home and pet the cats and yet a voice in my head says "thats what old people do" so I don't want to do that cause I don't REALLY want to be old and yet I am. So then I'm out and about doing something not because I wanted to but because I shouldn't be at home.
I'm working on NOT letting my thoughts dictate my actions -- rather than sitting in loud restaurants pretending to hear my friend's conversations - I want to be comfortable with the idea that I can stay home with cats and read a book and that is not bad its just true to what my body and ears need. I can invite friends over rather than struggle with loud restaurants. And that doesn't have to mean anything negative - its just accepting the stage of life I'm in.
There is grief work to be done in this area - loss of youth, loss of time poorly spent, loss of what could have been ... I've been sharing those tears lately and as I allow myself the grief work - I'm noticing that I'm letting go of the resentments and even letting go of negative labels that say old is bad. Its not good or bad .... it just is ...
Thanks for letting me ramble and here is the Vanity Card -- hope you get a chuckle out of it:
CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #566
"I just turned sixty-five. It is, by any measure, an advanced age. It is not the new fifty-five, or the new sixty. It is just old. And it has forced me to do some serious soul searching, to ask myself a tough and vaguely frightening question: How will I know when it's time to quit? What signal, mental or physical, should I look for that tells me it's time to stop writing sitcoms? After much careful thought, the answer came to me. The day I sit on the toilet and my balls hit the water, I'm done."
Aunt Bee: Young and Old