I’m not talking major unanswered questions here, no whatever happened to Amelia Earhart, or what’s with the Bermuda Triangle, or has Elvis really left the building? No, I’m thinking small scale.
Life’s little mysteries, the everyday perplexities that have us standing, and staring, and thinking what?
Take lids, for example…
Each lid has a corresponding container. They are a matched set, they go into the kitchen cupboard together. How is it then, that I found myself with four lonely lids on my hands this morning—and no equally lonely containers?
Did the containers grow bored with their partners, become disenchanted with the old ball and lid? Are they off somewhere, smiling at the newer, younger lids popping up on their dating app?
And what about socks?
How do they go into the laundry as a pair and come out as single? Do they argue in the washer, get divorced in the dryer?
In his post, How Not to Kill Time, Hugh got me to thinking about our perception of time and how that changes with…well, time.
Hugh uses the analogy of a toilet roll, the nearer you get to the end, the quicker it runs out. With more years behind me than in front of me, I find that to be true. Summer afternoons that used to last forever are a blur now. Days bleed into each other until I find myself asking Google for the date because I’ve lost track of what month it is.
I spent my youth wishing time would move faster, waiting for the next holiday or birthday. I wanted to kick time into high gear when my kids were little, longing to be me again and not mom.
Now, when my kids have kids of their own and I can see my end date looming on the horizon, I want to slow time down. I want to stop it altogether. So many lives I haven’t lived while I was busy living mine. So many things I haven’t done …
I can’t stop time, of course. None of us can. The best we can do is treasure the moments. Sunshine on water, or trickling through the leaves of a tree. A hand holding yours. Shared laughter. A smile.
But inking the words on your arm, doesn’t make it so.
When the grey creeps in and reading glasses become a part of your face. When the drugstore clerk gives you the senior’s discount without asking. When parts of you sag and other parts ache, it’s hard to convince yourself that age is just a number…
Because it damn well isn’t.
Age is a natural, physical progression. Fight it if you will, deny it if you must, but there’s no getting around the clock—it’s ticking.
The question is, how do you deal with this unwelcome truth? How do you enjoy life now that you are closer to the end than the beginning?
I can do without the adult education classes on subjects like How to Get the Most out of Your iPhone Photography. What I need is a course on How to Get the Most out of What’s Left of Your Life? Now that, I’d register for.
In the meantime, I’ve found myself a guide, an instructor on aging well. Someone who leads by example, a personal testament to the little known truth that fun doesn’t end when wrinkles begin.
Eighty-nine years old and wearing a wet suit for the first time to get up close and personal with a dolphin.
You won’t find Molly in a rocking chair on a porch, but try the casino. Better than even odds, the second slot machine on the left? She’ll be there.
“Do you want to go to…?”
Molly’s answer is always yes, because she doesn’t sit at home when she can be out and about, preferably out an about in another country. She keeps her passport in her purse, knows her way around an airport, and can figure out the Euro to Canadian dollar exchange faster than Google.
Molly dances with her great-grandchildren, takes her latte with whipped cream, and plays cards. Any and every card game, as long as there’s a bet on the table.
She’s always busy, always doing, and always looking ahead—to the next trip, the next wedding, the next stranger she can turn into a friend.
Molly’s my guru, my touchstone for living, one day at a time 🙂