You're probably familiar with the old saying, "Yard by yard life is hard; but inch by inch it's a cinch!" We've also been told not to forget to "stop and smell the roses." More recently, Simon & Garfunkel reminded us to "Slow down, you go too fast; you've got to make the morning last."
Well, morning, noon or night I've instinctively heeded those adages. Yet, like the majority of us, I haven't made history. Is that good or bad? I'm not sure. I think that we of the older generation would do well just to keep moving in the right direction, only slower.
Yesterday I went to a baby shower for my granddaughter, Jennifer, and her husband, Luis, who are due to have a baby boy in a couple of weeks or so. Their young friends who sat at the table next to me asked if I had joined any senior clubs. "No, not yet," I said, "I'm reluctant to join anything in which the only thing I'd have in common with the others would be age." Thinking I should defend that statement, I went on. "It's hard to feel special in a group of oldsters. They often talk too much about their ailments, as if that were the most interesting thing they can share. Who needs to hear about that? It seems to prompt a game of one-up-man-ship, and before long there's a whole buffet of medical miseries on the table. Nothing, to me, could be more down-ish!" They agreed, and then, to re-enforce the idea, I added, "On the other hand, some like to recount their former exalted positions in life. I suppose that too is a downer for me because I can't begin to compete." Then I turned the conversation to them. "Tell me about yourselves," I said. Both working. No children yet. Families? Yes, always a good topic.I couldn't help admiring their youth, intelligence and wholesome good looks. It's refreshing to be with young people.
My social life is rather limited these days. It's the way I like it. I get to stay at home and putz around doing what I like. Still, occasionally a class with the emeritus program at Saddleback College is fun. Just finished one in clay slipcasting. Robin and I love our writing class on Thursdays. And I do enjoy the once a week bridge game over at the senior center. On Sundays I usher at the front door of church and that's pleasant.
I enjoy a motherly, grandmotherly and great-grandmotherly position in my family, and can keep up a decent conversation with the younger generations. It makes me feel special. As for work? Since I'm not a joiner I keep in touch with the world with a couple of daily newspapers and TV. When I feel like it, I do a bit of clay sculpting, sewing, and, of course, there's the ever-present job of keeping house. I used to enjoy reading novels but now-a-days I read more non-fiction. And I write blogs as well as keep a journal. It's enough.
There's a good deal to be said for believing that life is eternal and that every day is a taste of eternity. My choices are wide but not demanding. I feel connected, appreciated and grateful. Now, if I joined a seniors' club? I don't know how I could work that in. But options are always open, and, in the meantime I am a happy inch-worm just inching along day by day. To me, that's the only way to go.