by Kassandra Lamb
OMG, I’m on Medicare! How did that happen?
As a friend of mine once said on the occasion of her 50th birthday, “How did my 25-year-old mind get trapped in this 50-year-old body?”
For me, it’s more like my 45-year-old mind is caught in a 65-year-old body. I definitely feel like a “mature” woman mentally, but not OLD!!
But my body has a different perspective. When I first get out of bed or stand up from a chair, I waddle. I don’t want to waddle but I do, until my legs and hips get unstuck from their resting position and actually start working again.
I look in the mirror and my mother is staring back at me. Instead of the long, lean face of “Kass” I see the round, slightly jowly face of “Marty.”
Don’t get me wrong, I loved my mother. But I don’t want to BE her. And yet more and more, I am.
And then there is the crepey skin and varicose veins. I’m keeping the cosmetic companies’ sales figures up, at least for firming creams.
What amazes me is that I can still rise to the challenge physically when I have to, although the recovery is longer and rougher than it used to be.
In August, I helped my son drive his and his wife’s cars from Philadelphia to their new home in Texas. The trip did not go well timing-wise. We got away late and ran into multiple traffic delays. Somehow I made it through three and a half days of driving. Then I slept for ten hours, helped unload the storage Pod, and then flew home to Florida.
And did nothing pretty much for three days. 🙂
Then Hurricane Irma happened. And I discovered a whole new reservoir of something…not sure what to call it: grit, fortitude, survival instinct.
I posted about this last week. We decided at 8:15 at night that we needed to evacuate. We drove all night. Except for about an hour and half, I was the driver (my husband hates to drive and I, normally, like it.) He did a great job of “riding shotgun,” staying awake himself and engaging me in conversation.
I was shocked that I was able to stay alert for so long. It wasn’t even all that hard when it felt like our survival depended on it.
Yes, I was dragging for a couple of days, just barely perking up in time for the trip home, but I did it.
I could tell you more stories, of friends even older than myself who are taking care of ailing spouses. And others who are still working for a living because pensions are insufficient or nonexistent, some doing physical jobs such as cleaning houses and mowing lawns and fixing roofs.
More and more I’m reminded of how fortunate I am. I watch on the TV the devastation wreaked by Mother Nature—in Texas and South Florida and now Puerto Rico. It brings home to me how easily one can lose so much.
I’m not sure I have a moral to this post, unless it is to count your blessings—and to remember that they are blessings and not take them for granted.
How has the passage of time changed your perspective on life?
Posted by Kassandra Lamb. Kassandra is a retired psychotherapist turned mystery writer. She is the author of the Kate Huntington psychological mysteries, set in her native Maryland, and a new series, the Marcia Banks and Buddy cozy mysteries, set in Central Florida.
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