Yikes. I did it. I applied for Social Security. Wasn’t it just last year that I helped my mother do that? Where have the last twenty years gone?
Getting older has never really bothered me. Some people obsess about turning forty, or fifty, or even sixty, and I can laugh at the “mourning” parties with black frosting on a cake and R.I.P. balloons, but it never really hit me in the gut until I stood in line at the SS administration office amidst all the white-haired ladies and realized I was one of them.
Not that my hair is white – just nicely streaked – and for the record, I am taking early retirement, so I’m not as old as you might be thinking.
I can remember my mother telling me some time ago that she will often pass a mirror and do a double take. “Who is that old lady in my house?” Now I know what she meant, and I’m sure you do, too. Inside we are still young and wrinkle free. In our minds we can still do a full day’s work and run a marathon in the evening. It’s the body that’s on the wrong page.
Last week I was talking to a friend who also has a horse and likes to ride. We were telling stories about our youthful adventures on horses. The wild ones we rode. The thrill of riding bareback at a full gallop. The satisfaction of staying on that one horse that liked to buck for the first five minutes under saddle. Now we both get nervous if our horse does a little jiggy dance and threatens to rear. Old bones are much more brittle than young bones.
Which brings up an interesting question. Should we stop activities that could be dangerous as we age? I know some people willingly take on a more sedentary lifestyle by choice. Others bow to the wishes of adult children who are rightfully concerned for safety.
However, I’d like to think we can find some balance between caution and staying active, even if some of the activities make our kids say, “You did what?”