Monday, August 24, 2015
Today I am grateful for the Indian Valley YMCA. I have to confess that when I was young and thought about aging, I thought I would feel exactly the same way I did then, only I’d be older. Ha-Ha! While my brain still feels that way, my physical body reminds me I’m not that age anymore. Double ha-ha-ha-ha.
It seems every morning I wake up to a new creak and accompanying groan. When I get together with friends we have to complete the physical “organ recital” before we can get on to important topics like who gives a good haircut, which book wasn’t worth the read, and that movie we all loved but no one can remember the name, except we know the actor who was in that other movie, with the plane that blew up, was in it but we can’t remember that movie’s name, either, but it was really good, too. You know the one. Okay, so maybe the brain is aging a bit, too.
When I was a hairdresser I had elderly (my age now) customers who bitched to high heaven about being lonely and not having any friends and their kids never visit and they don’t have anything to do with themselves but sit in front of the TV all day (and bitch in my chair) because nobody cares about them or loves them and blah, blah, blah. They’d gripe about aches and pains and all of the things they “can’t” do anymore. Yuk! Boring! Boring is worse than dead! I dreaded getting like that. So I refused.
Now hear this. You don’t have to be alone. I won’t pretend to know everyone’s circumstances, because last time I looked someone with way more power than me has that covered. . .but I can say with certainty. . .you don’t have to be alone. There is always someplace where you will be accepted. Just like when you were a teenager and your mom would say, “If you want to make friends, or find a job, you have to get out of the house and look for them! No one is gonna come knocking at your door.”
So get out there. Check out your YMCA, or your Senior Center, or sit at the McDonald’s and read your paper every day at the same time. You will find friends! They’re out there. If you can’t drive, take a taxi, or bus, or call someone and beg them to take you. Offer to buy them a cuppa. Adjust your attitude, throw the grumpies and kvetching over your woeful life in the trash, dig out that sense of humor you once had because that’s still there, too, but you gotta get involved to find it again!
When I retired suddenly I felt as though I didn’t have a friend in the world. That’s not true, of course. I felt more alone than ever before in my entire life, including the first months living in Jakarta, Indonesia. I hated exercise, but I needed people. The Indian Valley YMCA had people. So I endured the exercise to be with the people. Now I embrace both. . .and I am very grateful!