A lot of that will depend on your age. I’ve heard it described that “middle age” is when you are at the center of the youngest and oldest person you know. It’s all about perspective.
For those young whippersnappers hearing the moniker “senior citizen” they probably picture someone drooling on themselves while sitting in a wheelchair wearing depends. At an earlier point in my life that was probably how I viewed growing old.
My views have changed, or matured, if you will. The earlier images that shaped my perspective of what it was to grow old were based largely on my home community and family in particular. This is unfortunate because it gave me a false reading of what the situation could be. Traveling throughout the south and meeting many other seniors, some more senior than me, have forever altered that viewpoint.
In my family to reach your seventies was to be evading death and by the late seventies and earlier eighties all the fight was gone. These people (who I’m still not convinced I really belong to) were old before their time. I’ve often had fantasies of being switched at birth or secretly adopted…there’s no way I could have come from this bunch.
During our travels I have met some delightful people who have eliminated any residual fears of aging that I might have had. There was Lila, a spritely little woman I had the pleasure of meeting at a restaurant in Quartzite. She was alive, vivacious and full of fun as she pushed ninety years young.
And if the mental state wasn’t encouraging enough, I recently met two ladies aged 71 and 81 who I had the pleasure of playing pickleball with. Sure, I was ready to go easy on the old gals…but it wasn’t necessary. They kicked my partner’s and my butts! Julia has a serve that is almost unstoppable.
This feisty dynamo of 80 plus years is interesting and inspirational. She is also an Escapee member and lives full time traveling about the country. She loves to golf and hike as well as beat up pickle ball players much younger than herself.
In addition to the physical side of her life she is politically aware and follows current events far better than I do. Meeting someone like this and not getting totally buzzed is impossible.
I always figured I’d have maybe another twenty years left of this life on earth and I’d just take it easy and hope for the best. Now I see that it can be the best years of my life and there’s no reason not to be physically fit and active.
So I want to give thanks to all my new role models out there who have shown me a new direction for the final chapters of my life and proving that the best is yet to come.
Long Live the Queen of the Seniors