Rain wrote about it, too. She's always been a source of comfort and a nudge in the right direction when I needed it so I scurried on over to see what she thought. No, 60 is not the new 30; it's different and that's fine. Be positive but accept the reality; what else can one do? She says it eloquently and thoughtfully; click through and read her for yourself. I agree with it all.
I went back through some old posts on G'ma, and I found this. I wrote it after I told her that I, her eldest and most durable child, had intersected with bullets.
Can you see why I am going to school on being an old old person from my mother? No guilt. No over-wrought screaming. No anger. Nothing but acceptance and love and laughter. She doesn't dwell on what she's lost. She enjoys what she has. She's funny and interested and not furious at what is missing. She exists in the here and now, and makes it a better place for those in her aura. There is much to be learned from her, and I'm soaking it in like a sponge.The notion of accepting myself for who I am while wondering who I am and how I got here is one I've been stuck on since getting shot. Now that I stop and think about it, the sudden onset of my introspection is probably not all that different from the moment that G'ma noticed that she didn't remember much any more. It was just there one day.
I'm reading Jane Gross's memoir/handbook of caring for her aging mother, A Bitter-Sweet Season. In the first 39 pages I've stopped a dozen times, struck by the fact that I had been there, done that, wondered that, too. As she says
...middle-aged daughters do this all the time. I never noticed until I became one of them.That's it, exactly. On either side of the equation, the sagging skin, the creaky joints, the slowing down, the dependent parent..... they are all part of our every day until they become all of our every day. And you don't notice it until it's upon you.
When did I get this old? Daddooooo used to ask. That's the question at the center of it all. If I knew when, perhaps I could have done something to avert the inevitable. If I'd seen it coming, perhaps I could have changed. If.... if.... if if's were skiffs we'd have a navy.
If I've learned nothing else over these last 15 months, I've become certain that perhaps and if only are the least useful words in my vocabulary. Seret 's mantra - It is what it is. Smile, and move on. - is the shorthand version of my answer to myself when my brain decides to wander down the well-worn paths of second guessing myself.
Putting the smile on my face makes an immediate difference. It's a proven fact. Once I've turned my frown upside down I find a fork in the road, one leading to a better place, one reminding me that I Am and that is a good thing, even if I am lumbering more than I'd like, if I'm developing jowls, if my mother doesn't remember my name. Everyone else has a similar issue, or they will soon enough. There's no reason to burden others, or myself, for that matter, with the tsorris (an exceptionally useful Yiddish word meaning troubles).