|Get involved: stay young|
As a young mother, I leaped over coffee tables to keep my toddler from hurting herself--or worse. I taught school during the day, sponsored Girl Scouts by night. I ingested coffee to keep me regular--that is: to get me to the dentist, the School Improvement Committee meeting and my dinner date on time.
Now, all I do is hang out with old folks. And the consequences?
I park in the handicapped spots because my mother has an artificial knee (and hip and several other body parts. Why she's disabled is beyond me. She is the bionic woman.) My husband blasts the TV, deafening me, because he can't hear, and so my hearing has devolved. And my social calendar consists of sipping coffee on the porch and waving to neighbors.
Where have all my physical, intellectual and social incentives gone? And what's an old lady to do?
Old age and old peers are no excuse. We can still:
1. Exercise. I no longer run marathons...but I stay active by: walking the dog, kayaking and short jogs. If that's too much for arthritic limbs, invest in a Wii. You can dance from a wheelchair, bowl from the sofa or box to your heart's desire (and improvement)--all without injuring yourself.
2. Learn. As we age, we retire. Our blissful peace comes with a price as we lose intellectual stimulation. Check out your local college, see what courses they offer for seniors. One college nearby offers a group called New Horizons. It teaches seniors new musical instruments.
3. Volunteer. While it's nice to wave to people, as humans we need more. Even with our own limitations we can volunteer. Check out your local Habitat for Humanity, head to the nursing home, or help at a preschool, those little ones kept you young when you were young--they still can.
So old people surround us. We meet one in the mirror every morning. But that's no reason to become old, dessicated and cranky.
You can visit her blog at http://carol-mcclain.blogspot.com