Posted in health, life, observations, wellness

Spinning out into a bigger world

Children gathering potatoes on a large farm, v...
Children gathering potatoes on a large farm, vicinity of Caribou, Aroostook County, Me. Schools do not open until the potatoes are harvested.  (Personally, I think a post is better with a photo. That said, I have no idea what this has to do with my post, but  strangely it appeared in the suggeested photos list. Go figure.) Photo credit: The Library of Congress

I had the thought a couple of days ago that what makes me feel my age more than I think others do is that I didn’t have children. I never shared those milestones of a child’s life that make you think, “wow, they are getting older … and so am I.”

I don’t think I was aware of my aging self until about four or five years ago when it seems that suddenly everything just seemed to break down. A knee injury, a foot injury, crinkles at the corners of my eyes, and yes, this is gross, chin hairs. I have developed the benign essential tremors my mother has and her thin skin that bruises easily and leaves red, ugly blotches on my arms. I got help for the knee and the foot but I’m completely undone by the hairs, bruises and tremors.

If I had kids would these be just a normal progression of aging, something I would take in stride? Would I have been more accepting of aging or at least been aware of it as it happened? Or, would I maybe think that having children was responsible for aging?

All my life, people have been surprised when they hear how old I am, thinking I am much younger. My standard response is that I didn’t have children! But now I wonder.

I had a boss about forty years ago who told me that I should have children so I’d know what was really important (probably during one of my whines about some inconsequential work thing and how it was affecting me). It took me all of those forty years since to figure out what he meant. I’ve had the luxury of being totally self-absorbed since I was nineteen, viewing the world as if it revolved around me. At sixty-five, I’m suddenly aware that my life is so small that what is likely normal aging for others is a complete and devastating surprise to me. It’s not a happy thing.

I think it might be time to find a way to make my world bigger – take my focus off ME and MY aging and place it somewhere out there in the big, wide world.

Any suggestions?

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Author:

I'm a writer making my way through life and offering observations as I go. Old enough to know better but that doesn't stop me.

3 thoughts on “Spinning out into a bigger world

  1. Having kids has provided me with additional opportunities for regrets of wishing I had done things differently. In other words, I have all of my own failures to look back on, plus all of the questionable choices which my kids have made. Also, I get to spend several days each week helping my wife mind the grandkids – which is not always easy considering we both work full time jobs.

  2. The world revolves around each of us, silly! Yours is a unique voice. If it’s not affected by interaction with children, it’s simply dependent on something else that makes you who you are. And I hope you didn’t stay with that boss too long!

    1. Thanks for the “booster!” It’s always nice to have someone yank you up and say, “get over it, silly,” and move on! Thanks, again.

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