Ageism

As I put a brace on my left ankle at the YMCA yesterday, a woman noticed and asked about how I had injured it.  Since we are both “women of a certain age” (euphemism for the second half of life), she commented that getting old stinks.  As my peers and I are making more trips to physicians, some variation of this theme seems to be vocalized often to me.  After several years of various injuries or disorders dotting my personal landscape, I have lamented loss of abilities and lengthy recovery or rehabilitation phases.  Yet I strongly disagree with this perception and attitude for the remainder of my life. 

Every time this is uttered, energetically it is an affirmation and prediction of our futures.  Then I start looking for a stake to drive through the heart of the vampire whose words can suck the life force out.  So far, there has not been such a weapon in the vicinity so I have not spilled anyone else’s lifeblood.  I just don’t want to be party to turning that possibility into reality.

It also undermines the life that I have now.  I prefer being the person who affirms that I earned every gray hair on my head.  My lifetime of experiences have given me joy and sorrow from which I have evolved into the person I am today, and she has a wisdom that makes some of my earlier beliefs and actions laughable.  I have had the delight of youthful musculature and supple skin for which I am grateful.  I am also grateful for a life that continues each day without those characteristics, but full of new experiences.  One of the biggest gifts of having had a life-threatening illness is remembering to notice everyday gifts.  I can give myself the joy of noticing the wealth that I receive everyday.  Whether I have less than twenty-four hours or more than thirty years to complete this lifetime, I want to keep my attention on the beauty that is my life and that all life is.  I don’t want to miss today by wishing for yesterday or dreading my future.  Won’t you join me here?