Monday, September 06, 2010

Aging, uh, gracefully

I had dinner with two friends tonight to celebrate the 65th birthday of one of them. While she appreciated the attention, she isn't exactly celebrating. She moaned and groaned when she turned sixty, and now sixty-five seems even worse to her. Sometimes I feel a little offended, like she should think before she says that to me. But I did point out tonight that I am 72, don't feel it and don't think I look it. The third friend began to smirk, and I said, "What? You think I look 72?" She said that was not at all what she was thinking, and I believe her. I asked the birthday girl how old her husband is, and she replied, "Seventy-seven." So there! But she said she feels 34.
I've talked about this before--that there is an age you feel you are all your life, no matter your chronological age. At 34, my friend was in the depths of a bad place, a bad marriage. I too feel I'm in my mid-thirties and then didn't know that I was in a marriage that was about to turn bad. Then I had young children--one still to come--and thought life was pretty good. But if you ask me, I wouldn't go back to that age for anything, unless I could take with me the wisdom, knowledge, and world view I've gained over the years. Not that I am by any means an aged sage, but I look back at myself in my thirties and think how naive, how shallow, how innocent of the real world I was. And I find I like myself better these days--I'm more patient, less anxious (some won't believe that), not bothered by the demons of my thirties. And I'm probably happier than I've ever been in my life, more content with life and with myself. It's a great feeling. I hope my friend can reach it, though she's in the midst of a stressful work situation right now.
It was a great dinner--I had a chopped salad, huge, and the other ladies had pasta. We were at my current and longtime favorite restaurant, Patrizio's. It's just now finally come to Fort Worth from Dallas. They brought us complimentary spumoni because it was a birthday, and we all enjoyed.
Back to the real world tomorrow, and I will be confused all week about what day of the week it is. Now that I'm retired, I sometimes wake up wondering what day it is and what I am supposed to do that day. Somehow every morning seems like Saturday to me.

No comments: