I don’t like my chronological age. It doesn’t remotely reflect how I see myself. It doesn’t reflect my interests in most cases. It is, however, unavoidable.
In my varied work life spending the work day with many different ages of coworkers I found I gravitate toward younger individuals. I appreciate their energy, curiosity, enthusiasm, perspective, and enjoyment of life. Working with them is fun, and I find I model my actions to theirs. The conversations are about what’s the next thing to experience. The new places to eat, the great places to go to listen to music, the crazy friends who entertain them with adventures they have, the trips they take and places they go for fun.
Conversely, when working around older humans the conversations are about doctor appointments, prescriptions, parents failing health, avoiding places new that might risk injury, paying bills, worry for adult children (the ones who are having all that fun) and fear of what is around the corner. I gravitated to the younger employees (if there were any) and escaped as soon as I could for those situations.
Can I tell you how easy it is to fall into the old foggy mentality. Instead I dream of beaches, music, boats, diving, dancing.
The past several months have been startling to me by the varied aspects of my life as aging grounds against my self perception. Literally – doctors, prescriptions, tests, treatments, looking at my reflection and thinking of how she can be that fun, silly, carefree person she was?
I’ve never wanted to get old. Each age milestone didn’t make me excited for what was next but gave me pause for what I had lost. It’s been that way my whole life. I didn’t even like my children getting older.
I see elderly people and say to myself, “I don’t want to be them,” and still I am creeping up, crawling up, flowing up, rushing up, running up on that.
So, as I get ready for another test today at 1 pm I try to push away the regret for youth lost, and think this will give the doctors the information to keep me going another good twenty years.