Some days, I like to spell olde the archaic way because it feels like it should be a four-letter word.
On Monday, I bent to retrieve a small bag of lunchtime veggies from the lowest shelf in our workroom fridge, and I tweaked my back. Crud-ite! As a result, I walked like a tiny old man in a loose suit on his way to a pinochle game for a couple of days. I am olde.
Wednesday night at dinner, my young friend made this sweet observation: “I can see your old lady chin move when you chew.” One might argue, as I did, that everyone’s chin moves when they chew but, let’s be honest, I knew exactly what he meant. I am olde.
Olde age causes your biceps to melt into your arms so when you flex them you have to squint hard to see any upward movement. It convinces your skin to pucker in unflattering ways, and your eyeballs to form a codependent relationship with the cheap glasses you’ve stashed all over your house, car, purse and desk. “Choose me! Choose me!” they say. “I need you but I can’t find you!” you whimper weakly back.
Olde age is rough!
Old age is a privilege.
Old age wakes you up before your alarm clock and coaxes you out to enjoy a little sunrise and solitude. It offers the kind of perspective that means you really never have to have a bad day. Are you alive? Are you breathing? Are you loved? Then you’re lucky.
Old age teaches you to value each friend and family member and to treasure the moments you spend together. It allows you to shed the awful skins of judgement and jealousy and wrap yourself in appreciation for everything they are to you and the world around.
Old age both invites and requires discernment. We fill our hours carefully because we want to get the most out of the time we have. We’ve also learned a little something about quality in food, folks and fun along the way.
So, I’ll take the olde age “Good God, what is my hair doing now?” days and their trivial frustrations, because I’m honestly enjoying the advantages old age has begun to offer.