Further proof that I don’t belong in Vegas – I believe I was the only person there who bought and read the Sunday paper. I was so glad I did because in the Parade magazine there was an article by Connie Schultz which I adored!
With hopes that she won’t mind I will quote from her article. She wrote that when she was 30 she “read Gail Godwin’s novel The Finishing School. One particular passage, in which 44-year-old Ursula advises 14-year-old Justin about aging, scared me so much that I wrote it down and carried it in my wallet for years:
There are two kinds of people…One kind, you can tell just by looking at them at what point they congealed into their final selves. It might be a very nice self, but you know you can expect no more surprises from it. Whereas, the other kind keeps moving, changing. With those people, you can never say, “X stops here,” or “Now I know all there is to know about Y.” That doesn’t mean they’re unstable. Ah no, far from it. They are fluid. They keep moving forward and making new trysts with life and the motion of it keeps them young. In my opinion, they are the only people who are still alive.”
I never read that novel but I appreciate the sentiment. I am trying to keep myself alive by doing what feels best. I’m not going to take up sky-diving or do anything crazy just to feel like I’m in motion. You can be in motion mentally and spiritually. That’s what I’m aiming for.
Connie also says “each of us sees ourselves at a certain age, frozen in time.” Inside they are one age, outside, alas, another. I find myself thinking I’m younger than I am and being disappointed when I can’t pull off that look or that move in the gym class. Other times I use my age like a shield. I blame my not being able to keep up at the gym on the youth of the other women (girls) in the class. “They’re half my age!” I shriek as an excuse. I realize I can’t have it both ways but it’s hard to accept that you can’t do what you once did without thinking.
Connie concludes the article “Life in the Middle Ages,” by inviting her readers to join in the journey. She says “aging is a team sport, and I can’t win this game without you.” She promises that 50 was hard but that 55 feels just right. I hope so because on my next birthday, in October, I will hit that 55 milestone.
I plan to jog along with Connie as I finish my 54th year and enter my 55th. If you want to, visit her blog at: parade.com/connie.