Do you get old because you stop doing things, or do you stop doing things because you are old?

My grandfather and sister

My grandfather and sister many years ago

It’s a question I posed to my husband last night because he was complaining about how late the Duke game was and how when he was younger he would stay up all night to go to a game. He was offered tickets for last night’s game but he turned them down because it was such a late start. I told him he should never use “staying up too late” as a reason to miss something he is so passionate about. Needless to say, he did stay awake until the end of the game, in the comfort of our own home. I fell asleep listening to him using not-so-nice words while screaming at the TV. Yes, it’s that bad.

I hate the thought of growing old, it’s better than the alternative, but I never want to be the person that doesn’t do things because of my age. Of course, that doesn’t apply to mini-skirts and leather pants, although I probably have a friend or two that could still pull those off at 40. The wrinkles around my eyes are starting to pop more in pics and since I’ve gone darker for the fall, my grey hairs seem to mock me in the mirror.

I noticed that lately I’ve started to think about the next phase of my life and what I will do. The last twenty years have basically been all about marriage, having a family, building a household. But what comes next? I don’t like the idea of retiring because I think I would turn into a worthless blob. And the day that Walker leaves for college is something I just find so hard to think about. But that’s ok because he’s going to go to UNC which is only 10 minutes away and he will live at home because he won’t be able to stand the thought of being away from mom that much either, right?

We recently visited Asheville and while out at lunch I saw a couple in their sixties with a little dog in a stroller. You would have thought that dog was their child. I told Walker that I guess when he goes off to college that will be me. I’ll have a little dog, my dream little car (a mini Cooper) and everything in my little world will be good.

I’ve also thought about where I’d like to move someday if I ever do retire. I told Mike I’d love to live in New York City. I think the energy of that place would keep anyone young. He looked at me with frightened eyes and replied, “But where will I play golf?” He’s definitely more of a beach/warm weather guy. Maybe we could retire to the Hamptons and visit the city when we get the urge…just like in Revenge…

I’m sure that many things will change over the next ten years and that includes my plans and dreams, but for now I’ve chronicled my thoughts. And we’ll have to stay tuned to see how they evolve.

3 Thoughts on “Almost Mid-life Thoughts

  1. I think it’s both. At 57, I find it’s a constant balance between acknowledging what has slowed down or begun to ache, and what’s just a love of the sofa that I’ve always had:).

  2. My husband and I were just discussing this when I realized the excitement I used to feel towards braving the crowds to do my Christmas shopping has turned into dread at the thought of coming within 10 miles of the shopping malls this time of the year. I asked him if I was getting old and my husband just told me I was getting smarter! We have two in college right now, and my youngest two will be out of the nest in five more years, which I suspect is going to fly by. It’s hard to imagine what the next chapter will bring…I am not good with change and that seems to get worse as the years go by!

  3. I routinely wake up around 4am these days, gasping for air at the sudden dream/thought that my son is leaving next fall for college. Some change is good – other isn’t. It’s the adjusting to it all that is the skillful part.

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