musings from Canadian author Cheryl Cooke Harrington ... home of The Write Spot

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

ain't what she used to be

No, not the old gray mare. I'm talking about my old gray self. Of course, age is really a matter of perspective. I don't feel old —well, not most days, anyway. On the other hand, I am a Grandma. Twice. And I've been known to catch a glimpse of myself in a store mirror and wonder who the heck that grumpy-looking old broad is. Yup. Perspective.

Last weekend, J. and I treated ourselves to a pancake breakfast at a local diner. While browsing the menu, I discovered their 'senior discount' applies to anyone over 55. Yippee! I qualify, and gleefully informed our waiter that I'd have mine with a 10% discount, thank you very much. Hey, what's not to like about a discount?

Funny thing, though. I remember thinking, not so very long ago, that I'd never admit to being a 'senior'. At the time, it sounded so ... well ... elderly. And not in a good way. Discounts or not, I dreaded the prospect. But this week I've been checking the age requirement whenever I see a senior discount advertised, and grumbling when it's set waaay up there at 65. Hey, I qualify for discount pancakes, why not discount movies and travel, too? Ah, yes. Perspective.

The other day, after grumbling about how long it was taking our laser printer to crank out fifty perfect copies, I found myself telling my younger co-workers about office life in "the olden days". Wide-eyed with wonder, they were, as I regaled them with tales of the mighty, ink-spewing Gestetner machine. Now that was slow. And messy. And does anyone else remember "editing" lengthy documents with a pair of scissors and a whole lot of glue? Ah, the (not so) good old days. Now that I think about it, perhaps my co-workers' wide-eyed expressions weren't wonder, after all. More like horror and disbelief. (She can't be that old, can she? What the heck is a mimeo? Wasn't he an actor back in the 50s?)

Okay, to heck with perspective. I'm ancient and that's all there is to it. But y'know what? Despite my trepidation a few years back, I'm okay with the whole getting older thing. My once-blonde hair is gray by choice. It's the real me and I like it. I wear comfortable shoes because, darn it, comfort is good. I'd like to think I've learned a few things along the way, too. Like how to worry (a bit) less and how truly wonderful those roses smell when you finally slow down enough to enjoy them.


At 3:27 am, Anonymous Kate I said...

Hi Ostera, I'm a fellow Canadian from the other side of the country...found your site on blogher. I enjoyed your site and found the link to "Gratefulness" interesting too. Gratitutde been a huge focus for me for the past year and it's opened up a whole new world. Love it!

At 7:41 am, Blogger Ostara said...

Thanks for stopping by, Kate. Funny thing is, I visited your blog last night - also from BlogHer. Very much enjoyed your art and bookmarked it to return when I have some time to enjoy.

At 5:07 pm, Anonymous Susan McNicoll said...

I am going to try this slowly and hope I don't hit anything that makes it disappear! What I had been saying was that when I was younger I had no problem with aging until my body fell apart. Now that I am getting older (64 and counting) I am not so sure. Fine if you are healthy or have a partner or children to look out for you but not much fun I think if you have physical problems and are alone. However, while I would love the body of that healthy athletic 30-year-old back, if she came with who I was at 30, no way would I take the deal. My wisdom has been hard-fought and often left me bruised and bleeding. Now if I could take the wisdom I have now and go back into that 30-year-old, you might have a deal!

At 5:49 pm, Blogger Ostara said...

Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Susan. I agree. If only I'd known then what I know now...

At 12:51 pm, Blogger Keisha | The Girl Next Door is Black said...

Lol @ the younger co-workers being wide-eyed with wonder or horror. I like to read about people embracing aging. It makes aging less scary.

At 1:12 pm, Anonymous Helena Clarke said...

definitely think moving forward and seeing the positives is the best (and possibly only!) way to approach getting older. We all do it, so there's no hiding from it! I am approaching 40 with apprehension, but I heading there with all my friends and together we all still feel young so what's in a number?!

At 2:31 pm, Blogger Cheryl said...

Thanks for stopping by, Helena. I remember that turning 40 trepidation! Turned out it was very good year. I agree with your "what's in a number" attitude. Enjoy life!

At 2:41 pm, Blogger Cheryl said...

Hi Keisha,
Glad you enjoyed my rambling. One of the best things about getting older is the fearlessness that comes with it.


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