It is too easy to think about the things we are giving up as we age--and there are a few. Last week on our road trip Jim and I decided to list some of the positive aspects of aging.
1. Vacationing in mid-October and having lovely trails and inns almost to yourself.
2. Getting the senior discount for coffee at McDonalds without requesting it.
3. Your host offers to help with luggage when you are at the bottom of a steep staircase (an upstairs room in Pepin Mansion, New Albany.)
4. Passers-by offer to help when you look a bit bewildered (French Lick Resort with its 430 rooms and three wings.)
5. Being able to sing along with the Madison, Indiana church chimes on "The Little Brown Church in the Wildwood" even if you can't remember the names of the new people sitting in the pew in front of you in your own church.
6. Breaking up longer days of travel with more stops--even over-night stops.
And then a few not related to last week's trip:
7. Happily and confidently, letting the young folks at church be the "elders" this time around.
8. Golfing with friends who don't mind spotting the ball for you and sometimes, not always, using the senior tees. (Jim!)
9. Having your daughter plan and book a family vacation for next summer.
10. Hiring outside help for cleaning and home maintenance without guilt.
11. Defying convention and buying the skinny jeans Stitch-Fix sent in their personal styling package. It does help that they also sent a long cardigan to go over them. (Mary!)
12. Having the luxury of leisure time and being able to make choices of how to use it--including more visits to see family 700 miles away.
Over the years when I looked at my hands on the table and compared them with the younger hands of the student I was helping, I was very aware of aging even then. My skin is wrinkled, the veins stand out, and the fingers are bent. But these hands can still type a blog, play the organ, cook a meal, and send an email, and for that I am very grateful.
I just used the word "still." We are quite aware of its use in our aging lives when folks ask, "Are you still working?" At least they are not yet asking, "Are you still in your own home? or Are you still driving?" Those days may come and I may have to blog about that too!