There is a certain freedom in being a senior citizen, if you are willing to own up to it. There are the discounts, sure. But there is also the free pass to do what you want, up to a point. I don’t want to go to more than one social event in a day. Was this different a month ago? No. But now I give myself a pass and go to the one I choose.
My husband has been a senior citizen for a while now, but he still doesn’t act like it. I have to insist he refrain from crawling on his belly across our 1938 suspension bridge over the Delaware River in order to replace rotting deck boards. He has them cut and drilled for hardware, but until he finds a willing (and preferably younger) compadre, he is literally grounded.
Being able to refuse social invitations is only a small dividend of growing older, and I hope I won’t refuse so many that they stop coming. There is also the option to try new things because, well, you only live once. YOLO, as the kids say.
YOLO found me in an acrobatic workshop at NACL this week with the group LAVA. A feminist, multi-generational acrobatic dance company, LAVA is presenting “A Goddyssey,” on Saturday, June 3 at 7:30 p.m. It is the first show of the 20th anniversary season of NACL, our local avant-garde theatre company in Highland Lake (tickets at NACL.org). I’m a little creaky from the experience, but what a thrill to learn acrobatic technique along with the 25 to 45 demographic.
It almost took me too long to realize the benefits of staying fit, but now I get it. If I’m not practicing yoga and taking Pilates class or swimming, the joints start creaking very quickly in protest.
Everything is more impressive when you do it at 65. Still married to the same man? Wow! Still riding a bike? You go, girl! Try tweeting? Why not? Quit tweeting? Definitely.
Now is also the time to reflect on all the things you always wanted to do, but haven’t yet. My friend Michael is using his retirement to travel. He worked hard for years, days, nights and weekends, to reap his reward. He is checking his bucket list off almost daily. In the last year he has been to Vienna, China, Florence and Venice. But he doesn’t just go places; he explores all there is to do. I envied his recent trip to Los Angeles at about the same time I was there. I lived vicariously through his Facebook accounts of visiting the Getty Center and going backstage at the opera and taking architecture tours of Pasadena and Silver Lake, while I visited with my loved ones and shopped for baby clothes at Target. If I ever need a travel suggestion, I know who to ask.
I had the travel bug early and even spent a few months alone in Paris when I was 18. But I was 18. And alone. I could do it so much better now! I still want to see Japan and India and get cast in a feature film and sail on the Queen Mary to Southampton and drive a race car. But if I never get to do any of those things I am happy to be me, here, now. And yes, I’d love to come to your party!