One of Life’s Turning Points- Getting Older

Aging is a funny thing.  A very long time ago, I couldn’t wait to get older, to go to high school, to college, to get my own house, to have my own family, to have a real job.  I wanted to cook dinner, tend the yard, have a car, be the President of the Gym Fund like my Mom.

I bet you remember feeling that way.

 

Then, not so long ago…..  I started wanting to slow down the years, life was too fun, and I wanted each season and each fun time to last forever.  But as the years passed, each by each they started to go faster.

But things always should get better right?  If you are doing it correctly?  I was taught to do things smart, to make sure to work it out so that you have what you need, then what you want, and to still have the ability to play.    The magic key.

And now…… I want the years to stop.  Immediately.

I need to catch up, and find some acceptance for where I suddenly see all of you.  Where I see myself, in real time.

I may need professional help.

Do you remember when you were in grade school?  I do, lots of it.

I remember when our family dog Fred used to come to school, usually 2 or 3 times a week.  I would see him running around on the playground and think to myself.  “Damn It, I hate you Fred.”  Not long after, someone would come from the office to get me, and I would sit on the front steps of the school with the dog until my Mom came to pick him up.  Sometimes I wouldn’t see him, but would get told by someone else, “Joy, your dog is here”, which was always accompanied by laughing peers and much embarrassment on my part.

We only lived about six blocks away from the school.

I hated that dog.  In the end, he hung himself by wrapping his chain around the railing above the basement steps.  I was not even sad.  It’s one of my favorite childhood memories.

Moving on. 🙂

I remember walking up the hill to Lincoln Park for softball practice, the whole group of us being harassed by John Kitna and Lawyer Milloy, former NFL players now, the both of them.

I remember awkward school dances in the lunchroom and I remember every boy that I danced with.  I remember playing kickball and soccer at recess and coming home with skinned knees more often than not from playing those games on our asphalt playground.

Do you remember high school?  I do.

I remember swim meets and softball games.  I remember band concerts and going to formals.  I remember my first car, Putt-Putt.  I remember being so proud to have a cool job, I was a Lifeguard.  I remember my friends and my first boyfriend.  I remember my “teen line” at home, that rang differently, I had my own phone number.  I remember my black and white tiny TV that only got 3 channels, and I loved it all.  I had a deck off of my bedroom and loved being out there at night.  Sometimes I would take my blankets out, ponder my teen angst and watch the traffic go by.

Oh and my 20’s.

What crazy times I had.  College classes and work, my first several homes and one apartment.  I got married to my high school sweetheart.  I moved to Alaska, helped with a restaurant startup, then came home and ran an import export business.  I went to Japan and I successfully committed international banking …..***** CENSORED**********
Near the end of all that I got divorced.

I carried the Olympic torch in January of 2002, I was 27.  It was the proudest moment to date in my life.  Jay Buhner did not come to see me do it, I was crushed.

I went to concerts and festivals, I unleashed my inner grown up.

I went on an epic road trip with my best friend ever, Kerry Erickson.  We drove her car from Knoxville, Tennessee to Tacoma, Washington.  During that trip, I kissed Bret Boone.  I also made out with a guy that claimed to be the bassist for Molly Hatchet.  We saw the biggest cross in the Western Hemisphere. The trunk on the car totally broke in Texas.  It was awesome.   Oh.  Never drive through New Mexico, it’s horribly long, hot and boring.

And one definitive day that started out like any other, I met the love of my life.  No matter what happens, I will love him forever.  It has been 17 years since that day.

THEN in my 30’s……….

I became a We.  I helped raise his kids and made a successful household with my Rooster.

I became a Harley chick, and we went to Sturgis 5 times.  We met and formed relationships with other grown ups that we will love forever.

I became a successful gardener and found the green thumb that has been waiting on me my whole life.  The we part of my garden is that every year he does the rototilling and brings me new, fancy poop dirt to mix in.  It’s a big deal, that’s man work.  I began my quest to grow the biggest pumpkin ever.

Also in my 30’s, I found meaningful, decent paying work in real estate, the job that has become my career (until my blog takes off or my book gets published).  My Rooster’s business became successful and he always brought in plenty to support our lifestyle.

I am 43 now.

We both work hard and play hard.  We enjoying sleeping in comfortable beds and eating good food.  Money isn’t a struggle.  We still like to ride motorcycles but equally enjoy jeeping, fishing and shellfish harvesting, road trips, vacations, crafting (just me) and every single sort of adventure.  The kids are grown and off on their own 20’s.  We have two cats that we love.

Although we still go on mighty adventures, the risk taking has mellowed considerably, which is totally ironic because now we have many more toys that would enable such behavior.    We still go to concerts, we still party down.

We tend to spend more time in the backyard than the bar, even though the activities are the same.   It’s somehow more fun to have a potluck, pay per view UFC party with a few than to go into the great wide world and pay everyone else to do it all for us.  Bonus for the not driving anywhere while drinking though.

We are also less likely to take chances anymore, in the old days our fun times had a “fuck it all” attitude attached, but now the attitude is more guarded, and the title is “too much to lose”.

I have been writing this blog.  It’s almost been two full years.  It’s the one thing that I can say that has been a goal of mine since the elementary days.  I truly want to be a writer.  Whether it be a real book (who am I kidding, I’m writing 25 books), or the internet……. I am the most proud of this.

It seems to me and likely to you, that things are going pretty smoothly at 43…….

BUT I AM FREAKING OUT!

I’m probably having a midlife crisis.  The super bell bonus would be if it’s only going to manifest itself here in my writing.  I know that isn’t true though, it’s been going on for a while.  I doubt that writing it down is going to change anything.  I can always hope, cross your fingers.

You see…. I feel like I’ve reached at least the middle of life.  I hope I’ve reached the middle, I honestly don’t want to see 86.  But at the same time it doesn’t seem to have been long enough to be at the middle already.

I notice that my family is getting old(er).  My Dad consistently announces he is an old man.  I grant him the fact that he is no longer the guy that used to chase us around with the hose in the backyard, but he is hardly an old man, my Rooster is the hose guy now (he did that to me just last week).  I will also admit that Dad’s hair is silver and his health problems are real, albeit controllable.  He is 60.

My Mom is 60 also, but she displays a verve for life that I envy.  She too is facing a few health problems that are being managed.  She is a newer gardener and loves her plants, something that I am so happy to share and discuss with her.  Mom adores and spoils the grandkids to no end.  Perhaps it’s retirement that is envigoring her.

Probably not though, because since she has given up daycare, she does a lot of running around all day with Grandpa and my Great Aunt Donna to doctors appointments, errand running, problem solving and grocery shopping.

It has to be tough trading the very young for the very old.  Our elders are more ornery for sure, you can’t really pick them up and plop them in their beds, and you can’t put them in time out.  Who do you tell when they misbehave?  Plus there’s the whole respect issue.

My aunts and uncles are also showing signs of age.  Limping about, baldness, surgeries, medicines, health problems….  My grandparents, the three that I have left are either 90 or fast approaching 90, and they have all of the problems of people that have leveled up that far.

My next sister down is 40 and my brother will be 40 soon too.  My baby sister is 34.  Are you kidding me?  What happened?

Sometimes when I dig too long in the garden, my hips, back and certainly wrists and fingers hurt.  🙁

We hot tub in the back yard more for therapy than for fun.  It always turns out to be fun anyway, I guess we’re just peaking on that one.  🙂

Where did all the fun people who used to take care of all of my problems go?

Our family and friends are dying.  Either because of old age, sickness or accidents, there have been more and more each year for the past several years.  I am well aware that this will continue to be an annual growing number the older we become.

The years seem to be going faster, and there is never enough time.  Is this what it is like to get old(er)?

I feel exactly like I have gone over the peak on the roller coaster and I am trying so hard to hit the brakes but my head is being flung backward by force.  My neck hurts and I might throw up.

My Rooster will be 48 next week.

He should technically be where my parents are in 12 years.  Scary.

Deep breath.

The only choice is to continue on, venturing forward.

 

This blog took a nasty turn near the end huh?  Gotta keep you reading.  🙂

You know what?  Maybe it isn’t about aging.  Maybe it is about awareness and finally recognizing the world outside of my own bubble.  Maybe its’s about seeing things through eyes that finally aren’t concerned about self preservation but more about observation.

*Sigh*  no wonder old people are so cranky.

 

 

 

 

 

7 Replies to “One of Life’s Turning Points- Getting Older”

  1. ‘Smarty Pants’; I am now 70. I think U R diffinitely on to a/the realization and observation of reaching out for the ‘Wisdom comes with age’ generation or just speaking for my age/self! I used 2 think, “lets gitter done!” and be ready for the next upcoming adventure or issue! Now its “keep moving”, stay in shape, solely 2 avoid the soreness it takes 2 get back in condition if U don’t stay in shape! And get myself back up if I do fall! Plus take my time getting things done, ie trimming trees, mowing the grass, painting the shed and RV garage. Enjoy the moments as we age! Its a new course for Longivity, not careless Urgency! Iam just saying, “Working my way back 2 the Crib!

  2. I have pondered life myself. My only goal growing up was to do it better than my parents did, as I did not have the greatest of childhoods. I believe I gave my children better and more opportunities than I had, but what have they done with my sacrifices for them? Now past that, what do I do? Struggle for this moment in time to look forward to taking the time to make life what I want. But what is that? It comes down to what I want people to remember me as if I should ever depart this world.( with Gods will, that may be a long time). Do what I can, enjoy what I can and treasure my family and friends.

  3. So true Joy, but you can’t be 43 because in my mind I’m still 25. And with all the mousse and gel I use you can’t see how thin my hair is. I may walk with a limp but it’s nothing that a knee replacement can’t fix. Oh I try to just be cranky on Mondays. In my eyes you’re still the little girl who loved to use my skin machine.
    Love you much!
    Your cranky aunt Anna.

  4. Just a couple months ago someone very near and dear to my heart told me “ you need to slow your roll”… she couldn’t have been more right… thank you for the grounding.

  5. Joy I am always excited to see that you have published another other blog. In reading this one I see why your perspective on life is always so amazingly clear. You have lived a full life you have done it right. And when the time comes the two of you can sit on your porch and hold hands and remember an awesome life together. This is how we should all hope to live our lives. When the time comes that you do publish your book I can’t wait to read it!

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