I use to think that I was immune to the accumulating years of sunsets I’ve witnessed. Like everyone else I’ve watched them gracefully descend in a wash of the golds, reds, pinks and oranges, and each time stunned at the spectacular beauty before me. I never saw them as another day slipping away. I only saw the beauty. Seeing a sunset as another day gone is like witnessing the brilliance of the leaves on a maple tree in October and declaring it near death. Nope, that’s not the way to look at things. But lately I’ve been looking at sunsets with a different view. I am seeing them through my sixty-five year old eyes, and I don’t know how all the sunsets before me went so fast.
Recently I saw a production of Fiddler on the Roof at the Kentucky Center for the Arts. I’ve always liked the song “Sun Rise, Sun Set.” Of course, the meaning of the song is not lost on any of us. The lyrics haven’t changed, but hearing the song the other night left me with a catch in my throat. One season following another, laiden with happiness and tears…How quickly the seasons have past. These days I don’t much recognize my face in the mirror, nor the new pains that creep into my joints. For so many years I thought I was immune to the aging process. I was certainly present to witness the aging of my grandparent, my aunts and uncles, my parents, but that didn’t seem to apply to me. Oh yeah, I knew I’d get older, but did I really believe it. No, I don’t think I did.
This past year has been an awakening for me. I am not who I use to be physically, mentally or emotionally. My body doesn’t work the same, my brain often takes little vacations when I’m not focused, and I spend way too much time in my own head. To be honest, I just wasn’t ready to be a post-menopausal female. But here I am. I’ve been to more doctors in the last month then I’ve been in the last year. I can hardly wait to get up in the morning to see what new ailment is there to greet me. In my effort to stay healthy I’ve given up saturated fats, sugar, tobacco, alcohol, carbonated drinks, sweetners, and the one that really hurts, CAFFEINE! To sum it up, anything FUN!
Yes, I’m having a bit of a pity party as my father would say. I don’t like having to give those things up or make healthier choices, but I do it. Even with all the ailments and those to come, I still find such joy in hearing my grandchildren’s laughter, playing a good game of bridge, playing the piano, reading a good book, gossiping with my best friend, curling up on the couch with a cup of coffee (decaf of course) with my favorite fella. These are wonderful moments I focus on. I can’t escape aging, I’m not immune, but I’ll remind myself to treasure each moment and continue to work to have more of them,
Cheers to everyone and have a blessed Thanksgiving!